The 1.4-litre TSI variant of the VW Passat has finally arrived in Singapore although it has been available in Europe for some time now. The new 1.4-litre Passat now takes over as the base model of the range from the 1.8-litre. It epitomizes the rising “big body, small capacity” phenomena that has been taking place in the car industry.
Although VW has recently launched the 1.4-litre motor with cylinder deactivation, the engine underneath the Passat is the familiar 122bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged unit that has been powering VW models since the MK 5 Golf.
With a large body, the 1.4-litre Passat goes from 0 to 100km/h in a leisurely 10.3 seconds. However, it still outruns a 2.0-litre Camry at the traffic light junction. Having said that, one of its close competitor, the 1.6-litre Volvo S80 T4, is quicker at 9.2 seconds. Compared to the 1.8-litre TSI Passat, the 1.4-litre version loses 38 bhp (122 bhp vs 160 bhp) and takes 1.8 seconds more to reach the century speed mark from rest. However, performance does not come cheap as the 1.8-litre model will set the buyer back by about an additional $30,000.
The 1.4-litre Passat is pretty well-equipped. It comes equipped with goodies such as hands-free park assist, keyless entry and start-stop system (KESSY), fatigue detection and electric seats. Perhaps, the only complaint that a buyer may have is the tiny 215/55 R16 wheels. However, I guess most buyers of this Passat would not be taking the car to the limit and hence a larger rim may not be necessary.
Priced at $155,800, the latest variant of the Passat undercuts the base version of its Japanese rivals such as the Camry and the Teana. Not only is the Passat quicker, it saves the owner quite a substantial amount of road tax which could be spent on a short trip to Malaysia instead.