It has to be said that several members of the GRR team are fully paid up options list cynics. Line this, package that and acronyms aplenty litter the spec sheets of many modern cars such that the “starting from” price is a distant memory. We’re sure we’re not alone in questioning the point and usefulness of a lot of this gimmickry. Well, as of writing this entry, this team member has somewhat changed his tune.
JUL 20th 2017
GRR Garage: VW Passat Alltrack ‑ Four of the toys we’d genuinely pay out for
Let it be known that many manufacturers' options lists and – especially importantly – the prices attached to some of these options, remain supremely ridiculous. Not so much in the Passat’s case, but there are still plenty of boxes ticked. So, without further delay, here are four of the toys on this car, their prices, and why we’d genuinely stump up the cash…
Adaptive cruise control
Talk to people about cruise control and you’ll get one of a few responses. They will either hate the idea of not having control, resent that one of the key ways the driver interacts with the car is removed, be utterly indifferent, or think it’s god’s gift to the long-haul daily commuter. We weren’t too fussed. Then it wormed its way into our commute. The adaptive cruise control on our Passat is an utter god send. In fluctuating speed up slow down traffic, it just follows the car in front, braking and accelerating where necessary. Not ground-breaking stuff we know but you appreciate these things in regular practice. If you frequent Britain’s many and regular queues, this is a mighty desirable gimmick. Luckily, it came as standard on our Alltrack but it’s something we’d pay out for elsewhere.
Automatics have virtually wiped out manuals, especially in most every day cars. We’re normally at the front of the service mourning the passing of the third pedal but the common sense truth is undeniable. Unless we’re whipping up and down our favourite B-roads in a no-compromise sportscar, we’ll happily take an auto for the day to day. The DSG in our Passat affords the left leg some welcome rest on the morning slog. The snag? Autos tend to command a hefty premium. In our case almost £3,000. A cost/benefit analysis is in order but we’re glad for our two pedals. At least when there are other cars available to provide the cog-swapping fix…
Adaptive LED headlights
There are only so many CGI promo videos for bleeding edge gadgets and toys that you can watch before it all starts passing you by. One such toy that we should have been more amazed by was adaptive headlights. To be fair, the swanky expensive demo videos were fairly yawn-worthy. What better way to have your ignorance quashed than to enjoy the benefits yourself. A near-deserted jaunt down a country lane where the lights split their gaze for some unexpected oncoming was, er, eye-opening. Worth the £355 to take yet another chore off the plate for the daily drive in the Alltrack.
360 top view camera
We like to think we’re not too bad at threading a car into a tight space but even we have to concede that the 360 top down camera view is an absolute masterstroke. The Passat is a fair size and even for the more seasoned parallel-parker, being able to see everything around the car and how the car moves in between it made the whole process a lot smoother. If you can drop the £780 (in the case of the Passat) on this, we encourage it. It’s proved its worth more than once in just a few introductory journeys with our new long-termer.
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