Behind the wheel, one of member of the GRR team recently described the Passat as “irritatingly capable”. The DSG box wafts its way up the ratios, the steering is not designed to feedback every bump in the road but delivers enough to be engaging without leaving the average dad-and-family tired at the end of a long journey. The 190PS diesel motor has a hint of turbo-lag and perhaps could benefit from being replaced with the meatier 240PS twin-turbo model, but most people buying an Alltrack aren’t interested in the race to 60mph.
That DSG box is a delight when you’re cruising around. Changes are barely noticeable even if you’re trying to feel them, however, if you shove your foot down you’re often greeted by a slightly dense wait for it to kickdown – a matter easily solved with a couple of flicks of the on-wheel paddles.
Soon we’ll be taking the Passat on some real long-distance travelling and its first glide out of the country when we’ll be able to truly say how impressive a cruiser it really is. But on our first impressions, it’s bowled the GRR team over.
MPG this week: 34.6.