Regardless of what the speedometer has to say, your body will be a big fan of the Passat. Whether we’re taking about urban road cavities, A-roads imperfections or anything in between, this car makes sure that it is the one that feels the shocks, not you.
VW claims that it has used a special vibration-killing principle for the engine, but we can’t say that the car’s „shake, rattle and roll” was below the segment’s average. And while we’re here, we have to say that the 2.0-liter TDI unit isn’t the most refined in its class.
If you’re willing to use the Passat to get from A to B fast (this is all we can say about a journey with the pedal to the carpet in the B7), you’ll need to push it high in the rev band, with the noise invading the car in a way that makes us feel like we’re going back in time. Keep the revs low however, and you'll be able to use this saloon as a tea salon.
So, we’ve got the lower area-NVH covered, but what about the upper one? Our test vehicle was fitted with noise-damping windshield and front side windows, which really made a world of difference. Opening your window at highway speeds brings an explosion of noise inside the car’s cabin, but the aforementioned glass makes this seem like a nuclear blast, as you instantly go from almost total silence to the wind’s growl.
Our test vehicle was gifted with the “Relax Package”, which really served its purpose, including a multifunctional steering wheel, a cruise control system, albeit not adaptive and the Parkpilot which, even though doesn’t incorporate a rear-view camera (yes, we know, we’re hard to please, but this is available as an option), manages to make parking jobs a lot easier. In fact, if your driving skills already cover this area and you take a little time to learn the system, you can even look like a parking class hero.
The touch-screen RCD 510 entertainment system, which uses 8 speakers to make you feel the beat, can be considered the highlight of the dashboard. Forget about the dials, the Passat’s aging interior design needs a feature like these to be brought to the contemporary times.
We really wished we could drive the car in outer space, but a few laws of physics prohibited us to doing that, which meant that, like all the other people in the world, we had to use the seats. The Passat seemed to be determined to compensate for lacking the ability to orbit the Earth through a set of well-designed, good-looking seats. While these might feel just a tad too hard in the first moments of a ride, you actually discover that they offer the perfect package, except for the times when you want to throw the vehicle around on corners. But the seats will be the least of your worries if you want to pilot the B7, so there’s no need to think about that.
Before we move on, we’d like to tell you that the Highline equipment level of our test car brought a leather/Alacantra finish and a heating function for the already-comfortable seats, as well as an electric power tilt and lumbar support for the driver’s one. The rear seats are almost just as nice to you, especially if you use the generously-sized armrest. Another feature that we really enjoyed was the possibility to tweak the headrest’s longitudinal position.
The vehicle also assists you after you’ve exited it, as the boot can be opened using a button of the ignition key, a feature that really came in handy for when we wanted to see if our photographer could introduce all his equipment in the luggage compartment all by himself, in one single attempt and without dropping anything (you see? the Passat can provide a fun experience).
Before we end this chapter, we must also mention that the list of features installed to tighten our test vehicle's relationship with its occupants also includes a leather finish, used for the steering wheel and front armrest, a dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system, as well as front and rear cup holders.
The Passat has many ways to make you feel relaxed. First of all, there’s the ride - except for when you’re traveling over speed bumps, you never feel the battle that’s going on bellow you. Then, there are the seats and the sound proofing, which sit at the top of the vehicle’s class. Reporting live from the driver’s seat, we can tell you that the Autohold function, which eliminates the need to dance on the pedals when you’re aiming to set off from an incline, the light clutch and the precise gearshift allow you to keep your bpm down.Continue reading