VW didn’t rest on the Passat B6’s safety laurels (read an EuroNCAP rating of five stars), asking engineers to go back to the drawing board. Thus, the B7 comes with a more rigid structure and uses an extra topping of active safety systems.
We’ll take a look at the Passat, as if it would be standing on the showroom floor, with all the boxes of the optional extra safety features ticked. Like we said, the Passat magnifies your driving skills, as it comes packed with active safety features.
There’s an Active Cruise Control system that can dance to the beat played by the vehicle ahead, Front Assist, which brings the car to a halt when the driver fails to react in an emergency situation, Side Assist, which takes care of 100 meters of blind spot behind the vehicle, Lane Assist, a system that goes as far as counter-steering your vehicle back into its lane (nope, we couldn’t test if for “drifting”, as our test car wasn’t fitted with it), Fatigue Detection, which, if we were to judge by Mercedes’ commercials (Merc offers a similar system called Attention Assist), allows you to start a conversation with a young, attractive woman using business attire (don’t worry, we’ll make a proper description bellow). Our test car was also fitted with cornering fog lights, a relatively useful feature for open road driving.
Although the example we tested had graduated the Highline range-topping university, it had skipped most of the optional classes enumerated above, so we only go to review the Attention Assist. Yes, it does manage to notice when your inputs as a driver hit an incredibly low level, warning you that you have to take a break. As for the pretty girl, we had to pick her up all on our own. Since we’re here, we’ll also mention the rain sensor (a safety feature for lazy drivers and a comfort one for others) and the tire pressure monitoring system and the auto hold function, which does a pretty good job at replacing the sequence of driver feet movements.
As for the passive safety, the Passat we tested (we’ll only mention the ones that captured our attention) came with the airbag cocoon we’re used to: frontal, side and curtain airbags, collapsible pedals (optional lateral ones for the rear passenger we're missing) and headrests that also allows you to set their vertical position (We actually found out that these also fit pretty well in the “comfort” chapter).
VW didn’t reinvent the wheel, but it made it a lot safer. In other words, even though the Passat B7 doesn’t bring anything new to the market, it offers one of the best safety cocktails in its segment.Continue reading