The People's Karma

The People's Karma

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
12 Nov 2015
What we like:
pros
Looks
pros
oooh white leather seats
pros
excellent ergonomics.
What we dislike:
cons
Jerky auto-stop.

Initial impressions of the Passat were a little flat; it is so competently engineered that it almost doesn't have a character. But after a while you realise this is a Good Thing. It is blissfully quiet on almost every surface, steers very precisely and controllably even on bumpy roads, doesn't roll about if you fancy swerving, overtakes more than willingly and stops on a 5 cent coin. All while cosseting the occupants in those brilliant seats and feeling cosy thanks to the split aircon and partially open sunroof. Once you get used to the fact it is a VW not a BMW, you can be forgiven for thinking this is a very classy drive. It even beeps at you to wake you up if you start nodding off and wandering from lane to alne.

The rear view camera, folding mirrors with built in indicators and electronic start-stop and park brake all give the feeling of top-line specs, but one slight irritant was the slightly jerky auto start-stop (which also cuts power to the steering sometimes making it feel like you are being robot-immobilised). Oh, and the dim indicator light on the gear selector. Otherwise everything shows forty-plus years of consistent progress. The Passat looks, feels, cossets and drives like a car that should cost a premium because it has a fancy badge.

Ferdinand Porsche designed the original Volkswagen Beetle as the People's Car. The Passat goes just that bit further; it is still a people's car still, but one that guarantees to get you there in a good mood too.

Credits: Story and Photos by Jeremy Torr

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