, Volkswagen Passat 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review
Class action

Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
23 Nov 2012

Just when you thought it cannot go any smaller, Volkswagen came along with a talented, small-hearted Passat. But the French 508 is equally alluring thanks largely to that sexy exterior. Decision, decision...

Introduction, Exterior

In fact, compare that to its predecessor the 407, and the difference is like green to red apple.

If you were to read this review back in 2005, you would probably be reading about a Peugeot 407 2.2 versus a Volkswagen Passat 2.0 instead.

But oh my, how times have changed.

Today, downsizing is the current trend – particularly among European brands. Of course, Volkswagen started this. Practically speaking, turbocharging a small engine makes very good sense, especially in markets where engine capacity determines how much you have to fork out for insurance, road tax and emission levels.

And in a unique market like ours, and ours only, a piece of paper that gives you a right to drive a car only for a decade.

Which brings us to the two cars in today’s comparison story: a small engined Peugeot 508 and the even smaller engined Volkswagen Passat TSI.

Let’s start with the Passat.

In all honesty, the Passat is no exciting car to look at; it’s not the sort of car that makes you go “woah!” and followed by “I want this one right now!”

Instead, it’s a conservative looking large executive sedan. One that looks good and compliment the sort of driver whose daily attire consists of a long-sleeved shirt, tie, pants, well-ironed pants and black shoes. If you miss my point, the Passat is for the safe, middle-management executive without any risk in life. Perhaps their biggest risk in life is jogging and cycling.

A problem is if the office carpark consists of E-Class, Camrys and Accords, you might just lose it.

Compare that to the 508. One look and you just know that a lot of thought was put into the entire design. In fact, compare that to its predecessor the 407, and the difference is like green to red apple. Doesn’t matter whether you’re an office executive or in the creative industry, whether your daily attire is like the Passat driver or consist of just shirt and jeans, the 508 suits you; simply because it has all the right curves and look less formal next to the VW.

That said, the 508 you’re looking at here is the top-end Allure Plus variant, so it comes fitted with all the bells and whistles: those pair of - for no better word - stylish bi-Xenon headlamps with crystal-like LED daytime running light, parking sensors on both the front and rear bumpers and 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/45 R-18 Michelin Primacy HP rubbers. And that’s for the exterior.

On the other hand in the Passat, you get the same level of equipment as in its bigger 1.8-litre sibling. Front foglamps, check. Front and rear parking sensors, check. Unfortunately though, you do not get big alloys like the Peugeot’s; you only get 16-inch ones wrapped in 215/55 R-16 Michelin Primacy HP tyres. On top of that, you only get halogen lights.

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Engine Capacity 1390cc TurbochargedSupercharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (76.5 X 75.6)mm
Power 122bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 82.8 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 203 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4769 x 1820 x 1470) mm
Wheelbase 2712 mm
Turning Circle 5708 metres
Kerb Weight 1473 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs