Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Meet the Volkswagens only cops can buy: How Victoria, WA, and SA's Passat and Tiguan Proline aim to offer more flexibility than NSW's BMW 5 Series and Hyundai Sonata

Volkswagen's Proline offerings are custom spec levels with bigger engines but more basic fit-outs for emergency services.

Volkswagen has shared details on its range of emergency services vehicles recently updated in line with the consumer-grade MY21 versions of the Passat car and Tiguan SUV.

VW Australia confirmed the pair of models will continue to be available in a ‘Proline’ grade unavailable to the public, which pairs more powerful engine choices with a list of special equipment to suit emergency services.

In the case of the Passat, emergency responders can select either a sedan, wagon, or lifted Alltrack with the 140TSI (140kW/320Nm) or 162TSI (162kW/350Nm) engine, complete with dual-battery support and a 180-amp heavy-duty alternator for onboard equipment, sports suspension and progressive steering from the R-Line, and a more basic trim level which swaps the more luxurious appointments for occupational health and safety approved cloth seats with lumbar support.

Meanwhile, highway patrol spec cars can make use of the halo 206kW/350Nm engine with all-wheel drive otherwise only equipped on the top-spec R-Line wagon. The options list for these specially equipped vehicles is said to include weapons racks, radio systems and first aid packs.

CarsGuide understands that while there are similar ‘Proline’ variants available in overseas markets, the ones received in Australia are uniquely specified. VW covers these factory-provided changes with the standard warranty.

For reference, when the NSW highway patrol asked for cloth seats in their fleet of diesel BMW 5 Series sedans, they were told the assembly line which constructs them could not be configured to build them without leather trim. Meanwhile, The Hyundai Sonata sedans used as general duties cars are more similar to the VWs, a unique trim level sporting the more powerful engines with more basic interiors.

The Proline interiors can come with custom mounting points for equipment (pre-facelift MY19 Proline pictured). The Proline interiors can come with custom mounting points for equipment (pre-facelift MY19 Proline pictured).

VW tells us over 550 Passat Proline variants have been delivered to the police fleets of Victoria, South Australia, the ACT, and Western Australia, where they are used both as general duties vehicles and highway patrol since the launch of the special variant in 2019.

VW's Tiguan is also available as a Proline, but only in its extended Allspace guise. Interestingly, VW removes the third row of seats from the factory in order to give emergency services a larger boot capacity, as well as trimming 60kg of weight which can then be used for onboard equipment.

The Tiguan Allspace Proline’s special equipment includes the normally limited-edition “off-road pack”, which includes redesigned bumpers for better approach and departure angles with underbody protection. It also includes the heavy-duty alternator and is specified as the base Comfortline grade. Despite this, it swaps out the 132TSI engine for the more powerful 162TSI to offer emergency services more power with more basic trim.

The new version of the Tiguan Allspace will be available to emergency fleets soon. The new version of the Tiguan Allspace will be available to emergency fleets soon.

VW says roughly 50 Allspace Prolines are currently on fleets around Australia, being used as a “sprint unit” ambulance in South Australia, and either as a general duties or highway patrol police car in SA, Victoria, and WA. VW has a view to expand where it can, telling us the program has been a success so far and it is “in talks with interested parties” in other states for the Passat and Tiguan pair.

Fleet operators will be able to order the updated MY22 version of the Mexico-sourced Allspace due soon from launch.