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Volkswagen Passat 2019 review: 206TSI R-Line


The more I drive wagons, the more I like them. Besides being more spacious (usually) than SUVs, they’re also sleeker and better looking! Would you give up your SUV for a wagon, though? It’s a big call, but the Volkswagen Passat wagon may just convince you.

I was in the Passat 206TSI R-Line which is the top-of-the-range and while it’s definitely at the pricier end of the category ($62,290 before on-road costs), it’s lovely. It competes with higher grade versions of cars like the Skoda Superb and the Mazda6 wagon. Here’s how it did with my family over seven days of driving.

How does it look?

It’s very elegant. Long, which you’d expect, but also quite sleek and chic, with no bulky bits around tyres or anything to ruin the clean lines.

The Passat is sleek and chic, with no bulky bits around tyres or anything to ruin the clean lines. The Passat is sleek and chic, with no bulky bits around tyres or anything to ruin the clean lines.

It has a low profile which is something to get used to if you’re coming out of an SUV, but it makes you feel like you’re in a proper, good-looking car. Forget the wagon bit and just enjoy it.  

Inside is just as well designed. Being the top-of-the-range, there is leather everything, and it’s a good leather - on the seats, the steering wheel (which feels smooth and soft under the hands) and the gearshift. The seats are also comfortable and power adjustable which always makes a big difference.

The Passat has a low profile. The Passat has a low profile.

Long air conditioning vents run across the dash which not only look good but let a lot of air out, too, so they’re functional. Matte metallic touches throughout lend a premium feel and completely digitalised instruments in front of the driver look very modern and clear to read. It’s a lovely interior.

 

How does it drive?

It’s smooth and solid and enjoyable to drive. It handles really nicely and the steering is good, so I felt confident. Usually I like being higher up in an SUV but I didn’t miss the height in this car.

There’s a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, which helps the Passat get up hills fast with lots of power available for overtaking on the highway should you need to. Being low profile, it also feels more agile than an SUV.

There’s a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine. There’s a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.

It is a long car, but because it’s not bulky it still doesn’t feel big, and I was able to fit into parks all week, as long as I chose one with enough length.

The reverse parking camera is clear and high-def, though it doesn’t have a 360-degree camera there are parking guidelines so you know where you’re going to end up.

How spacious is it?

Interior space is good, up the front there's plenty of room for the driver and front passenger’s legs and even head space for taller people is great. We were not lacking on space and it’s something passengers actually commented on.

In the front there's plenty of room for the driver and front passenger’s legs.

In the front there's plenty of room for the driver and front passenger’s legs.

The back seat's roomy, too. My two children fit in easily. I am also comfortable back there at 161cm, with plenty of room between my knees and the seat in front of me. Enough to know it will easily accommodate taller teenagers and adults.

There is enough room for three child seats across the rear. It'll be tight, but it will fit. You can also fit a rear-facing baby capsule onto the back seat, without the front passenger having to compromise too much on leg space, which can actually be a bigger issue than you would have predicted in some cars.

There is enough room for three child seats across the rear. There is enough room for three child seats across the rear.

And the boot is huge. 650L means it’s bigger than most SUVs and you’ll be able to fit most things in there - double prams, kids bikes, sporting equipment.

The boot is huge and fits most things -  double prams, kids bikes, sporting equipment. The boot is huge and fits most things - double prams, kids bikes, sporting equipment.

How easy is it to use every day?

There are a number of conveniences in the Passat wagon 206TSI R-Line that make the everyday that little bit easier.

Two cupholders up the front, a spot to throw your phone (or charge it if your phone is compatible, mine wasn’t), a decent sized centre storage bin and bottle holders in each door make up the front storage.

Rear passengers also get two cupholders in the centre armrest, their own air vents and climate control which is always a hit when passengers can control the air themselves.

The boot is power operated so opens with a button on the key and closes when you press either the key or the button on the boot. The car is also a good height off the ground and my kids were happy to climb in themselves and it was easy to do their seat belts up - no buckles disappearing in between the seats.

The boot is power operated. The boot is power operated.

How safe is it?

Being the top-of-the-range Passat wagon, it comes with everything: all the advanced safety features like rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure alertsblind spot monitoring and auto emergency braking

Being the top-of-the-range Passat wagon, it comes with everything including all the advanced safety features. Being the top-of-the-range Passat wagon, it comes with everything including all the advanced safety features.

It also has extra airbags. There are the usual airbags for driver and front passenger, as well as side curtain airbags that extend to the back row.

However, as well side airbags on the front seats, this Passat wagon features side airbags on the back seats, so that’s extra safety for your family.

It has two ISOFIX points and three top tether points to fix kids’ car seats in place and scores a maximum five star ANCAP rating.

What's the tech like?

It’s an easy set up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both available when you plug your phone in. The main apps pop up on the large 9.2-inch media screen and you can use maps to navigate and Spotify to listen to music.

The speakers are also great in the Passat wagon, it’s like surround sound, so turn the volume up and enjoy.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available when you plug your phone in. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available when you plug your phone in.

How much does it cost to own?

The Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line comes in at $62,290, before on-road costs. There’s a five year/unlimited km warranty and servicing is required once every 12 months of 15,000km.

The Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line. The Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line.

Claimed fuel consumption for the combined cycle is 7.4L/100km, which is pretty good for a car of this size and performance. 


The Wrap

This is such a nice car to drive the family around in and it feels quite luxe while you’re doing it. Yes, the 206TSI R-Line is at the pricey end of the Passat wagon scale, but you can drop down to the middle of the range for similar features with a lower price, and the entry-level Passat wagon is less than $40K if that suits you better.

As it stands, there’s a load of interior space, the styling is premium, and it drives really well with all the latest in safety and technology.

I gave it an 8 out of 10. My children also gave it an 8, they love a car where they can both climb into the large boot!

Likes

Design
Great driving
Interior and boot space

Dislikes

Pricey

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$62,290

Based on new car retail price

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