Volkswagen is eyeing up fellow German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW with their revamped Passat. The 2015 version will, as with all incarnations of the Passat, be more efficient and weigh less than its predecessor.
What’s interesting about the new version is that it won’t be available in petrol-only form – at least not in the UK. British buyers will only be able to buy either a plug-in hybrid, or a diesel Passat.
With this car VW are taking aim at the lucrative market somewhere between the D-segment and premium class - presently dominated by the Mercedes C-class and the BMW 3-Series.
The Passat has shed 85kg in its 2015 form, largely due to the MBQ platform used across the Volkswagen range. Less weight and new engines are heralded as key reasons why the new Passat is an impressive 20 per cent more fuel efficient compared to the outgoing model.
But while this car will undoubtedly win over those concerned about driving costs and the environment, it is unashamedly about offering motorists that premium edge that German automakers are so adept at. LED back lights, optional TFT display (a la Lamborghini Huracan and Audi TT) and automatic parking are some of the classier features on the Passat.
As for those with caravans and trailers, the car’s optional Trailer Assist unit will apparently make it simpler to reverse while towing – certainly something that many of our annual breakdown cover customers will appreciate.
Cabin space and luggage space are both improved too, with the latter amounting to 586 litres in the saloon and 650 litres in the estate.
Among the engines will be a 2.0 litre twin turbo, which will work alongside Volkswagen’s all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed DSG dual clutch.
The hybrid version offers a range of 600 miles, as well as being able to travel 31 miles on electric-only.
The new Passat goes on sale in October.