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Volkswagen Passat pricing announced

Set to start first UK deliveries in January, the new model is based on the group's modular MQB platform, which also underpins the Golf Mk7.

Helped by the use of lightweight materials, the Passat is lighter than before – by up to 85kg – and offers more passenger space despite being shorter than the outgoing model. It also offers a sleeker design, with lower body, longer wheelbase and larger wheels, and brings up to 14% better fuel economy from a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid also available.

Only diesel engines will be offered in the UK at launch, ranging in power from a 118bhp 1.6-litre, through two 2.0-litre units with 148bhp or 187bhp, to a range-topping 2.0-litre bi-turbo with 236bhp, DSG gearbox and 4MOTION four-wheel drive. A BlueMotion with a 1.6-litre engine returning 78 mpg and 95g/km of CO2 will join the range in June 2015 while plug-in hybrid GTE version with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and electric motor will follow in October 2015. And an Alltrack version of the estate is due in July.

At launch, five trim levels will be offered: S, SE, SE Business – aimed at fleet drivers, GT and R-Line. Standard features include Post-Collision Braking System and mis-fuelling prevention with the SE adding Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash system, Driver Profile Selection, Ergo Comfort seats and front and rear parking sensors and the SE Business trim gaining Discover Navigation. Heated Alcantara seats, three-zone climate control and 18-inch wheels are standard on GT, while the range-topping R-Line adds a host of bespoke design features.  

Optional features include the Car-Net “Guide and Inform” technology, which provides in-car connection to the internet via a smartphone Wi-fi hotspot, allowing key information such as online traffic data, news and weather to be accessed via the Passat’s colour touchscreen infotainment system.

The Passat also brings a series of radar/camera-based features. These include Predictive Pedestrian Protection, which uses a radar behind the rear-view mirror scans the area in front of the Passat and detects pedestrians, exercising a full emergency stop if there is no braking intervention from the driver. There's also Traffic Jam Assist, which brakes, accelerates and steers automatically, easing the strain during stop-and-go traffic, and Emergency Assist, which helps keep the car in the lane and brakes automatically to a full stop if there is a medical emergency situation.

And the Passat also offers Trailer Assist, which helps to manoeuvre trailers with ease as the system automatically steers with precision, with the driver only required to accelerate and brake.

Other technologies set to launch later in 2015 include an Active Info Display, which replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display, and a head up display. 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.