Before the 2013 model year, the top trim level of the Passat in the UK was the SE trim, which was relatively decked out, but lacked some of the extras that most premium sedans came with. In 2013, VW plans to change that by offering up a replacement for the outgoing SE trim level, the Passat Highline. Not only does the “Highline” name sound more luxurious than “SE,” but it also boasts an array of standard features that the SE did not.
This new addition affects both the Passat Saloon and the Passat Estate, which are a sedan and wagon, respectively. This gives the Passat lineup three trim levels in each body style, starting with the base-level S, the mid-grade BlueMotion, and capping off with the Highline. The real test is whether the additions to the top-level trim on the Passat really warrant the price the VW will place on it.
Click past the jump to read the full list of features and more.
Across the board, the Highline carries over all of the SE’s premium standard features. On the outside of the Passat Highline, Vee-Dub added in a set of front and rear parking sensors that give you audible and visual guide – via a screen that we’ll get to later – to help you park your Passat dent-free – this standard feature was once a £470 ($745 at the current exchange rates) option on the SE. For those that would like to take advantage of VW’s Park Assist system, which parallel and perpendicular parks your Passat virtually by itself, you can add this feature for only £195 ($309).
Also added to the exterior of the Passat Highline are 17-inch “Sao Paolo” wheels, which add a little extra style to the mid-size sedan.
Inside the Passat Highline you get standard dual-zone climate control, which was once a £500 ($793) option, standard. This allows the driver and passenger to select different temperatures and the climate control system does all of the adjustments for them. Also included is the RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system – one time a £750 ($1,190) option – which you can also hook up an iPod or MP3 player to. Additionally, you can connect a smartphone to it via Bluetooth and stream music. The color touchscreen on this system also works as the screen for the Park Assist system.
Additional standard features on the Passat Highline include: Driver Alert System, DAB digital radio, cruise control, TPMS, auto-dimming rearview mirror and 6-way power driver’s seat.
Under the Hood
Under the hood there are four engine options. The base-level engine is the 1.4 TSI 122PS 4-cylinder petrol engine, which features 122 PS (120 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 148 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. This engine gets the Passat Saloon Highline to 62 mph in 10.3 seconds and nets it a 127 mph top speed in the sedan. With a manual transmission, the Passat Saloon Highline with the 1.4 TSI 122PS engine gets 36.2 mpg city and 57.6 mpg highway, and with the Auto-DSG transmission it gets 38.7 mpg city and 54.3 mpg highway. This engine dumps out just 138 g/km of CO2. In the Passat Estate this engine nets it a 10.6 sprint to 62 mph, a 126 mph top speed, 35.3 mpg city and 56.5 mpg highway with a manual, and 37.7 mpg city and 53.3 mpg highway with the Auto-DSG.
The next step up will be the 1.8 TSI 160 PS 4-cylinder petrol engine, which punches out 160 PS (158 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. The 1.8 TSI engine nets the Passat Saloon Highline an 8.5-second 0-to-62 mph time and a 137 mph top speed. With the added performance you do lose some fuel economy, as this engine nets the Saloon model 29.4 mpg city and 53.3 mpg high way with a manual trans, and 29.7 mpg city and 51.4 mpg highway with an automatic transmission. This engine spews out 160 g/km of CO2 with a manual transmission and 162 g/km with an automatic. In the Passat Estate Highline, this engine gives it an 8.7-second sprint to 62 mph, a 137 mph top speed, 53.3 mpg city and 40.9 mpg highway with a manual, and 28.8 mpg city and 50.4 mpg highway with the automatic.
Next up is the BlueMotion Technology 1.6 TDI 105 PS 4-cylinder diesel engine. This engine boasts 105 PS (103 horsepower) at 4,400 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. This engine is the slowest of the bunch for the Passat, netting it a 0-to-62 mph time of a snail-like 12.2 seconds and a 121 mph top speed. Where it fails in speed, this engine makes up in fuel economy, netting 54.3 mpg city and 74.3 mpg highway. To boot, it pumps out just 114 g/km of CO2. The Estate model with this engine is even slower, hitting 60 mph in 12.5 seconds and featuring a top speed of 121 mph. In terms of fuel economy, it gets 53.3 mpg city and 70.6 mpg highway.
The top-level engine in the Highline trim is the BlueMotion Technology 2.0 TDI 140PS, which features 140PS (138 horsepower) at 4,200 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. This engine nets the Saloon model a 0-to-62 mph time of 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 131 mpg. The Saloon gets 50.4 mpg city and 70.6 mpg highway with a manual transmission, and 44.8 mpg city and 62.8 mpg highway with the automatic. In the Estate format, this engine nets it a 10-second run to 62 mph and a 131 mph top speed. For fuel economy, the Estate gets 50.4 mpg city and 70.6 mpg highway with the manual transmission, and 44.8 mpg city and 62.8 mpg with the automatic.
There are three transmissions available on the Highline Passat: 5-speed manual, 6-sped Auto-DSG and 7-speed Auto-DSG. You can get any of the three transmissions mated up to any engine, with exception to the BlueMotion Technology 1.6 TDI 105 PS, which is only available in a 5-speed manual.
|Model||Horsepower||Torque||0-to-62 mph||Top Speed|
|Passat Saloon 1.4 TSI 122PS|| 122 PS (120 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm || 148 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 10.3 seconds || 127 mph |
|Passat Estate 1.4 TSI 122PS|| 122 PS (120 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm || 148 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 10.6 seconds || 126 mph |
|Passat Saloon 1.8 TSI 160 PS || 160 PS (158 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm || 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 8.5 seconds || 137 mph |
|Passat Estate 1.8 TSI 160 PS || 160 PS (158 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm || 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 8.7 seconds (man)/8.5 seconds (auto) || 137 mph |
|Passat Saloon 1.6 TDI 105 PS|| 105 PS (103 horsepower) at 4,400 rpm || 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 12.2 seconds || 121 mph |
|Passat Estate 1.6 TDI 105 PS|| 105 PS (103 horsepower) at 4,400 rpm || 185 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm || 12.5 seconds || 121 mph |
|Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI 140PS || 140PS (138 horsepower) at 4,200 rpm || 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm || 9.8 seconds || 131 mph |
|Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140PS || 140PS (138 horsepower) at 4,200 rpm || 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm || 10 seconds || 132 mph (man)/131mph (auto) |
|Model||Manual Trans Fuel Economy (City/Highway)||Auto Trans Fuel Economy (City/Highway)||CO2 Emissions (Manual/Automatic)|
|Passat Saloon 1.4 TSI 122PS|| 36.2 mpg/57.6 mpg || 38.7 mpg/54.3 mpg || 138 g/km/138 g/km |
|Passat Estate 1.4 TSI 122PS || 35.3 mpg/56.5 mpg || 37.7 mpg/53.3 mpg || 142 g/km/140 g/km |
|Passat Saloon 1.8 TSI 160 PS || 29.4 mpg/53.3 mpg || 29.7 mpg/51.4 mpg || 160 g/km/162 g/km |
|Passat Estate 1.8 TSI 160 PS || 29.4 mpg/53.3 mpg || 28.8 mpg/50.4 mpg || 160 g/km/165 g/km |
|Passat Saloon 1.6 TDI 105 PS||54.3 mpg/74.3 mpg || N/A || 114 g/km/N/A |
|Passat Estate 1.6 TDI 105 PS|| 53.3 mpg/70.6 mpg || N/A || /114 g/km/N/A |
|Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI 140PS || 50.4 mpg/70.6 mpg || 44.8 mpg/62.8 mpg || 119 g/km/135 g/km |
|Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140PS || 50.4 mpg/70.6 mpg || 44.8 mpg/62.8 mpg || 120 g/km/135 g/km |
Pricing and Release Date
The Passat Highline lineup is already available for order through any UK VW dealership and on-hand stock is slowly rolling in. You can snag up the Saloon model for anywhere from £20,970 ($33,740 at current exchange rates) to £24,645 ($39,663) and you can get the Estate style from £22,385 ($36,026) to £26,045 ($41,916).
|Model||6-Speed Manual||6-Speed Auto-DSG||7-speed Auto-DSG|
|Passat Saloon 1.4 TSI 122PS|| £20,970 || N/A || £22,475 |
|Passat Estate 1.4 TSI 122PS|| £22,385 || N/A || £23,875 |
|Passat Saloon 1.8 TSI 160 PS || £22,045 || N/A || £23,545 |
|Passat Estate 1.8 TSI 160 PS || £23,440 || N/A || £24,945 |
|Passat Saloon 1.6 TDI 105 PS|| £21,795 || N/A || N/A |
|Passat Estate 1.6 TDI 105 PS|| £23,155 || N/A || N/A |
|Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI 140PS || £22,910 || £24.645 || N/A |
|Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140PS || £24,285 || £26,045 || N/A |
A key competitor for the Passat Highline in the UK market is the Peugeot 508 Allure Saloon. The 508 Allure comes in at £23,795 ($37,755) and features partial leather seating, 18-inch alloy wheels and navigation. This base format features a 4-cylinder engine that pumps out 156 horsepower and gets 44.1 mpg, thanks to a 6-speed transmission.
This falls directly in line with the Passat Saloon 1.8 TSI trim level, which comes in at a relatively inexpensive £22,045 ($34,978). That definitely makes the Passat a far better bargain, plus you get the reliability and reputation of a Volkswagen. The repair bills, however, could eventually offset the cost between the two.
We love the fact that VW didn’t just toss a new name on its top trim level just to sell models, as some automakers would do. Rather, it added in the higher-end features that drivers of a premium mid-size sedan would want and kept the price very reasonable. The only complaint we have is that the Highline models do not come standard with leather interior. Then again, for an entry-level price of £20,970 ($33,740), you can’t really expect leather to be included. The only other wish is that the high-performance 2.0 TSI 210PS engine was an available option. As it sits now, that engine is only available in the Sport trim level, but don’t be shocked to see it work its way into the Highline lineup.
Huge list of engines to choose from
Great fuel economy
Loads of standard features and plenty of options
A little pricy on the upper end
No 2.0 TSI engine
Maybe too many options to choose from
Volkswagen is boosting the popular Passat and Passat Estate ranges with the addition of a new model, the Highline, which replaces the best-selling SE model. Over the already generous equipment list of the Passat SE, the Highline adds an RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation unit, front and rear parking sensors, 2Zone climate control and stylish 17-inch ‘Sao Paolo’ alloy wheels. Together, they add £1,680-worth of value, yet the Passat Highline commands a premium of just £500 over the SE, with prices starting at £20,970 (RRP OTR) for the 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS.
The Passat and Passat Estate come as standard with a host of options to make driving safer and more comfortable, including a Driver Alert System that monitors for signs of fatigue, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. The Passat Highline also features cruise control, a flat tyre indicator, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support.
The RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation system, previously a £750 option, includes a full-colour screen and traffic monitoring. As with all media systems in the Passat, it also features a multi-device interface, to allow connection of MP3 players and iPods (there is also a built-in Bluetooth music streaming facility, for those who prefer wireless links).
Front and rear parking sensors, previously £430, offer both an audible and visual guide (via the screen of the RNS 315), and also mean that Volkswagen’s Park Assist system, which allows the Passat to park itself in spaces parallel or perpendicular to the road, is now available as a great-value £195 option.
A 2Zone climate control system (worth £500) allows precise control of the temperature of each side of the cabin, down to half-degree increments. The driver and front seat passenger simply select the desired temperatures and the system automatically regulates the heating, air conditioning and air flow to achieve these.
The Passat Highline and Passat Estate Highline are available with a range of engines including 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS and 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS petrols, and 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS diesels. Gearboxes include five- and six-speed manuals and six- and seven-speed DSG units. The Passat Highline can be ordered from Volkswagen Retailers now, with some vehicles in stock for immediate delivery. The Passat range starts at £20,970 on the road. For more details, visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.