VW’s Passat Wagon is just right for family or cargo
If a minivan isn’t hip enough for your tastes and an SUV is too big and bulky, a wagon could be just right.
Redesigned for 2007, the Volkswagen Passat Wagon offers a good blend of comfort, upscale amenities and utility.
Available with a choice of engines and front- or allwheel-drive, the new Passat is equally at home in the country club’s parking lot or loaded with gear en route to the slopes.
The freshened design evokes a more curvaceous and eye-catching appearance, in keeping with the rest of VW’s updated lineup.
Bigger inside and out than the outgoing model, the wagon seats five passengers comfortably with more than 1,000 litres of cargo space in the rear.
Lowering the split-folding rear seat can greatly expand the cargo area — we transported a five-foot bookcase.
Floor mounted rails with sliding tie-down and attachment straps facilitate cargo management, and a passthrough between the rear seats is handy for skis or other longer items.
Other nifty storage areas include an illuminated glovebox with adjustable cooling, self-draining umbrella storage within the driver’s side door and a large front centre armrest with integrated storage and cooling feature.
The Passat Wagon is available in two models: The 2.0T for $31,425 or the 3.6 VR6, which has a price tag of $44,115. VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system is optional on the 3.6 only.
Under the hood of 2.0T models is VW-Audi’s directinjection, 4-cylinder turbo unit making 200 horsepower.
The 3.6, as the name suggests, gets a 3.6-litre, narrow-angle V6, which generates a brawny 280 hp.
Standard transmissions are a 6-speed manual for the 4-cylinder and a sweet 6-speed manumatic with steering wheel shift paddles for the bigger V6 engine.
The interior maintains VW’s best-in-the-industry reputation for materials and design. Durable yet richlooking leatherette upholstery covers all the seats, while metal-look trim on the centre console, dash and doors imparts a real sense of quality. The gauges are illuminated in cool blue, while well-placed red ambient lighting lends an air of sophistication to the cabin.
Our 3.6 tester with allwheel-drive came with a long list of standard equipment, including dual-zone air conditioning, a premium stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player, 10-way power driver’s seat, cruise control, power windows, mirrors and locks, l e a t h e r - wrapped multifunction steering wheel, trip computer, 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights and power sunroof.
Safety is well-covered with front, side, and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control with brake-assist.
With agile, spirited performance, a cavernous cargo area and lots of creature comforts, the Passat Wagon can meet a variety of needs and looks great while doing so.
VW Passat Wagon 3.6 VR6