Volkswagen has just launched in Spain the ninth generation of the legendary Volkswagen Passat, its second best-selling model of all time after the Golf. The most famous German saloon in history is backed by more than 34 million units sold around the world since its launch on the market in 1973.

However, the German brand has decided to change course with the new generation of the Passat and says goodbye definitively to the four-door sedan body that was so successful in the past, before the proliferation and rise of SUVs.

For the first time, the new Volkswagen Passat will be marketed only with the Variant body type, the family version with a large trunk, to make way for the Volkswagen ID.7, the German brand’s commitment to compete in the electric sedan segment.

And not only does the sedan body disappear. In addition, the new Volkswagen Passat Variant grows 15 centimeters in length and now reaches a length of 4.92 meters. The wheelbase is also stretched by 5 centimeters to 2.84 meters, offering a larger cabin and a huge trunk with a capacity of 690 liters, 40 liters more than the previous generation. With the rear seats folded, cargo space increases to 1,920 liters, similar to that of a large SUV.

Another novelty of the model is that, for the first time, a 48 V mild hybrid gasoline version with 150 HP called eTSI, which corresponds to the ECO label, is available, and later two 204 HP plug-in hybrid versions will hit the market. and 272 HP with up to 100 kilometers of electric range, which will be called eHybrid and will be classified with the ZERO emissions badge from the DGT.

Of course, the turbodiesel versions (TDI) do not disappear, at least three with 122, 150 and 193 HP, nor do the gasoline versions without hybridization (TSI) with 204 and 265 HP. At the moment, only the 150 HP eTSI and TDI versions are available, which are already on sale in Spain from 42,470 and 45,930 euros, respectively, without discounts.

We have tested both versions of the Volkswagen Passat Variant along a route of more than 100 kilometers in French Provence and the main conclusion we have reached is that the German family sedan is an excellent alternative to SUVs, especially for those drivers who seek great interior space and value dynamic on-road performance above all other considerations.

Not to mention fuel consumption and savings, up to two liters less per 100 kilometers compared to any SUV in the D segment. With an average consumption of 5.0 liters/100 km in the WLTP combined cycle, the Passat Variant 2.0 TDI 150 HP with a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission is the best ally for traveling long distances with the comfort and dynamism of a sedan.

If, in addition, you need the ECO label to access low-emission zones without restrictions, the Passat Variant 1.5 eTSI with 150 HP with DSG automatic transmission is the best option thanks to its performance and average consumption (between 5.4 and 5 .7 l/100 km) very similar to the 150 HP TDI version.

Both engines push quite well from low revs and are more than enough to move a vehicle that barely exceeds 1,600 kg empty, up to 400 kg less than a D-segment SUV. This ensures a quite generous maximum torque than in the version eTSI is 250 Nm and in the case of the TDI it goes up to 360 Nm.

The interior of the Passat Variant is completely new and stands out for the two large screens of the digital instrument panel (10.25 inches located behind the steering wheel) and the infotainment system (12.9 inches in the center of the dashboard), both standard across the model range.

Also standard are LED headlights and taillights, roof bars, 16-inch alloy wheels (and optional 18), wireless App-Connect, keyless start system, front and rear acoustic parking sensors. , rear view camera and Car2X technology that allows communication between infrastructures and vehicles.

In terms of safety, the new Passat Variant offers emergency braking assistant, pedestrian detection system, lane departure warning assistant, blind spot warning assistant, rear parking exit assistant and door opening warning as standard. door, front crossing assistant and traffic sign recognition system.

The new Volkswagen Passat Variant is now on sale in Spain from 41,130 euros (with campaigns included) and the first units will arrive at the brand’s official dealerships throughout the month of March. You can choose three levels of finish and equipment: Base, Business and R-Line. The price jump between versions, 2,900 euros from Passat to Business and 4,100 euros from Business to R-Line, is accounted for by an equipment gain valued at 5,870 and 6,369 euros, respectively.