Volkswagen began producing the Passat since 1972 as a mid-size car or a large family car with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layout. Spanning generations, with each designated as B1, B2, and all through B8. It shared the same platform with Audi 80 and A4 from 1973 to 1986. However, from the third generation, it had been based on the A platform shared with the smaller Volkswagen Golf.
It had been promoted variously as the Dasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar, and Carat. Besides, there are several variants of the Passat, such as Passat CC and Passat Alltrack.
In Australia, the Passat was marketed from 1974 omitting the second and third generations.
B1 (Typ 32; 1972-1984)
The Volkswagen Passat (B1), also called Volkswagen Dasher, entered production in 1972. It was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign as a mid-size car or a large family car in 2- and 4-door fastback sedan, 3- and 5-door hatchback and 5-door station wagon variants with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Related to the Audi 80, the B1 was based on the Volkswagen Group B1 platform offering TS, LS, 1300, GLS, and GLD trim levels in coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles.
The first-generation Passat was assembled in Clayton, Victoria from 1974 to 1977, but its production stopped in 1982. It was resumed in 1995, when the B5 appeared.
- TS, LS came with 1.5L leaded petrol engine (55kW, 116 Nm) coupled to a 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed automatic transmission
- 1300, 1.3L leaded petrol engine (44kW, 93 Nm) paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox
- LS and GLS, came in 1975 and 1977 respectively, offering 1.6L leaded petrol engine (55kW, 121 Nm) paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed automatic transmission
- In 1976, GLD appeared with 1.5L diesel engine (37kW, 82 Nm) of torque paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox
B2 (Typ 32B; 1981-1988)
The Volkswagen Passat (B2) was launched in 1981 as a mid-size car in 2- and 4-door saloon/sedan, 3- and 5-door fastback/hatchback and 5-door estate/wagon body-styles with a longitudinal front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layout. It was assembled worldwide offering CL, GL and CD trim levels featuring both I4 petrol and diesel engines paired with a 4- or 5-speed manual gearbox, or a 3-speed automatic transmission as well as the Formel E (4+E) transmission.
In 1980, the second generation offered a model built for research on fuel economy in automobiles. The IRVW II was equipped with a 1.3L engine having a top speed of 160 km/h.
B3 and B4 (Typ 35i; 1988-1996)
The Volkswagen Passat B3, also called Volkswagen Passat 35i, was produced from 1988 to 1996 in Germany and Slovakia. It was a 4-door saloon/sedan or 5-door estate/wagon featuring a transverse front-engine, front-wheel, or four-wheel-drive layout. Unlike its predecessors, it was the first one to be based on a VW-designed platform, and it had a curvy look. The carburetted units were replaced with fuel-injected petrol engines.
In 1993, the B3 was facelifted and got a new designation, B4. Not only were the body panels revised, but a grille was also reintroduced to match the looks of the previous generations. Regarding the interior, the safety equipment was added, including dual front airbags and seat belt pretensioners. Engine options featured 1.9L TDI diesel engine producing 60kW and 210 Nm of torque.
B5 and B5.5 (Typ 3B and 3BG; 1997-2006)
The Volkswagen Passat B5 was revealed in 1997 as a mid-size car, in a 4-door saloon/sedan and 5-door estate/wagon body-style, with a longitudinal front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layout. It was based on the PL45 platform featuring a new design that included smooth lines and heavily raked windscreens as well as high-quality interior equipment.
The B5 won four medals, such as Large Family Car market winner by Which?, Best Medium Car by What Car?, Best Family Car by Auto Express, and Most Sensible Car Award Overall & Best Family Car by Used Car Buyer.
In Australia, it was available from 1998 with the following powertrain options:
- 1.8 20V and 1.8 20V 60TH ANNIV - 1.8L petrol engine (92kW, 168 Nm) paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 1.8 20V, 1.8 20V Turbo, 1.8 20V TURBO 60TH ANNIV, Variant 1.8 Turbo and 1.8T - 1.8L petrol engine (110kW, 210 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 2.8 V6, Variant 2.8 V6, V6 4Motion, Variant 2.8 V6 and 2.8 V6 Syncro - 2.8L petrol engine (142kW, 280 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
The base model of the B5 featured:
Dual Front Airbags, ABS, Automatic Air-Con/Climate Control, Central Locking, Cloth Trim, Engine Immobiliser, Power Mirrors, Power Steering, Power Windows, Radio CD with 8 Speakers, Seatbelts Pretensioners (Front Seats), and Trip Computer
The 1.8 20V 60TH ANNIV model added alloy wheels, CD player, and a radio cassette with 8 speakers.
The 1.8 20V Turbo model added leather steering wheel and sports seats.
The 1.8 20V Turbo 60th Anniversary model added cruise control, central locking remote control, and leather trim.
The V6 4Motion model added alarm system/remote anti-theft, leather upholstery, power sunroof, and traction control system.
With the 2001 facelift (called B5.5), new trim levels were introduced, such as E, S, Sport, SE, V5, V6, and Highline. The engine options offered were:
- 1.8 20V Turbo Sport - 1.8L petrol engine (110kW, 210 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
- V5, V5 S, V5 SE - 2.3L petrol engine (125kW, 220 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
- V6, V6 4Motion, V6 S, V6 SE - 2.8L petrol engine (140kW, 260 Nm or 280 Nm for the wagon) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
- W8 - 4.0L petrol engine (202kW, 370 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
The B5.5’s base model features included:
Dual Front/Side Front Airbags, ABS, Automatic Air-Con/Climate Control, Alarm System/Remote Anti-Theft, Adjustable Steering Wheel (Tilt & Telescopic), Alloy Wheels, Cruise Control, CD player, Central Locking RC, Cloth Trim, EBD, Engine Immobiliser, Leather Steering Wheel, Power Mirrors/Steering/Windows, Radio Cassette with 8 Speakers, Remote Boot Release, Rear Centre Lap & Sash Seat Belt, Seatbelt Pretensioners (Front), Trip Computer, and Traction Control System
The V5 S added 16-inch alloy wheels, brake assist, ESP, head and side airbags, and radio CD with 8 speakers.
The V6 4Motion SE added 17-inch alloy wheels, CD with 6-CD stacker, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and power sunroof.
The W8 added auto climate control with dual-temp zones, diff locks, front fog lights, leather steering wheel, metallic paint, rear parking distance control, rear spoiler, satellite navigation, side front airbags, wood grain trim, and Xenon headlights.
The Volkswagen Passat B5.5 received six awards in 2000 and 2001 for being the best family car, overall diesel car, and best fleet car.
B6 (Typ 3C; 2005-2010) and B7 (2010-2015)
Both the B6 and B7 were mid-size, large family cars produced by Volkswagen in 4-door saloon/sedan and coupé variants, and 5-door estate/wagon variants with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive or 4motion four-wheel-drive layout.
The Passat B6 was launched in 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show, and it was based on the Volkswagen Group A6 PQ46 platform offering the Passat CC and the R36 variants. In Australia, it appeared in 2006 with these engines:
- 2.0 TDI, and 103 TDI - 2.0L diesel engine (103kW, 320 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0T FSI, 147 TDI, and 147 TSI - 2.0L petrol engine (147kW, 280 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 3.2 V6 FSI, V6 FSI Highline and V6 FSI - 3.2L petrol engine (184kW, 330 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 125 TD - 2.0L diesel engine (125kW, 350 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
The R-line R36 was revealed in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and came with 3.6L petrol engine producing 220kW and 350 Nm of torque paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It featured 18-inch alloy wheels, body kit, heated rear seats, power front seats, and radio CD with ten speakers.
In 2008, the Volkswagen Passat CC (CC stands for Comfort Coupe) debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a compact executive car in a 4-door sedan body style with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive or 4motion-wheel-drive layout. It was available in the following trim levels:
- 118 TSI and 118 TSI Special - 1.8L petrol engine (118kW, 250 Nm) paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0 TSI - 2.0L petrol engine (155kW, 280 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or DSG
- CC V6 FSI - 3.6L petrol engine (220kW, 350 Nm) with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- CC 125 TDI - 2.0L diesel engine (125kW, 350 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
With the 2012 facelift, the Passat CC got some minor design changes that included:
Improved Adaptive Chassis Control, Bi-Xenon headlights with Advanced Front-lighting System, Curve Lights and Dynamic Light Assist glare-free high beams, Fatigue detection system, Front Assist with "city emergency braking" system, Side Assist Plus, Lane Assist, Rear Assist, Park Assist, and Traffic sign recognition
In 2013, the 2.0 TDI with 2.0L diesel engine (125kW, 350 Nm) was replaced with one producing 130kW and 380 Nm of torque. In 2015, its power was increased to 135kW, while the maximum torque remained at 380 Nm.
In 2010, the Passat Alltrack was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, equipped with a 2.0L diesel engine (125kW, 350 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
In 2016 the Alltrack 140 TDI was released with 2.0L diesel engine (140kW, 400 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
B8 (Typ 3G; 2015-present)
The Volkswagen Passat B8 is a mid-size car marketed in 4-door saloon and 5-door sedan body-types with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. As it is built on the MQB platform, B8 is more spacious than its predecessor. It is available with the following powertrain options in Australia:
- 130 TDI Highline and 130 TDI Highline Special - 2.0L diesel engine (130kW, 380 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 132 TSI and 132 TSI Comfortline - 1.8L petrol engine (132kW, 250 Nm) paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 140 TDI Highline, Alltrack Wolfsburg EDT, and Alltrack 140 TDI Wolfsburg EDT - 2.0L diesel engine (140kW, 400 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 206 TSI R-Line - 2.0L petrol engine (206kW, 350 Nm) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- 140 TSI Business - 2.0L petrol engine (140kW, 320 Nm)
The B8's base model features the following equipment:
Dual Front/Head/Side Airbags, ABS, Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Steering Wheel (Tilt & Telescopic/Multi-Function), 17-Inch Alloy Wheels, Brake Assist, Body-Coloured Bumpers/Exterior Door Handles/Exterior Mirrors, Cruise Control, CD with 6-CD Stacker, Chrome Front Grille, Cargo Tie-Down Hooks/Rings, Multi-Function Centre Console Box, Central Locking RC, Child-Proof Rear Door Locks, Child Seat Anchor Points, Chrome Surround Exterior Side Windows, Cloth Trim, Dust and Pollen Filter, LED DRL, Dusk-Sensing Headlights, EBD, Emergency Brake Lights (Flashing), Electronic Differential Lock, Exterior Mirrors (Auto-Dimming/Heated), Electric Parking Brake, ESP, Glovebox Cooler, Halogen Headlights (Coming/Leaving Home Function, HDD (Built-in), Hill Holder, Engine Immobiliser, Leather Gear Knob/Steering Wheel, Multi-Function Control Screen, Parking Distance Control (Front and Rear), Power Mirrors/Steering/Windows, Radio CD with 8 Speakers, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Reversing Camera, Rearview Mirror Auto Dimming, and Satellite Navigation
The 132 TSI adds:
Airbag Knee Driver, Air Con + Climate Control Multi-Zone, Antenna (Roof-mounted Shark Fin), Adjustable Speed Limiter, Child Seat (ISOFIX), Driver Awareness Alert, Emergency Stop Signal, Instrument Panel Light Dimmer, Mobile Phone Connectivity, One-Touch Convenience Turn Signal, Park Assist, Rear LED Lights, Rear Seat (Ski Flap/Through Loading Facility)
The 140 TDI Highline has similar extras as the 132 TSI but further adds the following:
Autonomous Emergency Braking, Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Antenna (Roof-mounted Shark Fin), Adjustable Speed Limiter, 18-Inch Alloy Wheels, Cruise Control Intelligent/Active, Child Seat (ISOFIX), Cross-Traffic Recognition, Forward Collision Warning, Front Fog Lights, Heated Front Seats, Instrument Panel Light Dimmer, Keyless Entry and Drive, Leather-Accented Upholstery, Lane-Change/Lane-Departure Warning
The 206TSI R-Line further add the following extras:
Climate Control - 3 Zone, Adaptive Chassis Control, Ambient Interior Lighting, Alarm with Interior Movement Sensor, Anti-Slip Regulation, Automatic Stop/Start, 19-Inch Alloy Wheels, Collision Warning (Full Auto Brake), Crumple Zone Front & Rear, DeadLocking, Driver Fatigue Detection, Driver Mode Selection, DRL, Exterior Accented Trim, Emergency Brake Lights (Flashing), Electrically-Heated Washer Nozzles, Electric Power Steering, Front Fog Lights with Cornering Function, Rear Fog Lights, InControl Apps, LED Headlights, Lane-Keeping Assist, Massage Function on Driver Seat, Nappa Leather, Paddle Shifters on Steering Wheel, Power Front Seat 14-Way (Driver & Passenger), Power Mirror Dimming/With Memory, and Heated Kerb-View Mirror
In the Euro NCAP crash test, the Volkswagen Passat B8 received 5 out of 5 stars, getting a rating of 85% for adult occupant protection and 87% for child occupant protection.
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Author: Andrijana Pavlovic