The Passat B8 was officially unveiled by Volkswagen Malaysia in November 2016. This is the car that had received a great review and positive feedback from the car lovers in the United States and in the Europe. This car also had received the European Car of the Year awards in 2015. Volkswagen from the debacle of the DSG issue that had plagued the car lovers in the Passat B7 and some of the bad reviews they had received from the customer with regards to the after sales issue had determined to resolve this issue by building more service centre in our country and had appointed a new distributor the Volkswagen Passenger Car Malaysia (VPCM).
This Passat B8 had more choice from the Passat B7 as in the previous model they are only one choice and one price to be paid by the car lovers but with the new Passat they are 3 variant, more specification, and higher prices to be paid depends on the variants.
The Passat B8 had 3 variant to choose the first one is the Trendline, followed by the Comfortline and the highest variant Highline. Each variant had its own and unique specification. This is clearly a great move from the VPCM to have a brand to compete with the 2-outgoing model. The first Trendline and Comfortline is looked like to compete against the low variant and high variant Japanese car maker respectively like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana , and Mazda 6 while the Highline is looked to be competing for the entry-level German marque like the Audi A3, Mercedez Benz C Class, BMW 318i and also the Ford Mondeo.
The Volkswagen Passat and all their car model had provided quite an enigma for our car lovers. First, it provides a superior performance and handling far better than their Japanese counterpart for the Trendline and Comfortline variant and for the Highline, it provides more gadget, higher performance and also lower price if compared with the entry-level German marque. If they are one issue that preventing the car lovers to make Passat as their ultimate choice is their reliability issue. The Volkswagen is one of the cars that received many bad reviews from the car lovers in term of the aftersales, high maintenance and poor reliability especially the DSG issue.
If we looked in their 3 variant, the Trendline and Comfortline had 7 speed DSG gearbox while in the Highline they had provided 6 speed DSG but they are an issue here. The Trendline and Comfortline had the dry clutch where previously it had given a lot of unwanted issue for the car lovers and in the Highline although it had less speed, but it had the wet clutch where it is said to be far reliable and more suited to our unpredictable climate but not many of the car lovers will like to spend RM200,000 for Volkswagen where in this price they will prefer to buy the entry-level BMW 318i.
The Trendline variant is the cheapest one among the other 3 variants but it lacked the cruise control, keyless entry, and leather seat wherein the previous Passat expect for the keyless entry they have still had the cruise control and the leather seats. In this price, the car lover can buy the Japanese car where it had all this equipment and technologies respectively but lack the performance and thrill ride that the Passat will give them with their fast shifting DSG gearbox.
For many car lovers, they are willing to sacrifice the performance factor for the comfort, reliability and resale value. The Volkswagen clearly lacked in the resale value department if compared to the Honda and Toyota and in the comfort and reality issue well the Japanese car had a great reputation not only in our country but in the world too. They are a survey done in the United States in the year 2016 on which car is most reliable and the sitting top of this survey is shared by Honda and Toyota followed Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen is clearly is not in the list.
Given on these factor , the Passat is still one of most popular choice among the car lovers as it is still the cheapest German car that can be afforded in our country and also with their fast shifting DSG gearbox where it had been acknowledged in the automobile world that DSG is the fastest shifting Dual Clutch transmission and due to these it provides better performance and ride experience that is clearly lacking in the Japanese car for the first 2 variant the Trendline and Comfortline where in the Highline it had more gadget and more powerful performance than the entry level German marque. In the Highline, it has 217hp and 350nm that is far better than BMW 318i, Audi A3, and Mercedes Benz C class.
With the competition in D Segment market is competitive each year, the Passat may win the position with the performance and thrill factor but until the car lovers had full confidence on the aftersales and in the DSG issue, majority of them will still prefer the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry and also the upcoming and gaining some popularity in our country the Mazda 6 too. Where the Japanese counterpart may lose in the performance issue but in the reality, comfort and cheaper maintain section, the Japanese carmaker is still the winner in these segments.
The Volkswagen Passat still can hold on their own on the performance and comfort department too and some car lovers still loved the Passat handling, DSG gearbox, and comfort. The Passat had a clear advantage over their Japanese counterpart and that is the DSG gearbox but had one disadvantage and that is on the reliability, cheaper to maintain and comfort. In the simple term, the Volkswagen Passat B8 had more variant now, more specification and higher price to be paid to own the car but clearly, the public opinion on their DSG issue is still there.