RE: Wheels of Fortune | Volkswagen Passat R-Line

RE: Wheels of Fortune | Volkswagen Passat R-Line

Sunday 17th November

Wheels of Fortune | Volkswagen Passat R-Line

We're quite fond of the range-topping Passat. But its high asking price does pose the obvious question...



To beat...

The starter gun barely needs firing on this one. Finding an affordable fast estate on the PH classifieds is virtually a daily ritual for Matt Bird. But the latest Volkswagen Passat R-Line wagon - tested during the week with the range-topping 272hp 2.0-litre engine aboard - is too good an opportunity to turn away. Not least because its Β£43k starting price offers plenty of scope for another round of used-trumps-new.

We'll keep one foot on the ground though. Yes, it's absurdly brilliant to have your family wagon powered to the horizon by a V10 - but that's probably not a viable alternative to the buttoned-down Passat. Consequently we are limiting engine size this week and keeping the mileage count respectable. Brave Pill was, after all, only yesterday.

That still leaves a lot of breathing room. Bonus points, as ever, are rewarded for originality. But fulfilling the all-court fast wagon brief - which the Passat does in likeable style - is the first point of order. Have at it...

Price: Sub Β£50k
Mileage: Less than 15k
Driven wheels: Dealer's choice
Engine position: Front
Engine size: No more than 6 cylinders


Mercedes-Benz E400d All-Terrain

As many of you pointed out in the comments, Β£43,350 is a lot of money for a Passat. A point made all the more readily by the presence in the PH classifieds of this 4,000-mile Mercedes E Class All-Terrain Edition. For just Β£145 more.

The Passat's interior may be crisp and clean and comfortable, but the E Class takes things to another level. Mercedes' screen-filled dash and leather-lined cabin playing host to a laundry list of bells and whistles. No doubt Sam will choose something fast, sporty and fun to drive - and likely talk about throttle adjustability as a result. But those sort of antics should be left to the bonafide super-saloons; the Passat may wear an R badge of sorts, but it certainly isn't one of those.

No, if the VW had entered your thoughts then what likely matters most is load-lugging ability, all-wheel drive capability, sufficient - rather than superfluous - power and, let's be honest, the 'right' badge on the front (or else you'd already have bought a Superb).

The Merc ticks all of those boxes and then some. With its straight-six diesel putting out 340hp and 516lb ft, it'll hit 62 in 5.4 seconds. It won't double as a track toy but, in true E-Class fashion it'll offer four adults and/or 640 litres of luggage a supremely comfortable way to hustle along with the best of them. Then, in very un-E-Class fashion, it'll also provide up to 156mm of ground clearance and all-wheel drive traction should circumstances dictate. Job jobbed. (DW)

See the full ad here

Joker - Subaru Forester STI

Sometimes, though, opposites attract. Perhaps your interest in the sporty-spec Passat is a sign of a desire for something more... focussed. In that case there's this. The antithesis of a cushy, automatic Merc, the JDM Subaru Forester STI offers plenty of carrying capacity and all-wheel drive, in addition to a manual transmission and sweet Scooby warble. All for a quarter of the price.

See the full ad here


Audi S4 TDI Avant

One of the best things about the Passat R-Line is the ease at which it goes about its business. But as good as its four-cylinder petrol motor is, it doesn't bring much character to the table. The 347hp V6 diesel of the S4 TDI, on the other hand, comes with bags of the stuff, as it's one of the best-sounding oil burners on the market and has 516lb ft of torque to play with. Any speed, any gear, any amount of cargo on board, the S4 Avant gets up and goes like a proper Q-car estate.

And if you like the Germanic styling of the Passat you'll likely appreciate the digital look of the S4, too, which is definitely understated for a car with Focus RS power and the handling to go with it. The latest model is, as we found out on the launch, genuinely keen and shrugs off worn out accusations of understeer with a sport differential. It's not just fast, it's rapid point to point.

As brilliantly rounded as the Passat is, it can't quite square up to that lot. And such are the savings offered by ex-demos that this car's up for pretty much bang on the new base list price of an S4, meaning in exchange for 2,000 miles on the odometer you essentially get a free load of options. As far as entertaining load luggers that don't cost the Earth to fuel, this one's got to be the best of the current crop. (SS)

Click here for the full ad

Joker - Volvo V60 Polestar

For those who trust the strength and reliability of a Volvo engine, this 30,000-mile-old V60 Polestar looks seriously tempting. It takes the S4's character and turns it up to eleven with a racey petrol V6, has handsome V60 looks and the motorsport aura of a proper Polestar-tuned model. All for Β£26.5k!

Click here for the full ad


Verdict...

Well, I brought it on myself. Keeping the engine size modest and the mileage low meant that it was predominately swift, diesel-powered fish caught in the dragnet - no surprise, of course, when that's precisely what the industry has spent the last decade building. If you're inclined to think the jokers more interesting this week, you're not alone: elsewhere in the office (Wheels of Fortune having caught on) an Audi RS2 or Jaguar XFR-S Sportback were considered the more soulful solutions.

You might also argue that hitting the nail on the head with a Golf R Estate or choosing a BMW 335d xDrive wagon (cited as the world's most complete, real-world fast car not so long ago) might have offered a more obvious path to success.

But here we are, with one very new option and one from the class above. The E400d's superior status is hard to ignore; ditto its famed capaciousness. Had you been eyeing the Passat with a growing family to accommodate, it's safe to say the Mercedes works everywhere - and extremely well. That said, I'm inclined to agree with Sam: the availability of a virtually new S4, a car which is quicker, arguably more sophisticated and certainly more economical is eye-opening. If you can make your peace with the political cliff that diesel appears destined to plummet from, it's a fine alternative to the R-Line way.


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Author
Discussion

skodaphile

Original Poster:

76 posts

105 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
I got one (Passat R Line Edition 2.0 TSI) just recently.

£33k all told, which kinda changes the picture when comparing to the E400 or S4. (Although I'd have either of those!) There is also the factor of it NOT being as flash as the Merc or Audi to consider...

As a reasonably quick wagon with room for 2 younger kids in car seats as well as a teenager in the back, it ticks every box for me.

As for the Superb argument, I nearly ordered one; but with the same spec, it would actually have cost more!

VW residuals may be better than Skoda too, remains to be seen. There is the rarity value too, only 150 R Line Editions coming to the UK, and that includes the diesels.

Rumour has it that a DTUK box will take it up to around 330 bhp too...

HM-2

4,682 posts

117 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
Surely a closer comparison than two oil burners would be something like this?

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...




369 miles, over 100hp more, and a grand less.

belleair302

6,177 posts

155 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
May not have the performance but I would take a band new Subaru Outback, fully loaded and low on road tax. Spend the rest on the weekend toy.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

Rich1973

902 posts

125 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
The E400 has a face only it's mother could love.

Hub

4,429 posts

146 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
What about a lightly used 540i?

gashead1105

431 posts

101 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
18 month old V90 and 20ks worth of Caterham for me please.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

Plate spinner

13,696 posts

148 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
It’s tricky because although the list price is £43k, I don’t think anybody would pay that as an outright purchase price... surely you could negotiate one for mid £30s?

Thornaby

426 posts

17 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
You won’t pay anymore than £35k for the Passat new. I got £10k off my GTE

Dale487

1,039 posts

71 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
Plate spinner said:
It’s tricky because although the list price is £43k, I don’t think anybody would pay that as an outright purchase price... surely you could negotiate one for mid £30s?
No matter how well you negotiated, you'd still pay the £40k+ road tax premium - which isn't the end if the world but would erk me. Causing me to look at stuff with a sub£40k list price new.

CS Garth

2,102 posts

53 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
£500 station car, small SIPP top up, kids fees for a year and a slap up at meal at Pizza Express Woking which I would vividly recall for me.

Am I doing this right?

Black S2K

898 posts

197 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
skodaphile said:
I got one (Passat R Line Edition 2.0 TSI) just recently.

£33k all told, which kinda changes the picture when comparing to the E400 or S4. (Although I'd have either of those!) There is also the factor of it NOT being as flash as the Merc or Audi to consider...

As a reasonably quick wagon with room for 2 younger kids in car seats as well as a teenager in the back, it ticks every box for me.

As for the Superb argument, I nearly ordered one; but with the same spec, it would actually have cost more!

VW residuals may be better than Skoda too, remains to be seen. There is the rarity value too, only 150 R Line Editions coming to the UK, and that includes the diesels.

Rumour has it that a DTUK box will take it up to around 330 bhp too...
Cannot argue with that!

Something amusing about a Passat being a poor man's Superb....

skodaphile

Original Poster:

76 posts

105 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
Black S2K said:
Cannot argue with that!

Something amusing about a Passat being a poor man's Superb....
biggrin

I would have been happy with the Superb TBH, but then this came along. My previous car was an Octavia vRS 4x4 TDI estate, so it would have been natural progression in a way...

Deep

755 posts

191 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
CS Garth said:
£500 station car, small SIPP top up, kids fees for a year and a slap up at meal at Pizza Express Woking which I would vividly recall for me.

Am I doing this right?
Apparently a meal at PE in Woking is extremely memorable and something you never forget lol

big_rob_sydney

2,389 posts

142 months

Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
If you're going to arbitrarily put limits on, I'd suggest you be a bit more sensible.

The budget is fine, if you want to stick to a certain price, but I dont understand why you include some of the others.

Anyway, my view is simply anti-depreciation. I wouldn't buy anything that's less than 5 years old for starters. Aside from anything else, if you want to enjoy your car, you might have issues with warranty when modifying it. Alternatively, if you buy a brand that's renowned for reliability, then the age shouldn't matter. Toyota and Lexus will survive probably longer than we will.
Sunday 17th November
quotequote all
15k can get you a lightly used Cupra ST 280 that’ll Lap the Nurburgring quicker than a Gallardo, and carry more luggage than an a6 avant.

Digsy

100 posts

161 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
"it's safe to say the Mercedes works everywhere"

Not for everyone. My mileage/usage is guaranteed to cause DPF nightmares, so all these turbodiesels are irrelevant to me and probably plenty of others.

Black S2K

898 posts

197 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
If you're going to arbitrarily put limits on, I'd suggest you be a bit more sensible.

The budget is fine, if you want to stick to a certain price, but I dont understand why you include some of the others.

Anyway, my view is simply anti-depreciation. I wouldn't buy anything that's less than 5 years old for starters. Aside from anything else, if you want to enjoy your car, you might have issues with warranty when modifying it. Alternatively, if you buy a brand that's renowned for reliability, then the age shouldn't matter. Toyota and Lexus will survive probably longer than we will.
There is a slight problem with that, in that they don't sell much very interesting over here - if you do want an AWD estate, you're stuffed.

Sadly, that also is the case with Subaru, too. No more H6 Legacies, etc for us.

mallsop001

9 posts

57 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
I know it’s another VAG product but you can have a nearly new Superb Sportline Plus with the same engine and every available option for considerably less leaving some cash available for a remap and intake work.

skodaphile

Original Poster:

76 posts

105 months

Tuesday 19th November
quotequote all
mallsop001 said:
I know it’s another VAG product but you can have a nearly new Superb Sportline Plus with the same engine and every available option for considerably less leaving some cash available for a remap and intake work.
Nearly new maybe, but there aren't a lot around with 'every available option' ticked...I looked!
I priced up a brand new one to the nearest spec to the Passat I bought (you can't get drive assist, as well as a few other minor things) and it was about £45k...yes that's list, but as already stated, I paid £33k for the R Line Edition.

fastgerman

1,647 posts

143 months

Tuesday 19th November
quotequote all
HM-2 said:
Surely a closer comparison than two oil burners would be something like this?

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...




369 miles, over 100hp more, and a grand less.
Hard to argue with that Merc = perfect

Still happy with my choice for similar duties and price - 2015 S4 Avant, petrol v6 and supercharged. Guess I’d be lucky to get £25k for it now