Author Topic: Alan's B6 review  (Read 1089 times)

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aowhaus

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Alan's B6 review
« on: August 13, 2005, 12:08:24 AM »
having the afternoon off today, I headed to Mountain States VW to check out the new B6 Passat.
Their first shipment of Passats were all 2.0T, equipped with the 6-speed Tip and cold climate package, with a few sporting the Luxury or Sport package #1 ($27,400-$28,900).

The new Passat does look much better in person than in photos and it is not as large as the increased dimensions would suggest (it definately hasn't grown as much in size as the new Jettas do).  One thing I not too impressed was that it has lost a lot of tha certain German-ness in it's road presence -- sure from the side it has a certain BMW 3-series look to it (especially in the dog-legged kink in the rear door window), but the over-stylized head- and taillights is a bit too fussy (however I do appreciate the detailing of the LEDs when looking at it up close).  The lowers are still black plastic, which I don't know why Passats are always struck with this rather simple style flaw when almost all other VW and Audi cars sport painted lowers.
The front and rear overhangs are noticably long, with a more pronounced rear bumper lip, which lessens the overall sporty upscale German look.

Now to the inside, the overall design is very nice and clean.  All of the cars I've seen had either a silver or darker champagne printed pattern metalized trim, which is nice at first, but didn't seem to match some of the silver painted buttons and controls.  I'm guessing you could strip the printed finish and give it a brushed look, like on the Net Optik trim for the B5/B5.5 from Europe, but because of the complixities of the dash design and amount of it, it would be a difficult mod to do.

The wood trim (though not as sporty) I've seen in photos look much better and similar in design to the Audi A6 and A8 which continues and surrounds the guages -- unfortunately we are limited to only the typical deep burled walnut, while in Europe they additionally get the more contemporary and modern looking blonde maple trim (whick looks stunning on a dark interior).  The leather was also a disappointment as it looks identical to the leatherette and doesn't feel that much more luxurious as the vinyl stuff.  The shape and overall design looks nice and is fairly comfortable to sit in, the very broad and crude perforations of both the leather and vinyl looks really cheap and unpurposeful.

There are lots of thoughtful touches and features that are new or standard in the base Passat (such as the built-in umbrella holder in the driver's door, the rear sunshade, dual climate control, rear exterior trunk release integrated into the VW badge, keyless ignition).  However the one feature I'm going to miss are the power retracting side view mirrors which I use every time I park in my garage.

The 3.2L V6 will arrive at a later date, which is the model I really want to test drive as the output puts in the W8 league.  Unfortunately the impressive DSG transmission will not be making it on the Passat, and no manual will be available for the more powerful engine (the manual will be available but more of a rarity on the 2.0T).

Parking my B5.5 next to the B6, the length is a little longer but not as long as the overhangs would suggest.  Though my car has a 1.25" drop in suspension the B6 looks so much taller, probably an inch or inch and ahalf taller than the stock B5.5 -- it definately yearns for a sports suspension even more than my Eibach ProSystem setup.

It is certainly a nice car, and starting at $22,900 for Value Eiditon 2.0T to $40,000 for a fully loaded V6 its not that much more than the current B5.5 -- unfortunately they haven't learned from the W8 as the B6 Passat (a mid-size family sedan with a not-so-prestigeous nameplate) still ventures to that odd $40,000 mark (but not with the novel W8 engine this time) which could get you into a BMW 3-series or Mercedes C-class with a couple options.  
There are more compelling and exciting cars in this price range and category.  It's strange how the BMW 3-series, Volvo S40/S60, Audi A3/A4, Acura TSX/TL, and VW's own Jetta/GTI/R32 overlaps the Passat in terms of price but represent very different characters -- seems like the B6 Passat wants to straddle the territory of various cars, unfortunately it doesn't do one category.
It will be interesting how the B6 will do market-wise.

That's all for now.
2008 Mercedes Benz C300 4matic Sport
2004 Aprilia Mojito Custom 50

PasSoup

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Alan's B6 review
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 01:04:57 AM »
Good Review
Jonathon

1999 Passat 30V V6
2005 Jeep Liberty Sport 3.7L V6

Rocky Mountain Club B5

Alan's B6 review
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 01:04:57 AM »