After disappearing in 2018, the plug-in hybrid GTE version of the Volkswagen Passat returned on the occasion of the restyling of the model arrived at mid-career. However, its technical sheet evolves as discreetly as its aesthetics, with just an increase in the capacity of the battery. Is it enough to face the competition?
We will forgive you if you do not notice at first glance the new vintage of this eighth generation of Volkswagen Passat since the restyling it underwent last year is limited to a grille and slightly redesigned lights. It must be said that this sedan does not really need it as its success is indisputable despite its belonging to a segment totally devoured by SUVs: the crumbs that remain it seems to be indeed only intended, flowing at almost 160,000 units per year in Europe.
In addition, after a brief hiatus in 2018 due to WLTP compliance, the Volkswagen Passat GTE, plug-in hybrid version, has once again found its place in the catalog in a revised and corrected version. However, like the outside line, it will be necessary to examine the technical data sheet closely to distinguish the differences. Thus, even if it has been replaced by its evolution, the 1.5 TSI Evo, on the rest of the range, the 1.4 TSI is retained. Constituting the thermal part of the system and associated with the same double clutch box with six DSG6 reports, it still delivers 156 hp between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm as well as 250 Nm from 1,550 to 3,500 rpm. No change either for its electric counterpart and its 115 hp, the combination of the two offering 218 hp and 400 Nm.
What changes then? The lithium ion battery whose capacity goes from 9.9 to 13 kWh, a figure which puts it back in the leading car of the category, which allows it to advertise up to 60 km of electric range according to the WLTP standard, i.e. an additional fifteen kilometers more. With identical recharging powers, 1.8 kW on the mains and 3.6 kW on the Wallbox, the time to fill up with electrons are logically extended, going from 2 h 30/4 h 15 to 3 h 40 7 h 15. Without even going as far as the possibility of recharging with direct current, which is becoming more and more frequent among premium customers, reaching, even as an option, 7.4 kW in alternative, which is close to the standard today. today would have been significant progress.
Despite an additional overweight of 70 kg bringing the total to 1,730 kg and an identical power, the GTE progresses by two tenths on the exercise from 0 to 100 km / h, to now 7.4 s, which makes it the Passat the most efficient today, but that absolutely does not reflect its character. It is indeed nothing sporty, the accelerations showing themselves to be extremely linear, even in the GTE mode which is intended to be more aggressive. No, where it is best appreciated, it is in flexible and flexible driving, where it is particularly comfortable and efficient when you select position B of the gear lever optimizing energy recovery when decelerating to such a level. point that driving with a pedal is almost possible.
Two modes are offered, E-Mode which forces the electric as much as possible and hybrid which juggles with the thermal. By using the first one, you will be able to do about fifty kilometers without emission, or even, if your eco-driving is sharper, up to 77 km, but you will then have to expect higher consumption, greater than 7 l / 100 km on average, once the battery is almost empty and the GTE has become a “simple” hybrid. Unless you only have 50 km to do between two recharges, it is therefore better to favor the hybrid mode with an observed average of 5.1 l / 100 km, an excellent figure for a sedan of almost 4.80 m. Finally, it is also possible to keep the charge of its battery, for example for an end of journey in the city environment.
Regarding prices, the Volkswagen Passat GTE has also been restyled and, in this area, the increase in figures is not seen here as positive. Displayed at €47,360 at its release in 2015, it will now cost €50,820 to become its owner, an increase of €3,460. Such an increase can hardly be justified either by the increase in battery capacity, the price of the average kWh having been halved in five years, or by the enrichment of standard equipment limited to digital instrumentation of better resolution – but which goes from 12.3 to 9.9 inches – and a completely revised multimedia system with induction smartphone charger, 9.2-inch screen and MIB3 voice control. The latter adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, concierge services and internet connection.
In addition, at the end of the year, the Skoda Superb iV arrived on the market, sharing platform, mechanics and numerous equipment with the Passat GTE and billed between €44,000 and €51,000, placing the top-of-the-range Czech supercharged facing German style.
Finally, this is obviously not the fault of the German manufacturer here, but the Volkswagen Passat GTE was entitled in 2015 to a government bonus of €4,000, which has since disappeared. The latest measures announced certainly again introduce aid of €2,000 for plug-in hybrids, but… only for vehicles priced under €50,000.
Professionals are more spoiled since they keep the exemption from TVS but are also entitled to a limited GTE Business series at €47,360 making in particular a cross on digital instrumentation, mixed Alcantara / leather upholstery and access and unlocking without a key and keeping the old multimedia system.