Volkswagen Passat is 2015 Car of the Year in Europe

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 5, 2015

Grabbing the accolade as Europe's 2015 Car of the Year is the Volkswagen Passat, the brand’s third in six years. The Passat gained 340 points from a panel of 58 European business and trade journalists. Running second is the Citroen C4 Cactus (248 points); followed by the new version of Mercedes-Benz’s C class (221 points), according to Hakan Matson, head of the Car of the Year jury.

Volkswagen commenced sales of the new versions of the midsize Passat lineup in 2014 as part of its bid to become the largest carmaker in the world by 2020. This will be the third time in six years that VW won the accolade, with the Golf compact and Polo subcompact grabbing the Car of the Year title in 2013 and in 2010, respectively.

The Passat is underpinned by VW’s new MQB platform, which enabled engineers to trim its weight by up to 85kg while providing more space for rear passengers and luggage. Likewise, the new Passat is powered by engines that are 20 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

Heinz-Jakob Neusser, head of development at the VW brand, remarked that they are “very proud and honored" to win the title, especially for the Passat that boasts of a range of technology like on-board connectivity and new engines that include including a hybrid variant.

Other candidates for Europe's 2015 Car of the Year included the BMW 2-series Active Tourer, Ford Mondeo, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Twingo. The jury members come from publications in 22 European countries.

Press Release

THE NEW VW PASSAT IS “CAR OF THE YEAR 2015”

Europe's “Car of the Year 2015” is a Volkswagen: the new Passat wins the prestigious award, which is presented every year by the international “Car of the Year” jury. The winner was announced on the afternoon before the Geneva International Motor Show.

“We are extremely proud of this accolade,” explained Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, at the prize-giving ceremony in Geneva. “In the new Passat, we have again succeeded in developing a car that sets the standards for its class in terms of technology and quality. This honour is a tremendous confirmation for the work of our engineers, designers and the entire team. The new Passat shows that the Volkswagen brand has the right answers to the challenges of our time.”

Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division, received the award for the new Passat: “We are delighted by the honour of “Car of the Year 2015”. This accolade has a very special significance for us because it is awarded by independent international trade journalists. In addition, the honour is known to have a high standing for our customers.”

One of the oldest and most well-known awards in Europe, “Car of the Year” has been honouring the best new releases in the car industry every year since 1964. The jury, consisting of 58 European motoring journalists from 22 countries, had nominated seven candidates ahead of the final. In the preceding months, these candidates had undergone detailed testing, comparisons and evaluations based on criteria such as economy, comfort, safety, driving characteristics, functionality, design and technical progress. In the 52nd edition of the traditional competition, the new Passat clearly triumphed over its six rivals in the final with a total score of 340 points. Two current Volkswagen models have already received the coveted award in the past, namely the Polo in 2010 and the Golf in 2013. In addition to the “Golden Steering Wheel 2014” and “Auto Trophy 2014”, the top position as “Car of the Year” was preceded by several accolades at home and abroad.

The new Passat, in all its versions, is one of the most successful mid-class cars in the world and with 1.1 million units (in 2014) one of the highest-volume series of the Volkswagen Group worldwide. Now in its eighth generation, the best-seller is regarded as one of the most innovative cars in its class. Thanks to advanced engineering methods, it was possible to introduce a significantly more dynamic design (including lower body, longer wheelbase, larger wheels). Despite the unaltered length in the interior dimensions, the new Passat has still expanded considerably. At the same time the latest technologies have been added: they include systems such as Active Info Display (a completely digital instrument cluster), extendable head-up display, and also systems such as an app-based Rear Seat Entertainment for tablets, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as well as three further global firsts: Emergency Assist (vehicle stops in emergency), Trailer Assist (assisted manoeuvring with a trailer) and Traffic Jam Assist. The new Passat is available with ten direct injection turbocharged petrol and diesel engines which cover a power range from 88 kW / 120 PS to 206 kW / 280 PS.

The Passat GTE* – the first Passat to feature a plug-in hybrid drive – will arrive at dealerships beginning in late summer of this year. The 1.4-litre TSI engine develops a power of 115 kW / 156 PS; the electric motor produces 85 kW / 115 PS, while the maximum torque of the plug-in hybrid drive system is 400 Newton metres. Its power and torque are utilised in an extremely eco-friendly and efficient way. The car's NEDC fuel consumption (for hybrid vehicles) is less than 2.0 l/100 km and 13.0 kWh/100 km; these values equate to CO2 emissions of less than 45 g/km. In combination with the TSI, this results in a driving range of over 1,000 kilometres with a full 50-litre tank and fully charged battery.

*Passat GTE is not on sale yet. Preliminary data: Passat GTE: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined: less than 2l; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: less than 45.

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