According to insiders, the role of the VW Passat Sedan will be over in a while. And that does something to me. The Golf is often regarded as the backbone of Volkswagen, but the even longer-running Passat has also represented VW's nervous system for decades. As the first of a completely new generation, it set the tone specifically for VW from 1973. Not to be confused with the K70, because it still sang a song of its own, the music of which was composed in Neckarsulm. And which, after the arrival of the always sympathetic Passat, took a step up in the VW program.
So the Passat, successor of the enchanting and then outdated Type 3. I certainly have something with generations B1 and B2. Take that very first Passat, with that striking sloping and angular rear and the EA 827 engine family. Of course. The resemblance to the first Audi 80, which was available as a coach and sedan, is there. And yet it was all-purpose flour more than an Audi 80 with a sloping rear. It really had its own face, and VW also developed a special rear axle for the Passat, for example. Giugiaro's subtle signature made the VW picture attractive. Moreover, customers soon had sufficient options.
Favorite with TS badge
My favorite Passat body was the four-door body, with that distinctive third side window and the Doppelscheinwerfer at the front. And I was always a bit jealous of those who pulled the four-door TS with an 85 HP engine off the VW shelves. In Viperngrün Metallic, Hellas Metallic or Marathon Metallic it was not to be sneezed at. Nice car, they came with something nice to drive. Moreover, I liked the light-footed style. That's the way, I like it sang KC and the Sunshineband at the time. And so it was. The Passat, and certainly the TS, had a nice place of its own in its European class. He also always seemed bigger than he was. At least I thought. I found the facelift Passat for model year 1978 a bit more serious, a little less attractive too. He seemed heavier and lost some shine. Literally, because completely in line with the trend of the time, Volkswagen fitted plastic bumpers. The Passat continued like this until 1980.
B2, rock solid memories
And then came generation B2. As a hatchback, as a Variant and as a sedan. Until 1985, the B2 as a sedan was an independent model that went by the name Santana. From 1985 that name disappeared and the sedan was also called Passat. I keep the best Passat memories of the B2 generation. I thought that was a nice car, I used to drive it regularly. During my holidays and on Saturdays I worked for the Commandeur family, and they were an emphatic supporter of the then VAG belief. I still remember it well. In the early nineties I was regularly on the road with a five-door Passat B2 Turbo diesel from the boss. A great car, certainly measured by the spirit of the time. That Passat was from 1986, it was one of the B2 facelift series. And it was very well put together. He gave you the idea that it was built for eternity, like several VWs from that time
Lifestyle without crossover sauce
It was the time when nicely equipped stations in particular symbolized lifestyle. SUVs, MPVs and similar were hardly ever in the books, let alone crossovers. And those who were looking for the outdoor feeling with roof rail, space and Allradantrieb at VW ordered a Passat Synchro. Or a Type 2 T3 Synchro. To name a few examples. At the time, it was certainly never possible to foresee that a successful model from the established D-segment order would ever have to give way to the modernities of thirty years later.
Deserved sedan retirement
Fortunately, candidates for a Passat can still go to VW for a while. The Variant is said to remain in production even when the new generation is ready. But when the Passat sedan is retired, customers can en casa at SKODA. That has good alternatives with the Octavia and the Superb. Or one is looking for an SUV or crossover. Of course they can also be found at VW and the concern sisters. Or elsewhere. It is those products, those design styles, that are increasingly putting pressure on the saga of the robust D-segment sedan. The Passat sedan was a stronghold in the D segment. And after a beautiful and long career, which started as a sedan in 1988, he earns his retirement. For the time being, it looks like the new B9 will remain available as a Variant in Europe. A small consolation, because that way a strong and historic name will remain with us for a while. Although this may soon be different within the current trends and market conditions.