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VW Passat. Memories of a stronghold

ER Classics Desktop 2022

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So the Passat, successor of the enchanting and then outdated Type 3.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.



Give a reaction
  1. HP-82-FN. That license plate bore the, B2 I understand from this nice piece again, Passat from my father.
    It was a Silverstar. More luxurious upholstery, separate striping and, I thought, 15 ″m Ronal spoke rims to complete the fun appearance.
    THE memory I cherish of this VW? It is my father's first car that I was allowed to drive, great. As a former representative he was on the road a lot and, despite a visual handicap, was able to drive very well. I still follow his tips such as signaling with your light before you cross a street intersection or look carefully at the side stripes on the road in fog. I also have a blanket in my car and a pair of gloves in the cold months.
    What would he say if he drove my Abarth?

  2. Characteristic VW. But unfortunately the 'legendary' is mainly based on marketing.
    I think the first series is the most likeable of all Paseratis.

    Incidentally, the silhoutte of the first is quite similar to that of the Renault 16. Which of course had a large tailgate from the start.

  3. Beautiful Passat that my father had bought when we had just returned to the Netherlands from D.
    Not in this Sahara yellow color, but in a bright fluorescent green color of which only a few have been sold. A modern day environmental fanatic would now be happy. There was also a fluorescent orange color, which would make KWAlexander happy. Was iig Veeel more fun than all the white / gray / black of current lease vehicles. Is in the fog / night iig Much better ..
    Was a 1300. Have only had m ​​for a short time.
    Bought a TS for HFL20 about 250 years later. I think was a two stroke. Always started on the last laps that the battery managed to squeeze out. And then it was always foggy in the street. Must have been a modern car. Because after a fast ride to Shiphol, a cylinder was permanently switched off and he did not want to go faster than 130 km / h. Back then, there was already environment in VW's processed🤔

  4. After the 1, the B411 was the 2nd VW that didn't work out well for my father. Call it a drama car. The 411 already had the necessary cures, (dad was a VW man with a spectacle beetle, an oval beetle and a 1500 pontoon as predecessors) but the first Passat (with the small boot lid, so no hatchback) wanted a large liter of oil with every refueling from new. and he wasn't the only one who was bothered by it. Another 2 in the family / acquaintances circle had the same problem, so they weren't that great then and of course the dealer or the P clan only wanted to do something about it when that 1 year warranty was over…. Pa seldom seen so devilish, after filed complaints many times to urge them to do something about it, when they finally wanted to do something about it, but could do it themselves. It was the last VW. And actually nothing has changed about oil guzzling and warranty perils at that club today. Then switched to the few trouble-free Ford Taunuses.

    • I also have nothing to do with Volkswagen (s).
      That already started in 1980 when my father bought a 75er Golf 1.1, way too expensive and very bare, at the VW dealer with a little warranty (well, what had to pass for that, so basically sham). A few months later it was returned to the garage with a broken (!) Clutch plate. Other than that the Gulf was nothing special, except for 2 things: it loved gasoline and oil like a heretic. My nickname for him was therefore the “Oelschlucker”. At that time I had a Chevrolet Camaro, 4.1 liter six-cylinder with a manual 3-speed gearbox, which consumed not a drop of oil. I'll never forget that Friday night when we both went to refuel. My father in the Golf the most expensive super and I in the Camaro the cheapest normal. I don't remember the price difference, but the Wave just came to 1 in 9 and the Camaro to almost 1 in 11. I have rarely seen my father look so upset.
      Of the 40 cars I have had in my life, 2 were also from VW. An 85er Passat diesel (a B2 apparently I read here), and that was certainly good, and an 82er Golf GTI, which was terrible, what a loft! In my top3 worst cars it is on 1.

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