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Volkswagen Passenger Car Malaysia (VPCM) has officially launched the B8 Volkswagen Passat in the country. The car, which was previewed earlier this month, takes over from the B7 Passat that has been on sale here since 2011.

The B8 makes its local debut directly in locally-assembled CKD form, and is available in three trim levels and with two engine options. Sitting on the automaker’s modular MQB platform, the new Passat measures in at 4,767 mm long, 1,832 mm wide and 1,456 mm tall, making it two millimetres shorter, 12 mm wider and 14 mm lower than its predecessor. Wheelbase length is also up by 79 mm to 2,791 mm.

The two engines for the car are TSI direct-injection turbocharged four-pots, replete with BlueMotion Technology. A 1.8 litre mill offering 180 PS at 5,100 to 6,200 rpm and 250 Nm from 1,250 to 5,000 rpm equips two of the variants, the base 1.8 TSI Trendline and the higher-spec’d 1.8 TSI Comfortline. Both are paired with a seven-speed DSG dry twin-clutch automatic gearbox.

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The other is a 2.0 litre unit, which has 220 PS at 4,500 to 6,200 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,500 to 4,400 rpm for output numbers, and this is mated to a six-speed DSG (wet) twin-clutch automatic. Essentially, the 2.0 TSI Highline sports the same powertrain that moves the Mk7 Golf GTI, albeit with a different engine tuning.

Some quick notes about the numerical badging attached to the boot lid of the cars, the emblems done in the same style as that seen on the Jetta facelift introduced last month. The 2.0 litre sports one that reads ‘380 TSI’, and the figure refers to a ‘performance level’ of sorts, roughly tagged to the amount of torque the variant produces. As for the 1.8 TSI models, they both wear ‘280 TSI’ badging.

In terms of equipment, the item list for the entry-point Passat Trendline – which rides on 16-inch Aragon alloys and 215/60 profile tyres – includes halogen headlights, front and rear fog lamps, LED tail lights, twin exhaust pipe finishers and auto lights/wipers.

Volkswagen Passat 280 TSI Trendline
The interior is dressed with Silver Diamond decorative inserts for the dash and door panel trim as well as a leather-wrapped steering and gear knob. The seats are manual units with adjustable lumbar, upholstered in a fabric design called Weave.

Kit includes a Composition colour five-inch touchscreen, a colour multi-info display, a multi-function steering wheel and push start ignition. Also to be found are electric foldable wing mirrors with heating, front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC), an electric parking brake with auto hold and Climatronic three-zone air-conditioning, complete with rear vents.

The 1.8 TSI Comfortline adds more equipment into the mix. Headlights are LED units with LED daytime running lights, and it sits on 17-inch Istanbul alloys wrapped with 215/55R17 ContiPremiumContact 5 rubbers. The automaker’s ‘KESSY’ keyless entry is added to the push-start button, and the seats are wrapped in Vienna combination leather.

Volkswagen Passat 280 TSI Comfortline
The driver’s seat gets a 12-way adjustable function, with memory and massage elements thrown in. The touchscreen audio system, meanwhile, is bumped up to a Composition 6.5-inch unit, and there’s Park Assist, a cruise control (with speed limiter) and steering paddle shifters.

The Comfortline, which the company expects to be the volume seller of the three-model range, also features a powered boot (operable via foot under bumper or through the key fob) and a chrome package to brighten up the interior. It also adds on a rear-view camera.

Finally, the 2.0 TSI Highline, which again ups the wheel size by another inch; the 18-inch Dartford alloys are clad with 235/45 series Conti CSC5 tyres, and a more sophisticated twin integrated chrome exhaust outlet arrangement. It also gets a chrome exterior package to snazz up the looks.

Volkswagen Passat 380 TSI Highline
Inside, extra kit abounds. Brilliant Pine decorative inserts replace that seen in the other two variants, and the Highline features an electric rear screen blind, an Active Info Display digital meter panel, ambient lighting and a more upscale infotaiment media unit, in the form of a Discover 6.5-inch touchscreen system with MirrorLink and navigation.

The 2.0 TSI Highline is also equipped with some chassis enhancement bits compared to the 1.8 litre models, and these are an XDS electronic differential lock as seen in the GTI (the 1.8 TSI models have an electronic differential lock, but no XDS) and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). The latter brings active damping and driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual) into the equation.

Standard fit safety equipment across the range consists of six airbags (front, front side and curtain), a Driver Alert System (rest assist), ESC, ABS with brake assist, anti-skid regulation, hill-hold control and Isofix mounts. The 2.0 TSI adds on a Lane Assist function.

As for pricing, the B8 Passat range – which is available in seven exterior colours (Pure White, Deep Black, Reflex Silver, Indium Grey, Crimson Red, Black Oak Brown and Harvard Blue) – is priced at RM160,937 for the 1.8 TSI Trendline, RM180,937 for the 1.8 TSI Comfortline and RM200,030 for the range-topping 2.0 TSI Highline. All prices are on-the-road without insurance.

Aside from a five-year warranty, VPCM announced at the launch that the B8 Passat will come with a five-year free service programme. The early-bird offer is valid for cars registered before the end of the year.

We’ve driven the B8 Volkswagen Passat – read our review of Wolfsburg’s latest D-segment sedan. You can compare the specification of the Passat variants at CarBase.my.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat 380 TSI Highline


GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat 280 TSI Comfortline


GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat 280 TSI Trendline