What is it?
Torquecafe has welcomed a new member to our team – a Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon. It will be in our garage for the next few months as we get to spend an extended period of time with this go-fast load lugger to try and bring you a new take on our reviews.
The plan calls for some extended road trips, some time doing the daily grind and maybe even a few track laps, to see how this hotted up hauler stacks up.
Why are we driving it?
We chose the Passat because it's a rare breed in the Australian market – a sporty but sophisticated wagon that's affordable to many families.
This is the kind of car that would have appealed to people who loved the Holden Commodore SS Sportwagon or simply can't afford an Audi RS4 Avant.
What we like so far?
There's a lot to like about the Passat 206TSI R-Line, because it is, in effect, a Golf R in a bigger body.
It has the same engine as the out-going Golf R, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that makes 206kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It's paired to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and, importantly, gets VW's ‘4Motion' part-time all-wheel drive system.
Then there's the price, starting at $64,890 (plus on-road costs) the Passat 206TSI positions itself nicely as an affordable performance car for grown-ups.
When you consider the upcoming new Golf R hatch will start at $66,990 and the Golf R Wagon will be $69,990 the bang-for-you-buck factor is definitely in the Passat's favour.
What we don't like so far?
The Passat 206TSI is an ‘R-Line' and not a full-blown R model, so it does miss out on the full chassis upgrades as the Golf and impending Tiguan R get.
The new Golf R will also get more power and torque, plus a better all-wheel drive system with ‘drift mode' thanks to a new torque-vectoring rear diff.
We haven't driven the new Golf R and its trick new all-wheel drive set-up, but it should be a step up from the Haldex part-time system in the Passat. That's because, even in our first few days behind the wheel of the Passat we've noticed the front wheels slipping on more than once occasion, meaning the all-wheel drive system isn't kicking in quick enough to completely eradicate torque-steer like it should.
Still, it's early days, so we're looking forward to finding out more about the Passat 206TSI R-Line in the coming weeks and months.
If you've got a question about the Volkswagen Passat 206 TSI R-Line wagon, let us know in the comments below and we'll try and answer it in our next instalment.