VW Passat Variant 1.4 TSI ACT put to the test: Does the small engine work with the big estate car?

As a 2.0 TDI with 148 HP, the new VW Passat left the pits to great applause. But how does the 1.4 TSI turbo-charged petrol version perform? We find out in the test.

VW Passat Variant 1.4 TSI ACT put to the test 5 1

Any concerns that the 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine may have been overburdened by the 1.5-tonne Variant are allayed by the Wolfsburg car within the first few kilometres. Granted – the TSI with its 148 HP and 250 Newton metres of torque is not a thriller like the 340 Nm TDI. Coupled with the light six-speed manual gearbox, the VW Passat Variant 1.4 TSI ACT is more than enough of a guarantee of even, if not excessive, thrust, right to the final quarter of the speedometer.

VW Passat Variant 1.4 TSI with cylinder deactivation

A long-distance-compatible speed of around 160 km/h can thus be best realised on an uphill or downhill slope. In so doing, the direct injector always remains quiet and with low vibration levels, and, as a partially laden ACT, imperceptibly switches off two cylinders by the time it reaches 130 km/h and thus maintains its very respectable test consumption of 8.0 l/100 km. On the Eco lap it was just 6.1 l/100 km. 

So a successfully reasonable drive system all-round, which with a base price of 31,625 Euros (Comfortline) is even 400 Euros cheaper than a 1.6 TDI Comfortline with an additional 118 HP. A sum that would be best put towards the DCC adaptive chassis control (1,180 Euros). Then, in the style of a Phaeton, the estate car drives softly and you will barely notice another joint in the road. However, it doesn't quite mature into a soft means of transport. Best configured with neutral tuning and precise steering, the VW Passat Variant 1.4 TSI ACT also feels at home on winding country roads.

Generous amount of space and exemplary level of finish

The remaining qualities are well-known. With an exemplary level of finish, the Passat offers its passengers a generous amount of space, and can also accommodate 650 to 1,780 litres of luggage. The rear seating bench is divided into three parts, while rails and luggage systems increase practicality.
What's more, there is no lack of options such as consistent infotainment, LED headlights and an arsenal of assistance systems. Right down to the steering wheel, which is loaded with functions, at the end of the day the VW Passat 1.4 TSI ACT provides nothing to criticise. Five stars? Absolutely deserved.


18 April 2016
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