• Jun 28th 2011 at 1:05PM
  • 18
Over in Europe, Volkswagen has officially launched the BlueMotion version of its latest Passat. Rated at 68.9 miles per gallon (57.4 mpg U.S.) on the highway, the Passat BlueMotion is set to become one of Europe's most fuel-frugal four-door sedans.

Powering the Passat BlueMotion is VW's 104-horsepower, 1.6-liter common-rail turbodiesel engine mated to a row-your-own six-speed transmission. The diesel-sipping sedan benefits from fuel-saving features, including stop-start technology, modified aerodynamics, a lower ride height, an underbody panel, revised front grill and low rolling-resistance tires.

In sedan form, the BlueMotion Passat emits 109 grams per kilometer of CO2. Meanwhile, its roomier stablemate, the Passat BlueMotion wagon, emits 113 g/km of CO2 and returns a slightly less remarkable, by comparison, 65.7 mpg (54.7 U.S.).

The four-door sedan starts at £19,875 ($31,713 U.S. at the current exchange rate), while the cargo-hauling wagon starts at £21,180 ($33,795 U.S.). Though you can order one now, neither version of the Passat BlueMotion will hit showrooms in Europe until the end of July.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow. I guess you haven't driven a new common rail direct injection diesel. Aboslutely everything you said was false -either predjudice or misinformation- with the exception that diesel does, in fact, sell at only about 40% of all fueling stations. Of course, at 700 miles per tank, it's not much a concern to all but the brand-new diesel driver. Diesel sedans don't sell well? Hmmm, better check your facts. VW sales have hit record highs, due largely to the TDI. If what you mean is: There are only a few diesel sedans, so compared to sales of gasoline sedans, the numbers are low- than yes, you have mastered the obvious. Cost of fuel per gallon is a notoriously bad American method of comparing overall costs- try cost per fuel mile of operation, or cost per gallon as adjusted by MPG performance. A similarly sized gas sedan owner is paying almost twice per gallon for fuel compared to his TDI owning neighbor. Even if we do an unfair comparison, the TDI still wins: As a real world example: My TDI has gone 110,000 miles with an average of 48 MPG in mixed city/highway use. At a lifetime average of $2.50 a gallon, I have spent $5,730 on 2,292 gallons. A gasser, getting say 30 MPG, and spending only $2.00 per gallon (an exaggerated spread), will spend $7,332 on 3,666 gallons to go the same distance. Hmmm...the gasser has spent $1,600 more on his "cheap" fuel, and wasted our precious resources to the tune of 1,374 gallons of gasoline. NVH? A new gasser acronym? Sorry, most people don't even know they are in a modern diesel- and just FYI, gasoline smells really bad. In fact, the cars I smell most on the roads are old gassers whose engine are worn out by 100,000 miles, while my TDI is just happy to purr along for another 100,000 miles. Slow? Really? The base 2 liter VW TDI engine in a Jetta goes 0-60 in about 8 seconds. Cold weather? The diesel is particularly popular in Canada, and modern diesel engines have no trouble starting in frigid weather. Mine started right up in Montreal's -25* while gassers with less powerful batteries struggled. Soot? Try taking a white towel and placing it over the tailpipe of a new TDI- now do the same for a gasser. Only one will leave a mark- wanna guess which one? Diesel fuel takes less energy to produce, contains more BTU's, and requires less fuel to go the same number of miles. A gasser pollutes by sheer volume, and gas takes more energy to produce, and contains less energy. Measuring by tailpipe and not by life-cycle process is myopic. Stick shifts? Are you kidding? Can you seriously write about predjudice and "real issues" and not know what you are talking about? The vast majority of TDI's as with most new cars, are some form of auto- DSG, Tiptronic, or regular auto. I was at a VW dealer last week- 18 auto TDI's and one manual. I just don't know what to do- except for hope that the diesel prejudice continues- it certainly ensure less competition at the dealer when I want to buy a new diesel!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      it may be blue but it's not green
      • 4 Years Ago
      For a car to satisfy US tastes it has to be able to do 0-60 mph in under ten seconds or even old grannies will notice that it "doesn't go very well". Of course this is a "1.6-liter common-rail turbodiesel engine mated to a row-your-own six-speed transmission" so while a large amount of US drivers would not be able to operate this manual transmission, the engine should "feel" more like a 2 liter gasoline motor, in fact it's torque is probably more like a 2.3L gasser.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Exactly, due to our driving style and average commute, the U.S. would greatly benefit from this vehicle. Tearing down the prejudice wall is a much greater challenge than achieving > 50 mpg U.S.
      • 8 Months Ago
      What about grey market cars.... what are the difficulties of buying overseas and getting it DOT certified (or whatever you need to do to drive it legally in a non-CA state)?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they ban diesel cars from the US.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Eric: A lower ride height, a modified front grille and an underbody panel are not separate from, but rather integral to, improved aerodynamics. Get to the SAE website my man!! Buy/download a few papers!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Jorge Pinto
      • 4 Years Ago
      The comments here really explain why brands don't try to bring diesels into the states... it's such a tall prejudice wall.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jorge Pinto
        Even without prejudices, would an expensive VW sedan with a small 104 hp diesel engine that gets ~48 mpg really sell well in the USA? VW Audi USA seems happy with "Clean efficient diesels that get 42 mpg**" (** highway only, city 30 mpg).
      • 8 Months Ago
      People who are bad mouthing diesels don't have much knowledge about them. Why do they put diesels in heavy equipment, and semi tractors? Not because they are inefficient, or troublesome! I worked on heavy equipment in the military over 50 years ago, deisels were great then, and they are better now. They would be even better in a car if they were designed like a train locomotive, the engine runs a generator that powers wheels, and the rest of the engine. A diesel runs best wide open, and is most efficient then. Use the generator to regulate the power to the drive train. LaTourneau did this with his heavy eqiupment years ago. He was way ahead of times.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This same car would get a much lower mileage rating in the US. Our gallon is smaller than their gallon and the EPA test cycle is more complex than the European test. I'm guessing this would be ~50mpg highway in the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are a number of reasons diesel sedans don't sell well here, cost of the diesel option itself, cost & availability of fuel, NVH (noise vibration & harshness), the smell, the soot, the slowness, cold start problems the further North one lives (regularly goes down to -20F, and to as low as -50F where I live), most diesels are stick shifts, whereas most automobiles sold today are automatics. It's not prejudice, but real issues that keep the customers away.
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