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VW Passat Variant B2 driving report: 7 years in a large station wagon

Hardy Mutschler
VW Passat Variant B2 driving report
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D As with the chocolate bananas, we decided for done five months. On a November morning in 1983 I skipped kindergarten and picked up the new car with my parents. At breakfast I get excited and don't like to eat. Only when my child seat is lashed into the new Passat am I hungry. To celebrate the day, I get my first chocolate banana. But she's a devious beast. Their chocolate icing marbled the beige cord tweed upholstery Saiga, despite my efforts to prevent that. Although I plead my innocence, the banana is acquitted when it comes to who is responsible for the stain on the left back seat. At that time there had to be a secret agreement with the EKD. Because not only my father, but also all of his colleagues drive the VW Passat B2.

Improve the world with the suction diesel Passat

Those of you who met in Bonn's Hofgarten in October 1981 To demonstrate the NATO double decision and later to be washed away by water cannons in Wackersdorf, drive the Passat as a Variant with 54 HP suction diesel, in dark green and with Greenpeace sticker. The first sticker on our mars red 75-hp petrol engine with hatchback demonstrates the solidarity with VfB Stuttgart. The Mars red is one of seven Passat models from three generations with which we travel in the name of the Lord. But nobody stays with us any longer. When he walks after seven years and 220,000 kilometers, he looks like our photo car. That's why I choose this Passat for the driving report.

Pragmatic, practical, good

There are nicer, rarer and more desirable B2 - but few more authentic than that tousled 87 Variant CL in Flash Silver Metallic. Because this is a journey into the past, and it didn't have five cylinders, no syncro drive, no Carat equipment. At a time when you go to a farm on the North Sea during the summer holidays and by no means take a quick trip to the DomRep at Whitsun, CL equipment and 75 hp engine still make you feel like you've indulged yourself. Before that, people wondered for a long time whether the C version wouldn't do the same - with the 60-horsepower 1.3-liter machine that was offered until 1986 and that doesn't even host any performance orgies in the Polo.

The first owner of this variant thoughbreaks the bank and equips the 1.6 for Passat standards almost exuberantly luxurious: with radio Beta, split folding rear seats, trailer hitch and steel sunroof - after all, the manual, not the decadent electric. Just the crack of the door opener brings me back. I sit in my old seat behind the driver's seat. The VW Passat no longer feels exceptionally spacious, the ceiling hangs low. I climb forward onto the deeply built-in driver's seat. Actually, I shouldn't be here, just sitting in front of you feels daring. During the time with our family Passat, it was limited to a few journeys in the last few months - because it is only allowed at the age of twelve, and my brother understands and resolutely defends the passenger seat as a privilege of the elder.

Manual four-speed box is the best that VW has

The 1.6-liter starts up the first turn of the key. An engine from the EA 827 series always does that, as the second body can already have rotted away around it. First course in. The clutch comes when I hardly expect it any more and forcefully pulls the Variant forward. For the VW Passat B2, which weighs just over a ton, the gentle pulling power of this machine is sufficient. But the 1,600 model likes to turn before it needs the next gear. The manual four-speed box is similar to that of the Audi 80 B2 and is one of the best that VW has ever seen. The gears click into place with the short gear lever. Shifting takes just the right amount of effort to give the driver the impression that they have mastered a great task all by themselves and yet perfectly. The Passat always gives its pilot this uplifting feeling. 75 HP and a four-speed gearbox are sufficient for this, even if a mid-range sedan should no longer be seen like this today. But for the Passat it is a perfect combination.

There is always as much strength as you need, but never more than you, your colleagues or the zeitgeist could represent. Simple, but carefully constructed, the Passat is easy to drive. Unlike its successor, the B3 with transverse engine and cable control, which snorkels its cooling air through the VW emblem, the second VW Passat knows no extravagances. That suits him very well, so he can concentrate on just being a good car. As a variant, the B2 was largely spared the effects of the revision in January 1985. The Passat family adopts the Santana, and the hatchback gets a chubby spoiler. On the other hand, hardly anything changes on the station wagon: badge grill, bumpers up to the wheel houses, new steering wheel. That’s about it.

Stuck values ​​in B2

The cockpit remains pragmatic: Everything you need is there, but nothing on which theDriver can finger around just so he has something to finger around. VW cross-head screwed the Passat B2 rustic, but massive. Inside, it exudes the same homeliness as a warm eat-in kitchen - one with a corner bench in which the collection of games lies under the foldable seat. The only adornment is the Passat lettering on the right of the glove compartment. But there are lasting values ​​in the B2: Even if the rust begins to nibble on the wheel arches after 20 years, nothing rattles inside. This makes the Passat a long-term car that does not run out of steam even after a quarter of a million kilometers, but still offers enough of everything - from driving safety, comfort, space, performance and even some handling on top of that.

Because handling is not part of the standard equipment, VW does not overdo it with the Passat B2. Due to the indirect steering, you have to crank the Variant around curves. However, this significantly reduces the steering forces and thus completely reduces the need for power steering. Which goes perfectly with the Passat, which enhances every extra that it doesn't have. So my father and his colleagues were probably not driving the B2 back then for ideological reasons. But because it is a simple, modest and loyal family vehicle, but with which you can look forward to the trip to the community bazaar. That's why I only miss the VW with the registration number BL-ER 740 of our family cars. Even if our first encounter 25 years ago brought me five months of wholegrain biscuits without probation.

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