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Mid-range station wagons in the comparison test: station wagons that can do something

Dino Eisele
i40, Insignia, 508, Passat in comparison test
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The V compares the powerful diesel sedans in issue 25/2014 : clear victory in the Champions League against the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. This time the feared by many industry giants from Wolfsburg starts as a station wagon against the middle class without any suspicion of premium. Bundesliga, so to speak. And as a look at BVB Dortmund shows, things can be very different. So how does the Passat, which has reinvented itself, do with sharper lines in the sheet metal, a longer wheelbase and many innovations in terms of safety and multimedia? We're starting the competitor with the longest journey.

Hyundai i40 with 553 liters of luggage space

The Korea station wagon costs a slim 29,900 euros in the tested equipment style and has made a name for himself as a very spacious buddy. It offers airy space both in front and behind, with the rear bench seat being mounted deeply, which means that larger passengers have little thigh support and hip and knee joints that are slightly too bent.

For luggage - it is carried over a comfortably low loading sill tidy - 553 to 1,719 liters are available, the payload is rather tight at 534 liters. Maybe it was limited so early with regard to the engine? The Hyundai i40 is the only one that needs more than ten seconds from a standstill to 100 km /h, at 200 km /h it is limited. But more significant than that is the weakness of the 1.7-liter, which actually has a noticeable turbo lag. It is not a miracle in terms of smoothness either, and the test consumption of 7.6 liters shows that little cubic capacity and little power do not necessarily result in savings records: the driver simply gives more gas and turns the gears to be changed higher.

When it comes to driver assistance (only parking and lane departure warning systems are available) and connectivity, the Hyundai i40 is no longer up to date, and it also falls behind when it comes to chassis assessment: it only reluctantly digests rough waves without to work particularly dynamically to compensate. The steering, which is adjustable in character, is too callous and indirect, and the handling is too earlyUndersteer too leisurely.

In everyday life, the Hyundai i40 is still good to live with. The front seats support the body in the right places and give it a good grip, the operation dispenses with gimmicks and is quickly learned. When maneuvering, people wanted better all-round visibility, especially towards the rear. But standard parking sensors front and rear can help to avoid the worst. More resolute noise isolation would be nice for more quiet at high speeds. The competition can do better than this Hyundai, which presents itself as a solid fulfillment of duties. The five-year guarantee fits into the picture.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer develops 163 hp

The alphabetical order of the test cars at Opel Insignia Sports happens to bring us Tourer for the second cheapest car of this round: the 2.0 CDTI Business Edition with 163 PS costs 32,810 euros, which has since disappeared from the price lists but can still be ordered.

This sales policy seems a bit confused, the equipment is not standard On board are the ergonomically shaped AGR front seats as well as navigation, parking sensors, hands-free telephony and seat heating in the front. Even without adaptive dampers, the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer springs extremely well, even though it was equipped with 17-inch models (420 euros). The steering does not report as meticulously as desired about the dialogue between tires and asphalt, but it is by no means a brake on fun. Fast curves? It works, just occasionally the rear of the Opel dances a little out of line.

It is always amazing how tight the interior looks despite its impressive dimensions. The impression of space in the rear is particularly depressing, because the sloping roof line results in flat side windows and the massive rear roof pillars swallow up light.

The maximum volume of 1,530 liters in the trunk is a disappointment, while a glance at the facelifted dashboard is a pleasure power. The regulation of temperature and seat heating by means of touch-sensitive fields is not very well thought out, however, because in the absence of feedback, the driver of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer still has to look to check whether he has hit correctly.

He has it on definitely with the 163 PS CDTI of the test car: It is not quiet, but it depends well on the gas, compensates for the heavy weight of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer with a lot of torque and makes this Opel a brisk car with reasonable consumption.

Peugeot 508 offers good driving comfort

This statement also applies to the Peugeot 508 SW. It adds even more smooth running of the engine to the low consumption than the Opel, which, with the good noise insulation and the thickly padded, pleasantly shaped seats, makes for a pleasant ride. Only in the second row, where it is long advisedIf passengers bump their legs slightly against the front seat backrests, there is a little lack of usable seat depth.

Lavishly equipped including partial leather upholstery, panoramic roof and navigation system with emergency call function, the Peugeot 508 SW Allure compensates for the rather tight base price, which, however, does not show itself in a particularly meticulous processing. So the bonnet has a fluttering life of its own when driving fast, and on really bad pavement, where the otherwise cuddly suspension tends to break through with a high load, it creaks and rattles from various corners.

Nevertheless, the Peugeot 508 does SW Fun driving, because it is neutral in curves, reliably follows its average ambitious steering, has enough motor punch and requires little effort for the steering, pedals and gear lever.

If you want to complain, there are reasons to do so . The front doors do not open very far, and the controls are not really functional with scattered buttons up to a start button hidden far to the left.

Getting into the Peugeot 508 SW for the first time, preferably in a dark underground car park , is no pleasure. Because quite ambitious technology up to full-LED headlights are faced with inconsistencies in the operating details, which do not suddenly appear logical even after long exposure to the big Peugeot.

VW Passat Variant simply drives well

You don't have these problems with the VW Passat Variant. Okay, using the appropriate of the total of 18 steering wheel buttons to work your way through the menus that are shown on the display between the speedometer and tachometer is a little tedious. But there is an immense amount to be adjusted if many crosses were made in the price list when ordering the 2.0 TDI Comfortline, which costs 33,575 euros. In terms of driver assistance, the Passat is just as great as it is in terms of multimedia and connectivity. Even a WLAN hotspot is in the program.

Fortunately, despite all their obsession with electronics, the developers in Wolfsburg have not lost sight of the primary virtues of every car. It should simply drive well - and the VW Passat Variant can really do that. Equipped with the adaptive dampers (1,180 euros) and slightly wider tires (1,190 euros), it pleases in comfort mode with considerable absorption capacity, both on nasty joints and on longer waves. Here it even trumps the Opel Insignia, which can be expected given its standard chassis.

On the other hand, the VW Passat Variant, which has increased its wheelbase by a good eight centimeters compared to its predecessor, is wonderful lively riot along country roads. The steering allows you to precisely feel where the journey is going, and the long car always follows the given course neutrally and lightly. Deceit, nasty reactions when you start to take off the accelerator in curves?None of that. 'GTI feeling in a station wagon', put it a colleague in a nutshell.

That the VW Passat Variant, whose dashboard quotes the radiator grille with a continuous grille, does not burn anything apart from the small payload Mentioned for the sake of completeness. Trunk? A ballroom with a volume of up to 1,780 liters, under whose flat floor (when the rear headrests are pulled out) the load compartment roller blind can be perfectly stowed. Variability? Best of all with a foldable passenger seat (94 euros) and three-part rear seat back. Space available? Very good at the front, so generous at the back that every single trip seems like a waste. Climate, noise and seating comfort? Good, except for the tightly upholstered seat of the comfort seats (1,180 euros). Brakes? The best in this round.

1st place for the VW Passat Variant

The smooth-running, effortless engine offers the best driving performance with the lowest test consumption, completes the good idea. Result after this match day: The other three can, of course. The VW Passat Variant is the most expensive, adjusted for equipment, but it can do it best by far.

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