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Fresh online breeze is blowing in the Passat


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Volkswagen is leading the way: Anyone who buys the Passat, which was modernized last year, can use its streaming services with the appropriate equipment variant without a connected smartphone or additional SIM card. VW's integrated e-sim takes over this job, and the car manufacturer pays the costs. This works, for example, with Apple Music or Tidal, which can be integrated directly into the infotainment system. The package is called Online Connectivity Unit, OCU, and also connects to We Connect, the company's app and online platform.

In the VW Passat you need the Discover Media or Discover Pro navigation system for this. Both are given the suffix “Streaming & Internet” and cost a surcharge of 1100 and 3000 euros. The more expensive Discover Pro comes with the new digital cockpit, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto can be connected wirelessly. There is also voice control and an inductive charging cradle for the smartphone, traffic sign recognition and gesture control.

In contrast to the previous top system in the VW Touareg, the air conditioning settings are made with mechanical buttons and rotary controls as usual. But otherwise, switches and rotary actuators are largely dispensed with here as well. You even have to adjust the volume of the hi-fi system on the display, but two buttons on the steering wheel act as a emergency nail. The navigation learns The Discover Pro is operated solely via the touch-sensitive display, which protects a glass surface. We would not agree that the system is “always on”, as Volkswagen says. After the engine has started, many long seconds pass before the navigation system is finally available. 

ThenThe system is known from the older model series, but some things are new. Proximity sensors show menus as soon as the display detects an approaching finger, and the main menu is fundamentally new. Tapping on the symbols takes you directly to individual functional departments. A tile named “Shop” brings up the option to purchase additional services. The main screen shows the familiar menus for navigation, telephony, radio and media playback in the details. Three-dimensional city models are new compared to older VW systems, and the traffic information is to work more with predictive, predictive models. As with other vehicle manufacturers, the navigation system also learns here, it records frequently used routes and suggests them. The slightly improved speech recognition remains at VW level and cannot keep up with other upper-class systems, although the manufacturer speaks of a "natural language control" that works with the cloud and online connection. And yes, the system responds to "Hello Volkswagen".

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