Overhauling a 2011 Volkswagen Passat to feel like new
The following words are by SuperPro Europe staff member Jo, who fitted a complete set of SuperPro bushes, alloy front control arms, anti-roll bar bushes and links, Bilstein B4 dampers and Eibach Pro-Kit springs to her dependable family estate car. The first thing to note is that this is a vehicle that has been cherished and looked after to a very high standard from new – its general condition is very good, but, as is often the case, it’s the unseen components that can be easily overlooked. This Passat is the B7 model (produced from late 2010 to 2014) but the products relating to this article and the effects apply to the B6 model too which was produced between 2005 and 2010.
SuperPro encourages all staff members to use the products they sell day-to-day because it believes that's the only way you can truly understand and recommend their products to others.
We are a family of 5, with 3 teenage boys, and we chose the Passat for its space and comfort. It’s been an excellent addition to the family and performed its duties perfectly over the years. We use the car to tow a trailer (my husband Gilly is a builder) and to tow our trailer tent for more leisurely journeys. It’s safe to say we’re using the car under a wide variety of circumstances from no passengers to 5-up plus trailer!
During its 9-years and 140,000 mile lifetime, the car needed to have the bushes on the rear of the front control arms replaced several times which was causing excessive tyre wear and the rear tyres were also experiencing uneven wear (which is very common on these cars) but we’ve had no major issues other than that.
Driving the car day-to-day, you don’t notice how much compromise you learn to live with and it’s only when you drive a newer car that you suddenly realise how loose and tired it feels.
Most drivers perceive this “worn” or “aging” feel to mean that the car is old and must be replaced – but that’s far from the truth. You can easily make your car feel like new by spending money in the right areas to take years off the car as a whole – especially when the rest of the car is in such good condition.
Not long after I joined the SuperPro team, Richard Fearn (Managing Director) felt that he could help our Passat feel like new again with the help of a set of new bushes, caster-increase / lightweight alloy control arms, Bilstein B4 dampers and a set of Eibach Pro-Kit lowering dampers. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to see if the products live up to the hype.
We took the Passat to the Somerton Motor Company in Somerton, Somerset for fitment and, to cut a long story short, we’re extremely pleased with the results.
As a passenger, I used to hold onto the seatbelt, holding it tight across my waist to hold me in place, especially when going around corners. I don’t need to do that anymore as I feel more secure and aren’t being thrown around.
The whole car now feels more positive, smoother and handles corners much more quickly without any body roll. It’s very noticeable that when you drive over manhole covers in the middle of the road, it doesn’t “skate” across the road anymore – it feels much more secure and safer.
The way the car glides over speed bumps, especially those little ones in supermarket car parks, is very impressive. You don’t get that double-bump coming off the speed bumps anymore.
As I mentioned earlier, we bought the car for its space and comfort and these upgrades has NOT made the ride harder, if anything, it’s more comfortable as we don’t feel we’re being thrown around.
All the changes have made the experience of driving much more enjoyable. Gilly likes the added caster (from the double-offset front control arm bushes) and feels it’s more responsive on the steering. He’s had a big smile on his face and is really happy with the end result, it’s like having a new car again. It’s put the fun back into driving and now we squabble over who gets to drive!
Not only have Jo and Gilly got a car that handles as good as it looks without compromising the ride quality, they actually look forward to driving it - surely that’s all the endorsement a product range could ever need.