- Cheap to run
- Wait for frugal versions
- No petrol option yet
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the mantra for the new Volkswagen Passat Estate.
While there’s no dramatic styling change over the previous version of this incredibly popular model (which out-sells its Saloon counterpart), this new Passat is every bit the capable car it needs to be to take on the likes of the Ford Mondeo Estate, the Mazda6 Estate and the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.
The price has gone up a touch, but so has interior quality, performance, handling and the amount of kit on offer at each trim level. Not to mention the savings you’ll make in both fuel and tax.
It’s still the consummate commuting cruiser it always was – incredibly comfortable on the move, quiet, refined and relatively cheap to run. For those reasons VW is expecting 80 percent of these cars to go to fleet drivers, but if you’re looking for a family car then it’ll do that job brilliantly too.
Diesel power only
You’ve got a range of four engine options to choose from, and they’re all diesels for now. You also have a choice of six-speed manual and six- or seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes.
The lowest-powered 1.6 TDI is the one to pick for best fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but we’re expecting the 2-litre, 148bhp with manual ‘box to be the best-selling in the range. There’s a 188bhp version of this engine available too, while the pinnacle is the 2-litre BiTDI (features twin turbos) which generates 238bhp and a massive 500Nm of pulling power. That translates to a sprint from 0- 62mph in 6.3 seconds.
We’re expecting both BlueMotion and hybrid GTE models to arrive during 2015, and these should see emissions tumble and fuel economy improve.
Five trim levels
You’ve got the option of five levels of equipment, starting at S, then SE, SE Business, GT and finally R-Line.
Even at the bottom of the range you’ve got a good amount of kit, though. Features such as Bluetooth and iPod connectivity are standard fare, and ditto myriad safety systems.
Optional extras are available too should you wish to personalise or enhance your Passat Estate.
If you’re in the market for a Passat, there isn’t another car in its class that does it better. It’s still the most comfortable and the huge boot roundly eclipses the competition. It’s cheap enough to run – though waiting for the BlueMotion would be wise if that’s a consideration – and won’t break the bank to buy either. It feels more refined than ever too, which is no mean feat.
Sure, it’s not as dynamically impressive as the Mondeo or Mazda6, but don’t forget the vast majority of these cars will go to fleet drivers who do mileage the average Boeing 747 would balk at. Well, perhaps not quite that much, but the point stands: comfort is key, and the Passat has that in spades.
For a more detailed evaluation, read on for our full Volkswagen Passat Estate review.