This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Passat Alltrack (15-20) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The Passat Alltrack is available with one engine in two power outputs. You can choose a 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox, or a 167bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. It’s no supercar, but the performance figures are relatively impressive for an all-wheel drive estate car. It can complete the zero to 62mph sprint in 10.9 seconds with the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel and smooth-shifting six-speed manual, reaching a top speed of 123mph.

Choose the higher-powered engine mated to the excellent DSG automatic gearbox and the Alltrack can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 8.9 seconds, with a top speed of 131mph. Overtaking is straightforward because you’ve got plenty of low-down pull, with either engine, to help get past slower traffic.

Even though the Passat Alltrack has a raised ride height to help it accomplish off-roading without any drama, you wouldn’t know it when driving it. The set-up feels identical to the Passat estate. It may not be as sharp as an Audi A4 Allroad when turning into corners, or when navigating twisty B roads, but in both respects it’s better than a Volvo XC70.

Motorway miles are effortlessly dispatched and off-road the Passat Alltrack fares well. It will get through the muddiest of lanes and makes light work of wintery conditions thanks to its four-wheel drive, especially if you equip it with winter tyres. It’s not a proper 4×4 in the classic sense – more of a pumped-up estate car – but it should be able to cope with the occasional off-road excursion.

You can alter the suspension of the car to the way you like to drive and three settings are available including normal, comfort and sport. Select Comfort for long journeys, and Sport when driving enthusiastically. The optional DCC adaptive chassis control adapts damping to how you drive and the system will react to acceleration, braking and steering inputs to give better handling.