This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Passat Estate review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Choose from eight engines. If you're covering a lot of miles, choosing a diesel should be a no-brainer. They're quick, smooth, refined and swift. And they'll cover massive mileages before needing a serious overhaul. Our favourite is the 1.9 TDi 130bhp. There's also the indulgently quick 4.0 W8, which scares away BMW 3-series.

Passat's ride is a bit disappointing, that's because it's still based on GolfMk4 Golf underpinnings. It's an able motorway-mile-muncher and can cruise well, but is shown up by messy cornering on more demanding roads.