Volkswagen Passat: goodbye

  • Practical estate proves a great all-rounder
  • Average fuel economy mostly around 45mpg mark
  • Strong 2.0-litre diesel engine, solid handling

It is the end of the road for the Volkswagen Passat. After six months of trouble-free comfortable motoring, it is with some regret that this dependable cruiser is leaving the Parkers fleet.

For my purposes, this has probably been the best long-term car I have had. My previous long-termer, the Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI. was pretty impressive. The mighty hatchback was great to drive and there were very few niggles to complain about. The Passat though has shaded the Golf in terms of its all-round abilities.

First up, I need to talk about the specification and the options added. I chose the SE BlueMotion Tech 2.0-litre TDi 140PS six-speed, which costs £23,600, but I added a touchscreen multi-media system (£1,835), park assist (£620), air-con upgrade (£495), leather upgrade (£1,735) and metallic paint (£465).

That means a purchase price of £28,750 - a sizeable outlay. Haven driven the car for six months, I think the multi-media system and park assist have both been invaluable, but on reflection I think the cloth seats, a classy flat-black paint job and the straightforward climate control would have been perfectly sufficient. That would have saved £2,695, bringing the total cost down to a much more affordable £26,055.

In terms of its driveability, it's pretty faultless. The diesel engine has enough low-down pull to make it easy for quick getaways in the city and it's also a perfectly capable cruiser too. Top speed is 132mph and that should tell you it's a pleasure to drive at motorway speeds. It'll accelerate in a half-decent fashion too: 0-62mph takes 10 seconds. It has reasonable handling capabilities: if you push it on the open road it'll turn in nicely and it won't wobble all over the place when it's required to negotiate roundabouts with a bit of gusto.

It's been fairly frugal too. Average fuel economy has approached the 45mpg, but if you drive carefully watch the average fuel economy reading approach the 48mpg mark. Yes, that's very short of the claimed 61.4mpg, but creditable nonetheless.

If you need a practical load-lugger you also won't go far wrong with the Passat Estate. If you check out my first November update here you'll see that its 603-litre boot that extends to 1,731 litres with the seats down is very competitive in this class.

There's some nice touches: the MP3 connector that's hidden away in the glovebox is excellent and the touchscreen multi-media system is extremely user-friendly. Add that to low running costs and you have a very capable car.

My colleague Chris Ebbs is currently running a Peugeot 508 SW and he thinks that car is at least on par with the Passat. Look for a future twin-test for a full comparison between the two.

In my view the Passat is a better car. The switchgear is better and more user-friendly and, of course, there is the premium badge. The Passat cuts a classier dash in the car park that's for sure.

So, it's 'the end' for the Passat and I am sorry to see it go. It is a fantastic all-rounder, relatively cheap to run, spacious, practical and great to drive. Can't say any better than that.

To read the full review of the Volkswagen Passat click here.

Current mileage: 24,898 miles

Average mpg: 44.3mpg