This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Passat Estate review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

With six engines on offer there’s plenty of choice so Volkswagen Passat Estate performance levels will depend on your selection. There are three direct injection TSI turbo petrol engines, starting with the 1.4 litre engine that generates 120bhp, followed by the 1.8 litre with 158bhp and the top-of-the-range 2.0-litre engine with 207bhp. The three 16-valve TDI turbodiesels on offer are the 1.6-litre with 104bhp, and 2.0-litre that comes with power outputs of 138bhp or168bhp. All engines come with six-speed manual or twin-clutch DSG gearboxes (seven speeds for the smaller engines; six for the high-torque models). The quickest petrol choice is the 2.0 TSI with 207bhp and the seven-speed auto gearbox. This will get from zero to 62mph in 7.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 148mph. The top performing diesel is the 2.0 TDI with the automatic ‘DSG’ gearbox. This option will complete the benchmark sprint (0-62mph) in 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 141mph. Those used to games consoles will feel at home with the paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel, and changing gears this way feels fractionally quicker than using the manual gearbox. The 1.4-litre engine with 104bhp feels a little sluggish and is best avoided. Passing slower traffic with this model needs to be planned in advance and the gearbox needs to be worked hard.

In 2013 a new 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine with 158bhp was added to the line-up to replace the 1.8-litre engine.

The 2011 Passat estate is smoother and more refined that its predecessor, but still can’t quite match the Ford Mondeo estate. It’s not as sharp as Ford’s offering when turning into corners or in its overall handling ability. Get it on minor roads and it lacks some of the fun factor you’ll find in the Mondeo. However, sales of the estate version will be driven by fleets for its smooth ride and its ability to effortlessly cruise along the motorway.

If trundling up and down the A-roads of Britain is the norm then the Passat is perfect. You can also set the suspension of the car to the way you like your vehicle to perform. There are three settings (normal, comfort and sport) to choose from. Select comfort and long journeys will be completed with ease. The DCC adaptive chassis control adapts damping to how you drive and the system will react to acceleration, braking and steering inputs.