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Volkswagen Passat review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 54.2
” A great choice for long-distance drivers “

At a glance

Price new £44,090 - £51,160
Used prices £31,824 - £40,040
Road tax cost £590
Insurance group 36 - 40
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Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

PROS
  • Excellent refinement
  • Comfortable ride
  • Stacks of room
CONS
  • No diesel model
  • Annoying luggage cover
  • Touch-sensitive controls

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 30 April 2024 Updated: 1 May 2024

Overview

The Volkswagen Passat has been a staple of the family car market ever since the original model was launched in the 1970s. But buyer’s expectations have changed dramatically in the past five decades – and traditional, petrol-powered estate cars such as this are starting to look rather old fashioned alongside the latest family SUVs and the ever-expanding roster of electric estates. They’re simply not as popular anymore.

The sales figures speak volumes. Six of the top 10 best-selling cars sold in the UK during the first quarter of 2024 were SUVs – and four of those clustered at the top of the league table. Buyers seem more than happy to sacrifice the ruthless functionality of a large estate like the Passat in favour of a tall driving position and some rugged looks.

That’s a shame because, if all you need is a practical family car, we think the Passat will serve you better than almost any of the family SUV alternatives. It’s more comfortable, more refined and more practical than the best-selling Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai. It just isn’t quite as fashionable.

Volkswagen has an ace up its sleeve, though. It handed the Passat’s development process off to estate car experts Skoda – and Skoda designed the Passat alongside the new Superb estate, which means it’s crammed full of clever practicality features. The two cars are also rolling down the same production line in the Czech Republic.

Mainstream rivals for the Volkswagen Passat are few and far between these days. The Ford Mondeo estate and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport both died in 2022, while the Mazda 6 was pulled from the showrooms in 2023.

Now, if you want a spacious family estate, you’ll need to move further upmarket to the likes of the Audi A4 AvantBMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate – all of which are a few thousand pounds more expensive.

Volkswagen might just have hit the sweet spot between premium and pragmatic with the new Passat. Over the next few pages, we’ll explore whether the tactic has worked by scrutinising the estate’s practicality, interior quality, technology, driving experience and running costs before offering our final verdict on the car.