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View all Volkswagen Passat reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6

Enormously practical, impressively high-tech and pleasingly comfortable

Volkswagen Passat Estate (15 on) - rated 4.6 out of 5
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PROS

  • Comfortable ride and seats
  • Large, practical boot
  • Plug-in hybrid option
  • High-quality interior
  • Low running costs

CONS

  • Only two Isofix child seat points
  • Some rivals are better equipped
  • DSG gearbox beginning to feel its age

PROS

  • Comfortable ride and seats
  • Large, practical boot
  • Plug-in hybrid option
  • High-quality interior
  • Low running costs

CONS

  • Only two Isofix child seat points
  • Some rivals are better equipped
  • DSG gearbox beginning to feel its age

Volkswagen Passat Estate rivals

Volkswagen Passat Estate: what is it?

The Volkswagen Passat Estate is, arguably, more important than the standard saloon. That’s definitely the case in the UK market, where it outsells its booted sibling 2 to 1. This practical and premium-feeling load-lugger is an appealing alternative to the likes of the Mazda 6 Tourer, Volvo V60 and even high-end rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and BMW 3 Series Touring.

A 2019 facelift has seen the Passat mature into a screen-filled tech-fest, capable of semi-autonomous driving and fitted with a wide array of jazzy new features. It’s also one of an increasing number of vehicles available as either a petrol, diesel or hybrid model – in the Passat Estate’s case, the latter is the impressive Passat GTE plug-in hybrid.

Plenty of engine choice

Though the full Passat engine line-up will be trickled in over a few months – with higher-powered variants going on sale first – the eventual range will be one of the widest available. A choice of eight powertrains means there’s likely to be something for everyone, whether it’s one of the three petrol engines, the four diesels, or the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE.

2019 VW Passat Estate interior

Power outputs range from 120hp right up to 272hp, and there’s a choice of manual or automatic gearbox and even two- or four-wheel drive. If you can’t find a Passat variant that suits you, you’re probably not looking hard enough.

Volkswagen says - and we agree - that the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel is likely to be the biggest seller. Though it's available as a manual, we suspect most will opt for the seven-speed DSG automatic - which is smooth when cruising but is beginning to feel its age in places. It's been tuned for economy and doesn't do the best job of keeping the engine in its power band, so it has a tendency to jerk when asked for more performance as it scrambles to find the right gear.

Lower-mileage drivers should consider one of the petrols - the entry-level 150hp unit is one we're familiar with from other VWs, such as the Golf. Though it may struggle with a fully-laden Passat Estate, it's likely to be reasonably economical and more pleasant to drive than a low-powered diesel.

While we've sampled the two range-topping powertrains - the 272hp petrol and the 240hp diesel - they're not really necessary. Passat Estates don't put a focus on sporty driving, and so that extra grunt isn't strictly necessary.

Seven trim levels

If all those powertrain options weren’t enough, the Passat will be available in seven distinct trim levels. There are three main levels – an unnamed entry model, Business and Elegance, and the latter two can be specified as sporty-looking R-Line models.

Passat GTE models get their own trim level, as does the Alltrack – an off-road oriented version of the estate that increases the ride height, adds a chunky bodykit and some extra off-road equipment.

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Packed with advanced tech

Volkswagen’s loaded the facelifted Passat Estate with more equipment than you can shake a stick at. For starters, all cars come with LED head and taillights as standard, which gives a cohesive look to all models. Adaptive cruise control is also standard, as is autonomous emergency braking – vital for that all-important Euro NCAP safety rating.

There’s also a new smartphone app system, named ‘We Connect’ which will give the Passat Estate access to some advanced connected services.

Up nearer the top of the range is Volkswagen’s headline feature, named ‘Travel Assist’. It’s capable of driving semi-autonomously – that means that the car takes over throttle, braking and steering, though the driver must still pay attention to the road and be ready to intervene if necessary.

We ran one as a long-termer - read more here

Still a comfortable cruiser

What hasn’t changed in the facelift – besides the Passat’s looks, which are near-identical – is the refined and comfortable driving experience. Volkswagen has never chased driving thrills with its Passat range, which means that it’s absolutely ideal for high mileage drivers or those who spend a lot of time on the motorway.

The Passat Estate isn’t the most spacious car in its class – that accolade goes to the Skoda Superb Estate – but it’s more than roomy enough for family use, and the load area is large, square and practical.

Volkswagen Passat Estate rivals

Other Volkswagen Passat models: