Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a Volkswagen Passat Estate?

If you’re in the market for a large, slightly premium-feeling family estate car, no car in the class does it better. It’s still the most comfortable and the huge boot roundly eclipses the competition. It’s cheap enough to run - with economical petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options - and won’t break the bank either, thanks to good value PCP finance deals.

Some rivals are catching up on comfort and refinement levels, but the Passat remains the default option, being a car you get in to and feel at home. It continues to be one of the most refined after all these years, which is no mean feat and treads a fine line between being impressively comfortable while remaining sharp enough to drive.

Sure, for keen drivers it’s not as enjoyable to drive as the Ford Mondeo or Mazda 6, but remember the fact that the vast majority of these cars - 84% to be specific - will go to fleet drivers who cover more miles than the average Boeing 747, so the focus on comfort makes perfect sense.

If you want even more comfort, the cavernous Skoda Superb Estate is the one we'd recommend, offering a vast amount of cabin space as well as a softer ride quality.

Volkswagen expect the R-Line 2.0-litre TDI 190 with the automatic gearbox to be the best seller, but we'd happily recommned opting for one of the two 150hp models, either the petrol or diesel - they'll be powerful enough for most drivers and the petrol versions should offer good enough fuel economy for those covering a low amount of miles.

However, the plug-in hybrid GTE model can also make a lot of sense, with enough electric range to cover most commutes and the promise of low emissions.

Most trim levels are well specified, and it's tempting to option up to get some of the more premium equipment, such as the excellent Travel Assist. However, unless you do lots of motorway miles, we'd recommend taking stock of your needs and choosing a lower trim level accordingly.

The updated in-car tech from 2019 and semi-autonomous driving kit simply add to the Passat Estate's appeal, although you’ll have to go above SEL if you seek a higher gadget count.

In short, the Passat Estate may not be perfect, but it has to be one of the most polished estate cars available, combining comfort and practicalilty extremely well, while being upmarket.

2019 VW Passat Estate rear

Read more:

>> We ran one as a long-termer - read how we got on with it

>> Best estate cars

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained