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Volkswagen Passat review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0
” A great choice for long-distance drivers “

At a glance

Price new £44,035 - £51,105
Road tax cost £0
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • Hugely refined at speed
  • Comfortable ride
  • Loads of room
  • No diesel model
  • Automatic-only
  • Touch-sensitive controls

Written by Keith Adams Published: 7 March 2024 Updated: 15 April 2024


This is the new ninth-generation Volkswagen Passat, and just like the last one did in its later years, it’s being offered in estate car form only. The firm bowed to market forces turning its back on the saloon version, and offering a load-lugging version that’s bigger, packed with more tech, and powered by more efficient engines than ever before.

But there’s more to the Passat than its obviously sleeker body and slicker screen-dominated interior. It represents a changing of the guard for its maker – it’s a traditional large family estate car, and a piston-powered one at that in a market rapidly turning to SUVs, and going electric.

That might explain why Skoda took the lead with its development, designing it alongside the new Superb, and then building them on the same line in the Czech Republic. It will be interesting to see how they compare – as well as how the poshest Passat yet goes against premium rivals such as the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.

Volkswagen Passat Estate review (2024)
Central screen is generously sized, although some drivers may find it encroaches their field of view when driving.

What’s it like inside?

It’s a good start inside. The tech has moved on a couple of generations over the last Passat, featuring Volkswagen’s latest infotainment system shared with the all-electric ID.7 hatchback. Volkswagen has worked hard banish the bugs and gripes associated with the firm’s earlier touchscreen set-up used in the ID.3 and Golf Mk8, and it is much more user friendly than before.

It’s dominated on a huge 15.0-inch landscape-format central touchscreen, and is peppered by touch-sensitive slider controls. In action they work way better than before, and are aided by both the screen’s sheer size and improved illumination for the minor controls. It’s a shame VW didn’t take the opportunity to add the multi-function climate control knobs fitted to the Skoda Superb, though, as it’s likely existing Passat drivers will find the new set-up quite an adjustment.

Volkswagen Passat Estate review (2024)
The boot capacity is genuinely excellent, and aided by a wide opening and low sill.

But practicality and comfort are what this car is all about. Up front, you get excellent head and legroom, a large glovebox and well-shaped doorbins. The gear selector has been moved to the steering column, and that frees up even more stowage space in the central armrest.

Despite this, rear-seat passengers may well get the best deal of all. here’s excellent head and seriously impressive legroom – similarly-priced SUVs don’t even get a look in – and the load bay is enormous. The rear seats-down boot capacity figure of 1,920 litres puts it well ahead of larger estate cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 Avant.

Volkswagen Passat engines, range and charging

The Passat’s all-petrol line-up spans 150-272hp, and it kicks off with the entry-level 1.5-litre eTSI mild hybrid. It’s a smooth power unit shared with an increasing number of Volkswagens, and offers not only excellent refinement but the potential for genuinely diesel-rivalling fuel consumption.

The plug-in eHybrid model is the one that’s the most changed of the lot. Out goes the old 1.4-litre, to be replaced by the firm’s efficient 1.5-litre TSI Evo (shared with the eTSI) for a maximum power of 204-272hp. To entice former diesel owners, VW says it will go 620 miles with petrol and electric power sources combined.

Its battery pack has grown by almost double (19.7kWh compared to 10.6kWh), it offers a claimed 62 miles of e-range and it supports up to 50kW public charging for a 10-80% top-up in 25 minutes. At home using the new 11kW on-board charger, it’ll replenish in two hours.

Volkswagen Passat Estate review (2024)
Great on the motorway, but surprisingly capable on B-roads.

What’s it like to drive?

On the road, the 1.5 eTSI puts in a reasonable performance, and the 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds reflects its ability to keep up with the flow. Despite having to shift more than 1,500kg with 150hp, it goes well enough if you give it plenty of revs. On longer runs it settles down and plays to traditional Passat strengths by offering a smooth ride, hushed engine and low levels of wind and road noise

It’s biased towards relaxing, but not perfect by any means. It can become unsettled on motorway expansion joints or potholes, but not enough to affect this polished overall performance. This is a car designed to spend its life on the motorway, and it shows.

On B-roads it’s actually quite a surprise. We won’t go as far as to call it fun, but the well-weighted accurate steering, good body control and strong brakes make this large estate much more agile than expected. It always feels safe and planted, but the excellent road manners and good feedback make this much more enjoyable off-piste than the old one.

What models and trims are available?

There are three trims: Life, Elegance and R-Line. VW offers front- and 4Motion four-wheel drive, as well as two power variants of its eHybrid PHEV. The UK model line-up is offered with a blend of the 1.5-litre eTSI petrol and the eHybrid models – although it’s just the mild hybrids that are being offered intially.

All models get alloy wheels, LED headlights, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-way climate control, massaging front seats, adaptive cruise control, and an electric tailgate. Elegance models get IQ adaptive headlights and ‘sports comfort’ seats. Finally, the R-Line adds bigger wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive suspension and a sportier look.

Volkswagen Passat Estate review (2024)
R-Line models look and feel the sportiest, thanks to bigger wheels and adaptive suspension.

What else should I know?

It’s an all-new design, and although it could be accused of being a thoroughly conservative effort, the new Passat’s sober suit goes with the territory. Fans of the old model’s chiselled looks will probably be quite disappointed, though.

It’s available to order now with prices starting from £38,040 – eHybrid model prices are yet to be confirmed – with deliveries taking place in the spring of 2024.

End of the line for the Passat? We genuinely hope not, especially in a world being overwhelmed by SUVs. To find out how we rate it, read on for our verdict.

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