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Volkswagen Passat Saloon verdict

2015 - 2021 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 53.9

Written by Tom Goodlad Published: 16 April 2020 Updated: 16 April 2020

Should you buy one?

Yes, but it’s a head versus heart buy. You’ll respect the Passat, but we’re not sure you’ll love it, despite being a more solid alternative to its mainstream rivals. It’s smartly styled, the interior is user-friendly and high-quality, there’s a good amount of interior space and there’s a lot of technology available. Plus, there’s a wide range of excellent engines available, so it caters to a wide variety of needs. But can we wholeheartedly recommend it? No.

The problem comes when you start comparing it with the premium-badged opposition. Firstly, a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class all have the prestige and kerb appeal that is alluring to many – with the BMW and Audi both being arguably more desirable and accomplished than the Passat in some areas, despite the price hike.

The biggest issue we have with the Passat is the latest version of the Skoda Superb. It is cheaper, just as tech-laden with features like digital dials, a large touchscreen and advanced infotainment, plus it’s more practical with limo-like rear legroom and an even bigger boot that’s easier to access. Add to that the exact same engine range and the Passat starts to make a little less sense.

That said, the GTE (below) is worthy of recommendation for company users (but then there’s also a version of the Superb called the iV) as BIK will be low thanks to low CO2 emissions, and the electric driving range makes it very quiet and efficient around town. If you don’t want a plug-in hybrid, we’d urge you towards one of the 2.0-litre TDI engines as they’re efficient and punchy. Keep things sensible with SEL spec and you’ll get a Passat that’s comfortable too, as R-Line models can feel a little fidgety over rough surfaces.

2019 VW Passat GTE saloon rear

Further reading

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained