Passat estate a

business favourite

VW Passat estate, side
VW Passat estate, front
VW Passat estate, front
VW Passat estate, rear
VW Passat estate, rear
VW Passat estate, boot
VW Passat estate, boot
VW Passat estate, interior
VW Passat estate, interior

THERE was no dramatic change between the present VW Passat and the previous model, but that's the way of Volkswagen

As with the new Tiguan, the company's motto is ‘if it ain't broke, don't fix it', and that has been the case for many, many years.

I drove the estate version of the new Passat for a couple of airport trips of about 400 miles and got to know it very well.

On each journey, I used the motorway to get there and another more rural route on the way back, giving me a flavour of what it's like to drive on every kind of road.

It is truly excellent in just about every way - in fact, it's almost faultless.

This latest version is only available with diesel engines because the market for petrols among its main audience of business users is nonexistent.

The Passat estate is apparently a better seller than its saloon brother and, with such a vast loadspace behind the rear seats, I'm not surprised.

I drove the least powerful 2.0-litre diesel, which nonetheless has 147bhp on tap - enough for pretty good performance.

It drives the front wheels through either a six speed manual or automatic gearbox and mine was fitted with the marvellous VW DSG automatic.

This really is one of the best automatics on the market, matching the manual for economy with a light right foot, but at the same time matching its changes to the way the driver is driving.

Trickle along on a light accelerator and it changes up just as the driver would with a manual, but press on and use the revs and it knows to help by changing down sooner and up later.

The engine is well muted on the move and wind and road noise are very well contained.

The ride is sumptuous over pretty well all surfaces, making it a marvellous long distance cruiser or daily commuter and the handling and road holding belie its large size.

There is loads of room for four or even five inside - and also space for all their gear in the massive boot.

While I had it, I also got a tall fridge freezer in with the back seats down and the hatch closed with space to spare.

FAST FACTS

Price: £28,200

Mechanical: 147bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 134mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 62

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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