Volkswagen Passat SE

Business 1.4 TSI DSG

Volkswagen Passat, front static
Volkswagen Passat, front static 2
Volkswagen Passat, front static 3
Volkswagen Passat, side static
Volkswagen Passat, rear seats
Volkswagen Passat, rear static
Volkswagen Passat, dashboard
Volkswagen Passat, rear seats
Volkswagen Passat, boot

IT might pay to get on with the boss when the time comes to pick your next company car.

Having the head honcho on your side could make the motoring miles melt away as you head for the next business appointment.

Take the latest VW Passat for instance. Nearly all of them end up on company car fleets - and by ticking the right extra cost boxes yours could feel properly tailor-made.

Starting with a Passat in SE Business trim will put you into a car designed for a working life, with a superbly clear satellite navigation system to make sure you can find that obscure address where you'll make the deal of your life.

But persuade the person who signs off your company car to find another £1,255 for a driver's assistance pack plus and the car will control itself in the traffic jams as you crawl through the suburbs on the way to that meeting - stopping and starting safely by itself.

Be extra nice to the boss and another £965 will give you ergoComfort front seatsthat adjust every whichway at the press of a button or two - and will gently pummel the driver's back in a soothing massage if requested to do so.

While we're spending the company's money there's a final indulgence if you've topped the sales performance league this year, in the £515 shape of a set of LED premium headlights. They are simply brilliant (sorry!) and turn night into day without dazzling oncoming traffic with something approaching sorcery.

Now, without any more raids on the company coffers, to the basis of the Passat. Sheer space might be the overriding first impression, with vast reserves of leg room in the rear and a boot so big you could lose a small army for weeks.

Then there's the way everything you see or touch is so obviously well made and screwed together. Nothing even mildly bling about it all (it's a German car made for business use, after all) but it comes with an air of solidity that you know will serve you well for years.

They'll be years without the car generating much excitement, though. No complaints about performance, with a nicely refined 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine (who mentioned diesel?) and smooth shifting automatic gearbox allowing perfectly decent forward progress.

The car might sometimes feel a bit hesitant when you want a speedy entry to a busy roundabout but an encouraging 48mpg on the trip after a busy 700 mile working week means this big machine won't cost a king's ransom to run.

It's just that the steering is smooth rather than precise and the ride on the comfy side of sporty; all adding up to a car you'll respect more than yearn to take the long way home.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, especially if the shorter way comes at the end of a long day of business meetings with a crazily busy diary looming tomorrow.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Passat SE Business 1.4 TSI DSG

Price: £26,530

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,395cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.6

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 117 g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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