By on 2018-10-16 -
Estate - Used Car
THE last two versions of the Volkswagen Passat have stayed very much the same, with the addition of the latest tech and uprated engines of course.
It's a favourite with fleets and private buyers, because as a saloon or estate, it comes with real class and a good reputation for reliability.
For most families, the estate is all the car they will ever need, with plenty of interior space and a huge boot that can take all their stuff for an extended holiday.
In fact, this estate is a car with so much space, it makes nonsense of buying a people carrier - unless you really want one.
There was a wide range of engines available in the model built between 2011 and 2014, but the majority will probably have been company cars when they left the showroom, and so will have diesel power.
There is a choice of three 16-valve TDI diesels starting with the 1.6-litre used across the VW range, which at that time had 104bhp.
Move on up and there are two versions of the same 2.0-litre with either 138 - my favourite - or 168bhp.
On the petrol side - which will be harder to find I'm pretty sure - there are three TSI turbos starting with a 120bhp 1.4. Next up is a 1.8 with 158bhp and the range topper is a 2.0-litre with 207.
This last is the quickest of all, as you would expect, covering the 0 to 62 miles an hour sprint in well under eight seconds.
Standard drive for all models is to the front wheels through a six speed manual gearbox that's light and easy to use, but many will have been fitted with the VW DSG twin clutch automatic.
This is one of the best autos on the market, making the changes quicker than you can do it yourself, and in sport mode, it even seems to be able to think ahead so that it's always in the right gear.
It was a £1,500 extra when the cars were built, and is very easy to live with.
However, there have been some disturbing reports of these gearboxes failing, and costing thousands to put right in cars that are only three or four years old.
But from what I can gather, VW has not always been very helpful when the cars have been out of warranty.
The 1.4 120bhp covers the 0 to 62 sprint in 10.3 seconds and is capable of 47mpg, while the top 2.0-litre reaches 62 in 7.5 seconds and can do 39 mpg.
For best economy, try and find a BlueMotion TDI with the 1.6 engine, which is capable of 68mpg. The 2.0-litre TDI in all power outputs can do 61mpg, but only if you can keep your foot off the loud pedal.
The Passat is quiet, refined and smooth over all surfaces, and it also handles well through the corners, with a safe feel and excellent, very informative steering.
Comfort is very good generally, helped by well-designed front seats with lumbar adjustment and plenty of side support.
The interior is a good place to be with high quality fixtures and fittings, and leather in many models.
The mid-range SE comes with an alarm, remote audio control, cruise, electric driver's seat, climate, traction control, heated mirrors, folding rear seats and alloys.
Pay around £7,200 for a '13 13-reg 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Tech SE, or £10,250 for a '15 15-reg 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Tech Executive.
AS a motoring journalist in the early 1970s I enjoyed a constant stream of new...
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