Volkswagen Passat -

Used Car Review

Volkswagen Passat GTE, front
Volkswagen Passat GTE, side
Volkswagen Passat GTE, rear
Volkswagen Passat GTE, interior
Volkswagen Passat GTE, recharging
Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE, action side

IF you're in the market for a top class saloon or rop selling gargantuan estate, look no further than the beautifully built Volkswagen Passat.

The estate is all the car almost any family could want, with loads of interior and luggage space, and it makes a nonsense of buying a people carrier if you don't need the extra seats.

By far the majority of Passats started life as company cars, and so because they offer lower emissions, better economy and lower benefit in kind bills, diesels form the majority of what's available secondhand.

The most parsimonious oil burner is a 1.6 with 118bhp that can reach a very best of 70 miles per gallon, giving an excellent 900 miles on a thankful.

Make no mistake, this is a classy car, and year for year, its better value than similar-size premium models from the likes of Mercedes and Audi because it comes with much more equipment for your money.

They come with a good reputation for reliability and as well as the diesel 1.6, there is a further wide range of petrol and diesel power units.

After the 1.6 - which can reach 60 from rest in 10.5 seconds - there are three 2.0-litre diesels with power ranging from 147 to 236bhp.

But it's worth bearing in mind that VW limits some units to upper levels of trim.

The 147bhp model reaches 60 in 8.4 seconds and is still rated at 70mpg, while the next up 187bhp brings the sprint down to 7.6 seconds and economy drops a fraction to 68mpg.

Finally, range topping models are available with a storming twin turbo version of the same engine mated to a standard DSG automatic gearbox. It takes a Tarmac rippling 5.9 seconds to 60.

Petrol models start with a 1.4 TSI turbo that has 123bhp. It reaches 60 in 9.4 seconds and is capable of 52mpg.

This was replaced during production by a 1.5 boasting 147bhp and 0 to 60 in 8.4, with economy of 53mpg. Then comes a 187bhp 1.8 that covers the sprint in 7.5 and is capable of 47mpg.

Finally, the range tops out with a 216bhp stormer in sheep's clothing, which reaches 60 in 6.5 and can do 44mpg.

Finally comes the GTE plug-in hybrid, which can do around 30 miles on electric power alone and is rated at 166mpg. It has a total of 214bhp and sprints to the benchmark in 7.2.

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 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.

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 quite recent cars.

But from what I can gather, VW has not always been very helpful when the cars have been out of warranty.

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.

It majors on superb comfort - unless you choose the R-Line model or another with sporting suspension and larger wheels.

In these, the ride is spoiled quite markedly, so make sure to get one with the DCC adaptive suspension, which smoothes things out considerably.

The interior is a good place to be with high quality fixtures and fittings, leather in many models and superb front seats with every which way adjustment.

The mid-range SE comes with an alarm, remote audio control, cruise, electric driver's seat with lumbar support, climate control, traction control, parking sensors, heated mirrors, folding rear seats and alloys.

Pay around £13,250 for a '16 16-reg 2.0 TDI SE Estate, or £27,400 for an '18 18-reg Hybrid 1.4 TSI GTE Advance.

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