Volkswagen Passat

Passat withdrawn from Scheme 1st October 2020

While everyone seemingly wants an SUV there remains a hardcore that still love a big saloon and if there is one area of growth in the car market it is for a big estate, particularly one that has a sporty look. The Passat could not have arrived at a better time as the competitors are falling by the wayside, the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 have priced themselves off of the Scheme, the Mazda 6 has mysteriously disappeared, Mercedes C Class is only avaialble in base trim with a 1.6 litre petrol engine, the Ford Mondeo’s only engine choice is a disastrous Hybrid, the Skoda Superb (sister car to the Passat) is only on the Scheme with the 1.5 litre petrol engine and not in Sportline trim and while the Kia Optima is a great car the sole diesel engine can’t match the kerb appeal of the GT line estate. The one bright spot is the new Peugeot 508 fastback and SW (Estate), which while eye-catching lacks the storage space of the the facelifted Passat which for 2019 has a new grille, bumpers, LED headlights and the Passat badge centrally mounted on the boot.


The Passat is a quiet, comfortable motorway mile muncher, adaptive cruise control (the car will keep a safe distance from there car in front and accelerate and brake as required) is now standard across the range and long journeys can be tackled without undue stress. There is room for the family and their luggage in both the Saloon and Estate. With the seats in place the Saloon boot will swallow 586-litre of luggage, the Ford Mondeo Hybrid offers 386 litres and is also a booted saloon. If it is space then the sleek Passat Estate offers class leading space from a low loading platform, with the seats in place a whopping 650 litres is at your disposal. Compare that to the Ford Mondeo estate (525 litres) and the Mazda 6 Tourer (506 litres) and it’s easy to see just how dominant the Passat is in this area. Drop the 60:40 split-folding rear seats down and you’ll free up a whopping 1,780 litres, which again is more than its closest rivals, only the Skoda Superb can compete.


While the Passat might not be the most exciting inside, the term that Volkswagen would like us to use is ‘reassuringly solid’ and this applies not only  to the layout of the instrumentation but to the high quality feel of the cabin. The 2019 car is incredibly well equipped, the entry level SE car has the aforementioned adaptive cruise control, 17 inch alloy wheels, 6.5 inch colour touch-screen with DAB radio, LED headlights and running lights that perform the indicator function, front and rear parking sensors, cornering front fog lights and the ace up the sleeve is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – finally! SE Nav trim makes your touchscreen 8 inches in size and comes with a built in Sat Nav. SEL cars have privacy glass, 17 inch ‘Nivelle’ alloys, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The R-Line, our favourite, adds 18 inch alloys, sports suspension and a full R-Line body kit, sports seats, stainless steel pedals and three-zone climate control. There are a few items that you may wish to add, firstly the 12.3 inch digital cockpit that replaces the traditional dials is a £2200 option which does increase the touchscreen to 9.2 inches. A panoramic glass roof  is £995, rear camera is £335, heads up display £520 and a swivelling tow bar £930.


The Passat is designed to be diesel powered, the entry level 1.6 litre 118bhp lacks the push needed to move such a big car quickly but fares moderately well, it has enough grunt to take the Passat to 62 miles per hour in 11.3 seconds and a claimed economy of 49.6 miles and is only avaialble as a 7 speed dual clutch automatic. The 2.0 litre Diesel is the pick, the new 148 bhp variant has been extensively reworked to include cylinder deactivation that increases the economy without denting performance, 0-62 is reached in 8.9 seconds and economy an impressive 55.2 miles per gallon, manual or 7 speed DSG. The 189bhp version of the 2.0 litre diesel id DSG auto only and does not have cylinder deactivation but increases the torque to 400nm and decreases the 0-62 time to 7.9 seconds. The towing capacity from both is an impressive 2000kg. Two petrol units are an option a 1.5 litre with cylinder deactivation that offers 148 bhp and a 0-62 time of 8.7 seconds and a claimed economy of 45.3 miles per gallon as a manual or 7 speed DSG auto, the 2.0 litre petrol with 189 bhp can reach 62 mph in 7.7 seconds but economy is a lowly 35.8 miles per gallon.


Such are the restrictions of the Scheme’s pricing structure that the car we, and most every caravan puller, would want – the Estate Passat paired to the 2.0 litre diesel in R-line trim is not avaialble, the only Estate option in R-line trim is the 1.5 litre or thirsty 2.0 litre petrol. Boo! Only the 148 diesel manual and 189 diesel automatic are available in SEL trim in the Estate. All engine, gearbox and trim options are open to the Saloon car.  There is no all wheel drive option as all cars are front wheel drive.

Advance Payment prices are good for a new car, starting at £1699 Advance Payment (reduced by £200) for the 1.5 litre petrol SE but the real value is to be had in SEL and R-Line trim with the 2.0 litre diesel, prices top out at £2849 AP for the Saloon DSG auto 187bhp 2.0 litre Diesel in R-Line trim.