Volkswagen has given its Passat family saloon a complete overhaul, replacing what was a worthy but slightly dowdy model with a much sharper, more modern machine.
The new Passat not only offers a huge amount of space for passengers, but it also has a more upmarket look, meaning that it should no longer look out of place in the company car park when parked alongside rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
VW may have ditched the old Passat’s petrol engines, but the all-diesel line up does include everything from a 70mpg 1.6-litre model to a range-topping 237bhp 2.0-litre version with two turbochargers, which is kitted out with four-wheel drive and is capable of sprinting to 62mph in a rapid 6.3 seconds.
We’ve searched through the new Passat range to find the models which should appeal most to those on a tight budget, those after the most bang for their buck and other buyers looking for a plush well-equipped model.
The smart choice for those on a budget: 1.6 TDI 120 S – £22,320
The 1.6 TDI 120 S may be the entry point to the Passat range, but with the car moving upmarket from its predecessor, even this most affordable model shouldn’t leave buyers feeling short changed. The 1.6-litre engine is small, but it still has sufficient muscle to power the large Passat, taking 11.0 seconds to accelerate to 62mph and returning impressive claimed fuel economy of 68.9mpg.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a digital radio, Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch touchscreen media system. The Passat S also includes 16-inch alloy wheels and a hill-hold function for the electronic handbrake, which holds the brakes for you when you go to make a hill start.
The smart choice for value for money: 2.0 TDI 150 SE – £24,585
Up the budget to £25,000 and you get a much more responsive engine along with plenty of extra kit for your money. The 2.0-litre motor powers the Passat to 62mph in a nippy 8.9 seconds, while still being capable of 68.9mpg official economy – matching the less powerful 1.6-litre engine.
SE trim adds a number of luxuries too, including front and rear parking sensors to make this large car easy to manoeuvre, adaptive cruise control, which can maintain a safe distance behind the car in front, automatic headlights and wipers, crash mitigation safety tech and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The smart choice for technophiles: 2.0 BiTDI 240 4MOTION GT – £34,625
If money is not an object, the 2.0 BiTDI 240 4MOTION is packed with equipment and boasts a muscular twin-turbocharged engine, which gives the Passat near-sports car levels of performance. With standard four-wheel drive and automatic gearbox this Passat should also be very easy to drive – in all weathers.
Though it can accelerate to 62mph in a speedy 6.3 seconds the BiTDI Passat still returns reasonable claimed fuel consumption of 52.3mpg, meaning that trips to fill up shouldn’t be too regular. In GT trim this model includes all the same kit as the car above along with sat nav, heated leather and Alcantara seats, three-zone climate control and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Prefer to buy second hand? Browse Motors.co.uk for a used Passat here.