The Volkswagen Passat has been, in one form or another, in production since 1973. Over 15 million cars have rolled off the production line since then. How has it been so successful? Well, it’s always been offered as a reliable, well made saloon car – at a competitive price.
This latest car is designed to build on that, while also being able to give consumers a little more luxury for their money. However, with so many strong rivals on the market, the Passat has a difficult job on its hands.
This latest car was first introduced back in 2015, but is underpinned by the very latest chassis architecture. This Passat is now the largest version ever made, which should translate to greater levels of interior space and comfort.
The front end styling of the car is classic Volkswagen, with a large and prominent badge on the front and sharp angular lines that really eradicate any doubt about who makes this car – but the styling may be a little too subdued for some, especially those who want to stand out.
There’s a good variety of engines to accompany the Passat – though there isn’t a traditional petrol power plant on offer. Buyers can choose from a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre diesel engine, with the latter available in two states of tune. There’s also a range-topping twin-turbo diesel with all-wheel drive, if you fancy something a little hotter.
That petrol engine is a 1.4-litre hybrid and comes in the Passat GTE, which Volkswagen claims will return 166mpg. Will you see that out on the road? Probably not. There’s also a claimed all-electric range of 31 miles.
Inside, there’s plenty to like. All of the materials are of a decent quality, though there’s some harsher plastics used in some areas. It certainly feels well put together, but when you consider that some Passats will be nudging their way past £30,000, it might not be up to scratch. There’s a nice
.6.5-inch touchscreen fitted as standard though, with DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
Up and running the Passat behaves much like previous generations. Don’t take this as a criticism though, it’s a smooth riding car with a good deal less body roll than you’d expect. There’s not much steering feel, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to drive – there’s just not much feedback from the front wheels. Wind and road noise is kept impressively low, too – especially on longer runs.
If you’re looking to keep fuel costs down, the Passat could be a smart choice. All manual- driven Passats emit less than 110g/km CO2, which means it’ll be a big hit with business owners – though DSG cars do have their numbers cut slightly. All cars will return around 70mpg, which isn’t bad at all for a four door saloon.
The Passat offers a compelling argument for itself; it’s well put together, has good levels of standard equipment and it certainly rides well. However, the price of higher-end models is getting the Volkswagen perilously close to more premium rivals, which could dissuade some from choosing it.