The Volkswagen Passat is available as a stylish four-door saloon, or a more practical five-door estate. Both offer rock-bottom running costs and a high-quality interior, as well as plenty of room inside for four adults. There's a choice of five specifications, from the basic S to the pricey R-Line, complete with sporty styling and big alloy wheels. There's no petrol engine option, though a petrol-electric hybrid called the Passat GTE will join the range later.
- Upmarket interior
- Low running costs
- Plenty of space inside
- Not as classy as a BMW or Mercedes
- No petrol engine available
- Pricier than some rivals
The new Volkswagen Passat saloon has significantly more space inside than the car it replaces thanks to a 79mm longer wheelbase (the space between the front and rear wheels). Quality is even better than it was in the old model and the interior remains quiet at speed. The new construction means the Passat is even better to drive than before. However, driving enthusiasts looking for a practical family car will find that both the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6 offer a more engaging experience from behind the wheel.
- More spacious than previous model
- Stylish and well built interior
- Good fun to drive
- Range-topping models are pricey
- Some safety kit is optional
- No petrol engine offered
The Volkswagen Passat estate is the more practical version of VW's stylish family saloon. Rivals stretch across two classes, from large family cars to compact executive models, though the Passat's biggest competition probably comes from the new Ford Mondeo. Interior quality in the new Passat is top-notch, and thanks to a range of fast yet frugal diesel engines, no model will cost the earth to run. If boot space is a priority, then the best-in-class Passat is a no-brainer – especially in well-equipped SE or SE Business trims.
- Four-wheel drive
- Huge boot
- Relaxing drive
- Not a proper off-roader
- Only diesels available
- No really efficient models