In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Passat saloon - Reliability & safety

Volkswagen will hope to improve on the old Passat’s Driver Power performance, but safety should be excellent

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

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Owners Rating

3.4 out of 5

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Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Volkswagen has developed a strong reputation for reliability and build quality, so you’d expect the latest Passat to continue in the same vein. It's built on VW's MQB platform, which is also used for the Volkswagen Golf, and should be even more durable than the old car.

Volkswagen Passat reliability

The Passat range was rated below average for reliability in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Of the owners who responded, 20.2% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once in the first year.

Volkswagen Passat owners rate its comfort and practicality are its most impressive aspects, and are impressed by its smart infotainment. Its ride and handling received less positive comments, though.

Safety

A five-star overall rating from Euro NCAP gives buyers peace of mind that the Passat is a safe car. It was rated 85% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child protection, 66% for pedestrian protection and 76% for safety assistance.

The Passat has plenty of cutting-edge technology, including autonomous braking that prevents low-speed collisions (a five-star Euro NCAP requirement from 2015), emergency assistance that stops the car if it detects you're falling asleep at the wheel and trailer assistance that makes it easier to reverse park when the car is hooked up to a trailer.

You can also order your car with Active Info Display – a 12.3-inch TFT screen that replaces traditional dashboard dials. A head-up display (HUD) is also on the options list. This projects information such as speed and sat-nav directions onto the windscreen in front of you, so you can keep your eyes on the road.

These features are backed up by more traditional safety kit, such as multiple airbags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, and you can add plenty of other systems from the options list, including a Driver Assistance Pack that includes lane-keeping assistance, autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection to name just a few features.

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