Our cars: Volkswagen Passat Estate - May
Week ending May 18
Current mileage 18,732
Driven this week: 428 miles
Volkswagen Passat Estate review
Chief photographer John Bradshaw borrowed the Passat Estate for a few days this week. It was ideal for his long journeys, thanks to the smooth ride and sweet engine. He said the seats could have done with more support, but they were comfortable and he didn’t ache after a long drive.
The best bit, though, was the boot. It’s big and perfectly shaped for carrying bulky objects such as camera cases, and the floor is a good height from which to arrange the boot’s contents. This was especially welcome on a trip to Malvern, Worcestershire to photograph a bunch of Morgans (you can read full reviews of the Morgans on whatcar.com soon).
All these motorway miles mean it’s time for the first service. The onboard computer has been counting down the miles until the service is due, so the car is booked in to Inchcape Volkswagen in Twickenham.
As soon as that’s done, I’m off in the Passat to Belgium for a week’s cycling holiday, so come back in two weeks to see how it got on.
Barnaby's VW Passat on video
Week ending May 11
Current mileage 18,304
Driven this week: 611 miles
Look at the Passat Estate's profile and it’s clear that function beat form when it came to styling.
That's not to say the VW is overly boxy – it's no 1985 Volvo, for instance – but it's a long way from being sleek. Still, that means there's loads of room front and rear, and the boot is deep and long.
This last point is particularly welcome: I rarely have to worry if there's enough space for everything I want to take. If, like me, you think packing lightly is a dirty phrase, or you have a family and their things to haul around, you'll go for a functional car every time.
Week ending May 4
Current mileage 17,693
Driven this week: 376 miles
The noise of the projectile that hit the Passat was enough to make me flinch and duck slightly.
When I’d regained my composure, I expected to see a huge crack in the windscreen, but it was mercifully free from fractures. However, when I got out of the car, I saw a gouge and a dent in the leading edge of the bonnet.
That’s annoying enough, and may require the expertise of a bodyshop, but I’m glad the windscreen was spared – replacing one that’s heated and has a rain sensor isn’t cheap.