Our cars: Volkswagen Passat Estate - September
Week ending September 28
Current mileage 26,815
Miles driven this week 327
Volkswagen Passat Estate review
It's a sad day in the What Car? office. That's right, the Passat Estate has gone back to VW.
The Passat was practical, economical, refined and relaxing to drive, so was almost always in demand during its year with us.
If you regularly do long journeys, have a lot of stuff to move or simply need a big car that'll make family life easier, the Passat Estate is pretty much spot-on.
Barnaby's VW Passat on video
Week ending September 21
Current mileage 26,488
Driven this week: 1988 miles
Surely this week's Volkswagen Passat update is incorrect? That 'driven this week' figure looks a bit high, surely? Well, it is correct, because I drove the Passat from London to John O'Groats and back – putting the VW's fuel economy claims to the ultimate test in the process.
On the way there, with just me and my luggage on board, the Passat managed an average of 52mpg (according to the trip computer) and got there on one tank of diesel with miles to spare. That's 687 miles covered, and I wasn't being ultra-careful, either.
I didn't drive to John O'Groats for the experience, though. My girlfriend was on the latest leg of her ride-across-Britain tour. I collected her, two friends, their bikes and kit, and transported them back to London.
Even with three bikes on the roof, luggage piled to the ceiling, four people on board and the weight of three large fish and chips to contend with, the VW still managed 40mpg. It's comfortable, spacious, practical and quiet.
There really isn't anything else on the What Car? fleet I'd rather take on long journeys.
By Rory White
Week ending September 14
Driven this week 250 miles
The Passat was called into duty once again as a seat-down load carrier this week, and performed its role with aplomb.
Enough has been written on here about how easy it is to fold down the seats and how much you can fit into the boot, so there is no point my adding to that. My observation refers to when the bikes and luggage were out of the car and the seats were back in their usual upright position.
The back seats need a firm shove to get them back into their locked-in position, as I discovered when they fell back down under only slight braking. Not so great when your laptop is on the back seat.
No damage done, but it was a little strange how much effort is needed to get the seats to stay up, given how effortless the rest of the doors, luggage covers and other moving parts in the VW are.
By Tom Webster