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What Car? Electric Car Awards in association with ONTO

Electric Car Awards 2021: Best used hybrid estate car

With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best used hybrid estate car...

WINNER: Best used hybrid estate car

Volkswagen Passat Estate 1.4 TSI GTE

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The Volkswagen Passat Estate has been around in various guises for more than 40 years, making it a staple of the used car market. This latest version is noticeably bigger and more upmarket than earlier generations, though, and the star of the range is undoubtedly the GTE plug-in hybrid.

With a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, it pumps out a total of 215bhp – enough for a 0-62mph time of 7.6sec and decently brisk performance at all other points thereafter.

Used Volkswagen Passat GTE 2015-present

But the GTE’s biggest draw is its official range of 31 miles in electric mode. If your journeys are mostly short and you keep the battery charged up, this can lead to some impressively low fuel bills. True, rivals such as the BMW 330e and Mercedes C300de can go slightly farther on electric power alone, but both of those cost more to buy and aren’t nearly as practical.

The GTE also handles tidily, rides smoothly and makes very little noise in whichever of its various driving modes you’re in.

The interior is nicely designed and assembled, and the driver is treated to electric backrest and lumbar support adjustment, aiding comfort on long trips. Passengers are unlikely to complain of a lack of space, either in the front or the back, and the vast boot is unaffected by the need to carry a bulky battery.

Used Volkswagen Passat GTE 2015-present

Perhaps the best news of all, though, is that the GTE goes all the way back to 2016. That means all this desirability can be bought relatively cheaply on the used market; early examples with high mileages can be found for as little as £10,000.

However, we’d look at cars from 2017, with an average mileage for the year, for between £12,000 and £14,000, or 2018 models for between £15,000 and £18,000.

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