Electric Car Awards 2023: 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...

Some people naturally stand out in a crowd, and it’s the same with cars, even sometimes in the same model range. This generation of the Volkswagen Passat Estate has been around since 2015, and such has been its success that its replacement isn’t due until next year.

In that long life, there have been many variants, but the one that stands proud of the rest of the range is the plug-in hybrid GTE – our favourite used hybrid estate this year.

Volkswagen Passat GTE long-term test review

The estate has always made more sense than the saloon anyway, for its added practicality. Choosing the GTE version, with its ability to run for up to 31 miles (officially) on electric power alone (or 34 miles in post-facelift, 2019-onwards cars), seems equally sensible. True, rivals such as the BMW 330e Touring can go a bit farther on electric power, but that car costs much more to buy and isn’t nearly as practical.

Combining a smooth 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, the Passat pumps out a total of 215bhp, giving punchy performance whenever you need it. It’s also quiet, handles neatly and rides well.

Volkswagen Passat GTE 2021 RHD dashboard

Inside, the Passat Estate is classy, comfortable and hugely spacious, especially in the boot, while its generous list of standard equipment includes three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control (which keeps you a safe distance from the car in front) and automatic lights and wipers. Top-spec Advance trim adds an electric tailgate, keyless entry and an upgraded infotainment system, for little more money.

Speaking of which, early Passat GTE estates from 2017 can be found for as little as £12,000 now. That’s incredible value, but if money allows, we’d shop for one of those post-2019 models and pay upwards of £20,000.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

See all of our Electric Car Awards 2023 winners >>