Volkswagen Passat GTE long-term test review

Volkswagen's evergreen Passat has recently received a mid-life nip and tuck, including the reintroduction of the plug-in hybrid GTE. Does a longer all-electric range extends its appeal?...

VW Passat long-term test review

The car Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE Advance 1.4 TSI PHEV 

Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor

Why it’s here Can plug-in hybrid power keep the ageing Passat relevant in a large family car market dominated by SUVs?

Needs to Blend tax-friendly emissions and excellent economy with the practicality, comfort and style to justify its price tag


Miles covered 2019 Price £41,460 Target Price £35,728 Price as tested £42,157 Test economy 104.8mpg Official economy 194.9mpg (combined)


3 July 2020 – A sticky situation

More often than not, infrequent use of a car can cause more damage than regularly covering big mileages, because parts seize, batteries go flat and things go wrong. Witness the number of people needing jump-leads following the relaxation of lockdown as an example.

For me, one of those fears was eased by the GTE being plugged in most of the time, but the other turned out to be well founded. When I came out to the car to do the weekly shop one morning, I went to unplug the charging cable and it was stuck fast. I tried locking and unlocking several times, but to no avail.

Volkswagen Passat GTE long-term test review

Reluctant to take it into a dealership for something so small, most likely a sticking connection somewhere, I tried calling for help instead. 

An extremely helpful VW technician was able to guide me through the manual release process, including explaining how it's accessed via a small flap under the bonnet, and resetting it in case the problem should recur.

Volkswagen Passat GTE long-term test review

I was soon back on the road and enjoying the GTE’s super-smooth electric power delivery once again.

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