The Volkswagen Passat GTE has been the automotive equivalent of the hokey cokey for the German brand. First this plug-in hybrid was in, being introduced back in 2016 and impressing by combining practical family capabilities with frugal running costs. Then it was out again; it was pulled from sale in 2018 due to a bottleneck in getting cars certified for new emissions standards.
Now, though, the Passat GTE is back on sale, offering a choice of saloon and estate bodystyles. This time around it brings a higher-capacity battery for an official 34 mile range in fully electric mode, at speeds of up to 80mph, and low CO2 emissions that will be particularly appreciated by company car users, thanks to the low rates of Benefit-in-Kind tax this brings.
The electric side of things is married to a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and the two combine to give nippy performance when you need it. However, you’ll need to regularly plug the GTE in if you’re to get the most out of its fuel-saving potential; your real-world economy won’t be great if you rely on the petrol engine alone.
The GTE has few direct rivals; the Passat competes with family saloons and hatches such as the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6, but its closest hybrid executive rivals are the smaller and more expensive BMW 330e and the Mercedes C300de.
Read on over the next few pages for our in depth impressions of the Passat GTE, and to see how it compares with its rivals. And if you’re ready to plug in to the hybrid revolution, head to our New Car Buying pages to get a great discount on your new car purchase.