Volkswagen Passat GTE review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£27,575
What Car? Target Price£22,239
Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2019 boot open
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Passat GTE was substantially updated in 2019, and exact specifications and prices have yet to be confirmed. The previous GTE was subject to the government’s plug-in car grant, but new rules mean that there’s now no funding available for private buyers at all – aside from any discounts dealers can offer. You can claim costs on installing a home wall-box charger, though. 

Emissions are predictably low for the Passat GTE, with the GTE saloon emitting as little as 29g/km of CO2. Economy is impressive at a best of 217.9mpg, but you'll need plenty of juice in the battery to achieve that. Even so, in our tests, the trip computer recorded a decent 65mpg with a full battery on a 50 mile journey, while we found over 40mpg easy to get even with a flat battery.

PCP finance costs for plug-in hybrid cars tend to be noticeably more expensive than for petrol and diesel models, so private buyers who plan to pay monthly will need to do their homework. The GTE makes more sense for company car buyers, though, who will benefit from very low monthly BIK (benefit-in-kind) tax payments as a result of the Passat’s low official CO2 emissions. However; contract hire will be more expensive than for a normal Passat diesel model, so while savings for the fleet users are substantial, any fleet providers that lease their vehicles may not be so keen to offer the GTE as a company car option.

If you do decide to get your hands on a GTE, you’ll find it very well equipped, with three-zone climate control, full connectivity including Bluetooth and DAB, automatic lights, wipers and parking sensors. Emergency automatic braking (AEB) also comes as standard.

For 2019, the Passat GTE also received upgraded driving tech and safety systems. Features include a new adaptive cruise control (ACC) system, which not only monitors the distance between cars in front but can also safely alter your speed to comply with speed limit signs. Being linked to the sat-nav, it can also slow the car down to prepare for a turn coming up ahead.

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Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2019 infotainment
Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2019 front wide tracking shot
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The VW Passat GTE is spacious and refined, with an impressive hybrid system that makes the most of the electric battery. However, rivals still have a longer electric range.

  • Very refined
  • Low running costs for low mileage drivers
  • Spacious interior
  • Purchase cost is high for private buyers
  • Rivals have better range
  • Batteries take up the spare tyre space