Cost & verdict

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE review

Manufacturer price from:£23,795
What Car? Target Price:£21,957
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Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE
Review continues below...
16 Sep 2016 13:35 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 09:46

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Passat GTE is subject to the government’s plug-in car grant; it falls into the ‘category 2’ cars, which means it gets a £2500 government-backed discount on top of any savings that the manufacturer might be willing to give.

The saloon starts at £34,025 (including the grant) with the Estate costing an extra £3,655, showing that even with the grant, private buyers will still be paying a premium for the privilege of having a car with short-range electric capability. As a result, it's important to make sure that your mileage and lifestyle mean that you’ll save enough on fuel to justify the extra initial cost.

PCP finance costs tend to be noticeably more expensive than for the standard models, too, so those wanting to pay monthly face a similar quandary. When you are doing those calculations, make sure you factor in that the GTE isn’t very economical when the petrol engine is running. Our real world economy test returned a figure of 37.4mpg, which is what you can expect to achieve after you’ve made use of the circa 30 mile pure electric range.

It is very well equipped, though, with three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, full connectivity including Bluetooth and DAB, automatic lights, wipers and parking sensors. As a result you don’t really need to add anything apart from sat-nav. Emergency automatic braking also comes as standard.

The GTE makes a lot more sense for company car buyers, who will benefit from very low monthly BIK (benefit-in-kind) tax payments as a result of the Passat’s squeaky-clean CO2 emissions. It’s usefully cheaper even than equivalent diesels. The only big downside to this is that 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.

A three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is standard and can be extended at a reasonable cost.

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Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE
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The VW Passat GTE is spacious and refined and has a 31-mile electric-only range. It's a great option for company car users.

  • Very refined
  • Low running costs for low mileage drivers
  • Cheap company car tax
  • Real world economy isn’t great
  • Purchase cost is high for private buyers
  • Batteries take up the spare tyre space
There are 5 trims available for the Passat estate. Click to see details.See all versions
Includes air-con, 16in alloy wheels, a multi-function steering wheel, colour touch-screen, digital radio, Bluetooth and a USB input, but it’s still worth the extra needed to jump up to more lavishl...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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Average Saving £1,838
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SE Business
Not only do you get sat nav as standard, you also get climate control, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights and nicer exterior trim. It's well worth paying the extra over S or Bluemotion...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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Average Saving £1,981
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This trim level is available only with the tax-efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine. It is based on S trim, but adds 17in alloy wheels, lowered suspension, unique front and rear bumpers, and Bluemotio...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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Average Saving £2,066
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A good option if you want lots of kit, but at this price the Passat Estate is straying into the same territory as some more upmarket (albeit smaller and less well equipped) rivals. It comes with 18...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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Average Saving £2,139
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R Line
This just brings sportier styling inside and out, along with better LED headlights over GT trim. The most powerful petrol and diesel versions also get adjustable dampers...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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Average Saving £2,234
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