Driving

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE review

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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

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Passat GTE is heavier than standard Passat models, thanks to the extra weight of the batteries and electric motor, and this does show in the way the Passat rides. You get adaptive dampers as standard on the GTE, which help to ensure that it’s still a comfortable car that’ll soak up the worst bumps and ruts. However, even in Comfort mode you still get a firm initial ride over sharp-edged intrusions, so you’re never quite as oblivious to the road’s surface as you are in a conventional Passat.

The only other downside to this powertrain is that the brake feel takes a bit of getting used to; a typical side-effect of cars fitted with regenerative braking systems. Other than that, because the electric motor does also function to boost performance in unison with the petrol engine, the GTE is the fastest Passat in the range – which, otherwise, is diesel only. The throttle response is progressive and the petrol engine kicks in smoothly when it’s needed, and you can enjoy really quite potent performance.

Inevitably, the front-wheel drive Passat GTE is no handling precision instrument. However, the steering is precisely weighted and gives you confidence in the substantial grip on offer, making this a composed and satisfying car to drive in just about any situation.

Predictably, the GTE is also very refined. On electric running alone it’s eerily silent (but for road noise, which intrudes at higher speeds), and even with the smooth 1.4 TSI engine on the boil, this is the quietest Passat model, which is in turn one of the most refined cars in its class, even in diesel guise.

 

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE
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There are 5 trims available for the Passat estate. Click to see details.See all versions
S
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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£21,957
Average Saving £1,838
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OUR PICK
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
What Car? Target Price from
£23,604
Average Saving £1,981
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Bluemotion
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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£24,564
Average Saving £2,066
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GT
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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£25,416
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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£26,516
Average Saving £2,234
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