Volkswagen Passat Estate 2019 front wide tracking

Volkswagen Passat Estate review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£27,185
What Car? Target Price£21,869
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

While figures for the petrol and diesel EVO engines are yet to be confirmed, they should provide the best fuel economy and CO2 emission figures of the Passat range, thanks to their cylinder deactivation technology. 

Meanwhile, the entry-level 1.6-litre diesel has official CO2 emissions of 116g/km, while the equivalent Skoda Superb Estate emits 113g/km. The more powerful and more recommendable engines also provide competitive emissions to keep company car tax bills low, and fleet providers will find leasing costs very competitive. Fuel economy is equally as competitive; the 2.0-litre 187bhp petrol returns 35.8mpg against the Superb Estate’s 38.2mpg figures.

The Passat Estate is an appealing financial prospect for private buyers, too. Granted, list prices are expensive next to those of a Skoda Superb Estate or Ford Mondeo Estate, but resale values are expected to be higher and running costs should be extremely on the ball. Volkswagen also regularly offers low-interest finance and deposit contributions, so finance costs tend to be competitive. Fixed-cost servicing plans are available for two to four years and are worth adding given the reasonable cost and option to pay monthly.

Equipment, options and extras

Even entry-level SE trim provides plenty of gadgets, including the infotainment system mentioned earlier, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, front centre armrest, keyless start plus height and lumbar adjustment on both front seats. Moving up to SEL adds LED headlights and tinted rear glass, as well as adaptive cruise control and infotainment upgrades.

The R-Line adds a panoramic roof and steering-wheel mounted gear shifters, plus bigger wheels and sporty styling upgrades. It’s a significant step up in price, though, and we wouldn’t bother unless these features are particularly important to you.

The off-road Alltrack model is a well-equipped stand-alone trim for the semi-rugged four-wheel-drive models and includes sat-nav, 18in alloy wheels, some fairly obvious, chunky exterior styling cues – you can find out more about the Alltrack here.

Volkswagen Passat Estate 2019 front wide tracking

Reliability

The Passat Estate didn’t individually feature in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, but its saloon sister finished in the middle of the executive car league table. That places it below the Audi A3 Saloon and Skoda Superb, but above the Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE and Ford Mondeo. Volkswagen as a brand was ranked 17th in our table of 31 manufacturers, which isn’t particularly impressive, either.

A three-year/60,000-mile warranty is standard, and extended warranties are available at a reasonable price.

Safety and security

The Passat Estate received top marks in its Euro NCAP crash test, thanks in part to its nine airbags, including one for the driver’s knees and in each rear door. It also has a system to warn you if you might be getting tired while driving, hill hold assist, a pre-crash system that primes the brakes, tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows if it senses a collision is imminent, and an advanced stability control that aims to help prevent secondary collisions after an initial crash.

Automatic emergency braking is standard across the range, together with a distance monitor that shows if you’re too close to the car in front.

There’s also a broad range of optional safety systems, including lane-keep assist, blindspot warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beam assist and even a system that helps reverse-park a trailer, although that comes as part of an expensive option pack.

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Verdict

Competent engines, lots of high-tech equipment and a beautifully built cabin make the Passat Estate a compelling choice. It doesn’t quite live up to the overall finish of the Audi A4 Avant, though, and isn’t as spacious as the Skoda Superb.

  • Broad engine choice
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Stable and easygoing dynamics
  • More expensive than some rivals
  • Rivals have cheaper running costs
  • Slightly unsettled ride in town

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space