Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Company car buyers hunting for cars with low CO2 emissions would be wise to consider one of the diesel engines; these compare very well to rivals when it comes to Benefit-in-Kind tax ratings. Fleet managers will also find leasing costs very competitive, while company car and private owners alike will appreciate the Passat's impressive fuel economy.
If you're considering an outright purchase, you'll find list prices that seem steep next to those of the Skoda Superb Estate or Ford Mondeo Estate, but running costs should be reasonable and the Passat's resale values are expected to be higher. The latter is good news for those who plan to pay via PCP finance, and Volkswagen also regularly offers low-interest finance and deposit contributions, so monthly costs tend to be competitive. Fixed-cost servicing plans are available for two to four years and are worth adding, given their 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 and 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 making it 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.
The Passat Estate didn’t individually feature in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, but its Passat saloon sister finished towards the bottom of the executive car league table. That places it below the Audi A3 Saloon and Skoda Superb, but above the Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE. Volkswagen as a brand was ranked mid-table 16th in our table of 31 manufacturers.
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 five stars out of five after Euro NCAP safety tests, thanks in part to its nine airbags. This includes one for the driver’s knees and one in each rear door. It also has 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, a system to warn you if you might be getting tired while driving, and an advanced stability control system that aims to help prevent secondary collisions after an initial crash.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is standard across the range, together with a distance monitor that alerts you if you’re too close to the car in front.
There’s also a broad range of optional safety systems, including lane-keeping assistance, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beam assistance and even a system that helps you when reverse-parking a trailer, although this comes as part of an expensive option pack.
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