What's the used Volkswagen Passat like?
The VW Passat Estate has been around in various guises for more than 40 years and eight generations, and sold in the millions. In that time, it’s grown noticeably bigger and gone deliberately upmarket, so much so that this latest version is large enough to house another Passat within its capacious boot and plush enough to rival the best from BMW and Mercedes-Benz for luxury.
Underneath, it shares its underpinnings with many of the other cars in the mighty VW Group range, and that’s no bad thing. It’s good to drive, with a spot-on driving position, and, despite a firm ride, it’s a comfortable car to travel in. The interior’s classy and it’s also massive, so there’s plenty of space for five, and then there’s that huge boot, too, which is only beaten for overall size by the humongous Skoda Superb Estate.
There’s a good choice of engines. There’s a 124bhp and 148bhp 1.4-litre, a 178bhp 1.8-litre, and a storming 218bhp 2.0-litre unit, and all push the Passat along quite nicely. There’s also a hybrid GTE version, utilising a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to produce some outstanding on-paper economy figures.
However, most people buy diesel Passats, and there you have a number to choose from. They start with two variants of a 1.6-litre TDI unit, both of which feel a little underpowered but produce excellent economy figures – the Bluemotion version gives a claimed average figure of 74.3mpg. More powerful versions of the larger 2.0-litre TDI engine include a twin-turbo model that will sprint this large car from 0 to 62mph in just 6.3sec.
There’s plenty of choice in trim levels, too. Base spec S is sparsely equipped, although it does have air-con and a touchscreen. We’d move up to SE, which offers parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers, among other goodies. GT and R-line trims are very well equipped but, not surprisingly, command a premium on the used market.
So despite the stiff competition the Passat faces from cars that range from the Ford Mondeo Estate to the smaller, but more premium, BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant, a used example offers the quality and refinement and, above all, the space, to give them all a good run for their money.