What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Passat estate?
Check the Vehicle and Operator Safety Agency website at www.vosa.gov.uk to see if any recalls affect the model you're looking at - a main dealer will be able to tell you if the car you're interested in has had the necessary recall work completed. The most serious concerns a risk of fire on 2.0 TDI models fitted with the six-seed manual gearbox.
The interior should prove durable and hard-wearing, but check all electric systems thoroughly. It's also very important to have the suspension checked on high-mileage cars, especially if you intend on carrying a lot of heavy cargo or towing. The steering system can give problems, so make sure the power assistance feels even and consistent, and keep an ear out for any unusual noises.