Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 2015-2024 review

Category: Estate car

The VW Passat Estate has a vast boot, lots of kit and space for all the family. It’s an excellent estate car and a great used buy

Used Volkswagen Passat Estate front
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate front
  • Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2021 boot open
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate dash
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear seats
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate dash
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate front
  • Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2021 boot open
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate dash
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear seats
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate dash
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present
  • Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear
Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 2015-2024 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Passat estate like?

The VW Passat Estate has been around in various guises for more than 50 years and eight generations, making it a staple of the used car market.

In that time, it’s grown noticeably bigger and gone deliberately upmarket, so much so that this latest version is nearly large enough to house another Passat within its capacious boot and plush enough to rival the best from BMW and Mercedes for luxury.


The VW Passat Estate has a vast boot, lots of kit and space for all the family. It’s an excellent estate car and a great used buy

  • Good range of engines
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Classy interior
  • Slightly unsettled ride
  • Base S trim misses out on some kit

Engines: Underneath, it shares its underpinnings with many of the other cars in the VW Group which means there’s a good choice of engines. Your petrol options (badged TSI) start with either a 124bhp or 148bhp 1.4-litre, a 178bhp 1.8-litre, and a storming 2.0-litre unit with 187, 218 or 268bhp. There’s also a hybrid GTE version, utilising a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to produce a combined 215bhp and some outstanding on-paper economy figures. The post-2019 petrol range starts with the 148bhp 1.5.

However, most people buy diesel Passats, and again, you have plenty of options. They start with a 118bhp 1.6-litre TDI and move up to a larger 2.0-litre TDI engine, initially offered in 148bhp, 187bhp and twin-turbo 241bhp versions. In 2020, both the 1.6 and twin-turbo 2.0-litre were dropped, with a less powerful 120bhp 2.0-litre TDI replacing the smaller engine.

Trims and equipment: There’s plenty of choice in trim levels, too. 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.

Ride and handling: On the road, the 1.6 TDI diesel is an adequate performer, but only if you work it hard. The more powerful 187bhp 2.0 TDI variant is worth opting for if you want more assertive acceleration, while top of the range R-Line (and the limited-edition R-Line Edition) models get the option of a 237bhp 2.0 BiTDI engine teamed with four-wheel drive, and put simply, it goes like stink.

The 178bhp 2.0 TSI should be plenty muscular for most; it pulls strongly from low engine speeds and has enough clout to haul five people and their luggage around with ease. Finally, there’s the top-spec 268bhp 2.0 TSI petrol; if you’re looking for something quick but also effortless, this engine, with its strong yet linear power delivery, will satisfy you. It’s only available on the R-Line Edition trim level, though.

Generally, the Passat Estate is 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.

The Passat Estate received a mild facelift in 2019. The bumpers and lights were tweaked, with LED lights becoming standard across the range, and there were new wheel designs and colour options. But the more significant changes concerned technology, with a raft of assistance and connectivity upgrades.

The headline arrival with the 2019 facelift, other than the new engines, was a semi-autonomous autopilot system capable of operating at higher speeds. Dubbed Travel Assist, this can actively steer the Passat at speeds of up to 130mph (where permitted) – a big advance on the 25mph limit of the Traffic Jam Assist system on the pre-2019 cars.

If you're interested in finding a used Passat, or any of the other estates mentioned here, head over to the Used Car Buying pages to find lots of cars listed for sale at a great price.

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2021 boot open

Ownership cost

What used Volkswagen Passat estate will I get for my budget?

You can get high-mileage ones for around £7000, but prices start at around £9000 for a late 2015 1.6 TDI S, whether in Bluemotion attire or not, with an above or average mileage for the year, bought from a trader or an independent dealer.

Moving up to the £10,000-£12,000 level will get you a better trim, maybe SE, and bring in the option of one of the 2.0-litre engines, and a 2016 or maybe 2017 car. Up your budget to £12,000-£16,000 and you’re seeing 2017 and some 2018 cars, with a full history and an average mileage, from a franchised dealer. Spend upwards of £17,000 on a post-facelift 2019 car, and between £20,000 and £25,000 on a 2020 or a little more, £25,000 to £30,000, on one of the last cars from 2021 and 2022.

The plug-in hybrid GTE isn’t as common on the used market, not least helped by the fact it didn’t really arrive until 2017. Due to this, expect to pay at least £12,000. Examples that have covered an average number of miles are more like £15,000.

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Used Volkswagen Passat Estate dash

How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Passat estate?


For a car of such size and space, the Passat Estate is remarkably economical. The most economical of which is the 1.6 TDI Bluemotion at 70.6mpg, according to the older NEDC tests that were prevalent at the time, while the non-Bluemotion version gets 68.9mpg. The popular 148bhp 2.0 TDI did 65.7mpg followed by the 187bhp version that did 61.4mpg. A twin-turbo BiTDI was much thirstier at 48.7mpg.

Early GTE models came with 9kWh battery pack with an electric range of 20-25 miles and economy of 156.9mpg. Later models from 2019 onwards got a bigger 13kWh pack that upped the electric-only range to 34 miles and got fuel economy up to 206.7mpg. The chances of you really achieving either figure in mixed use is undeniably slim, unless you regularly plug your car in.

Petrol models understandably get worse fuel economy, but both versions of the 1.4 TSI are pretty decent at 54.3mpg. The only other options available at the time were the 1.8 TSI that achieved 46.3mpg, or the 218bhp 2.0 TSI that did 44.1mpg.

Post-WLTP engines were tested under a different system and their figures are a lot lower, but each should be more achievable in the real world. The 1.5 TSI is best at 45.6mpg, followed by the 187bhp 2.0-litre at 36.2mpg and the 268bhp 2.0 TSI with 33.2mpg.

CO2 emissions

Not all the engine options available in the Passat were available before the 1 April 2017 tax change, so we’re only concentrating on the ones that were here.

Both 1.4 TSI petrol engines did well with emissions of 120g/km, with the 218bhp 2.0 TSI putting out 149g/km. A plug-in hybrid GTE would be even better at just 40g/km.

The standard 1.6 TDI emits 107g/km, while the Bluemotion version barely betters this with 104g/km. Of the three 2.0 TDI engines available at the time, the 148bhp got 110g/km; the 187bhp version put out 120g/km, while the 241bhp BiTDI model spits out 140g/km.

Car tax

Road tax for all models registered before 1 April 2017 will vary depending on the emissions the engine produces (see above for more information), while examples registered after this date will render owners liable to pay a flat-rate fee. Be aware that if you go for a Passat that cost more than £40,000 new you’re likely to incur an additional fee. Fortunately, this yearly additional fee only lasts between the second and sixth years of the vehicle's age, then it goes back to the flat-rate fee. Current flat-rate fees are £170 a year for the hybrid, £180 a year for the normal petrol/diesel cars and the luxury tax is currently £390 a year. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here for further information.

Servicing costs

Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or annually, and the costs are competitive with rivals. A minor service costs £184 and a major one is £354, at the time of writing. Be aware that any example fitted with an automatic gearbox (usually called DSG) will need to have its oil changed at regular intervals in order to keep it working correctly. At the moment, it should cost you £199.

Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Passat estate should I buy?


The plug-in hybrid GTE is our favourite, because it has the potential for great economy and is smooth and quiet on the move. If you have easy access to a charger either at home or at the office in order to reduce your reliance on petrol power it's terrific.


GTE is a standalone trim and handsomely equipped.

Our favourite VW Passat Estate: 1.4 TSI PHEV GTE DSG

Used Volkswagen Passat Estate 16-present


What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Passat estate?

The Ford Mondeo Estate was once the go-to car in this class, as it’s big, great to drive and reasonably refined. It’s good value for money, too, whether new or used, and reliable and relatively cheap to run. Although the Skoda Superb Estate has stolen some of its thunder over recent years, being bigger in the rear, the Mondeo is still a force to be reckoned with.

The Skoda Superb Estate offers an unbeatable mix of space and, new or used, value. It’s massive inside, even bigger than the Passat and the Mondeo, with a class-leading boot. It’s great to drive, comfortable, well equipped and good value used.

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Used Volkswagen Passat Estate rear