Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Company car users rejoice: the Passat’s relatively low CO2 emissions and smaller price tag make it generally cheaper on benefit-in-kind tax than cars such as the Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3 Series. It still can't match the affordability of an equivalent Skoda Superb, though. The plug-in hybrid GTE makes the most sense if you're looking to keep your tax bill low, but of the standard petrol and diesel engines, the 1.5 TSI 150 represents the best value. Although the diesels emit less CO2, they're not RDE2 compliant and incur a 4% tax surcharge.
Fuel economy is very good across the range, with the diesels proving the most frugal overall. The petrol engines won't sip fuel quite as gently, but the 1.5 TSI 150 will officially return a very decent 47.1mpg combined.
SEL is worth considering because it adds privacy glass, heated front seats, leather seats and power-folding door mirrors, but once you get up to R-Line trim the price moves too far into the realms of premium rivals, such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
The Passat didn’t do very well in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, falling behind rivals including the Ford Mondeo, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. That said, it did perform better than the Jaguar XE and Vauxhall Insignia. As a brand, Volkswagen placed 16th in our table of 31 manufacturers, behind Toyota but ahead of Audi, Mercedes and BMW.