Volkswagen Passat review

Category: Executive car

Section: Costs & verdict

Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD boot
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD boot
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front head-on
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front static
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 rear static
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 front seats
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD boot
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front head-on
  • Volkswagen Passat saloon 2019 LHD UK plate front static
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 rear static
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 front seats
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

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. 

Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2019 LHD boot

Reliability

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.

Overview

Comfortable and pretty refined: the Passat is very recommendable if you're looking for a classy executive car with more interior space than the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class.

  • Comfortable ride – if you stick with smaller wheels
  • Spacious and reasonably plush interior
  • Quiet at high speeds
  • Diesel engines can be gruff and aren't RDE2 compliant
  • Big wheels produce too much road noise
  • Less versatile than hatchback rivals, despite big boot