Used Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2005 - 2015 review

Category: Family car

All the family car you'll ever need

Volkswagen Passat Saloon (05 - 15)
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon (05 - 15)
  • Volkswagen Passat Saloon (05 - 15)
Used Volkswagen Passat Saloon 2005 - 2015 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Passat saloon like?

The Passat is an excellent car; in fact, it's almost good enough to step out of the Ford Mondeo class and have a crack at the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Even on standard suspension it feels nimble, alert and involving. Sport models give even sharper handling, although a little of the standard car's excellent ride comfort is sacrificed.

It's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel - and in any of the seats for that matter - although a little more shoulder support wouldn't go amiss. There's plenty of room in both the front and rear, and there's generous cabin stowage and a good-sized boot. While the interior quality may not be quite up to Audi standards, it's still well ahead of what the Vauxhall Vectra and the Mondeo offer.


All the family car you'll ever need

  • This Volkwagen Passat is stylish, practical and good to drive
  • You won't like its poor rear visibility

The Passat scored a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and all models get six airbags, plus traction and stability control, as standard.

Ownership cost

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

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

While you can pick up a Ford Mondeo or a Vauxhall Vectra for Not much money, the Passat, like Honda's Accord and Volvo's S40, doesn't come quite so cheap, but it's still great value.

Cheapest to insure is the 1.6-litre entry-level car, which incurs no more than a group 7 rating, along with the 1.9 TDI diesel. The 2.0 TDI 138bhp SE sits in group 9, while the V6 4Motion is the most expensive to insure with a group 16 rating.

With an official 28.2mpg, the V6 is also the thirstiest engine in the range. The most economical is the 1.9 TDI with 47.9mpg, while the 138bhp 2.0 TDI manages 46.3mpg and the 168bhp version 47.1mpg. Service intervals are variable and costs are on a par with what you'll pay for a Honda Accord or a Volvo S40. The efficient Bluemotion versions of the diesel deliver between 55.4mpg and 57.6mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Passat saloon should I buy?

As long as you stay away from the entry-level model and the range-topping flagship, you'll be fine; the 113bhp 1.6-litre FSI petrol hasn't got enough power for such a heavy car, while the 3.2 V6 4Motion SEL isn't exactly short on power with 247bhp, but it's far from cheap to run. Other petrol engines include a 148bhp 2.0 and a 197bhp 2.0 turbo.

The majority of used Passats are diesel powered, and we'd opt for the 1.9 TDI with 104bhp. It's not as powerful or refined as the 2.0 TDI, but it's noticeably cheaper on the used market, and still performs reasonably. There's also a 168bhp 2.0 TDI diesel. From 2008, a new generation of 2.0-litre diesel engines was introduced, with greater refinement and lower emissions. Ultra-frugal versions of the diesels, labelled Bluemotion, are also available.

Top-specification SEL cars come with leather as standard, while Sport models have electric seats. Entry-level S cars only come with a CD player, air-con and electric front windows - there's no cruise control or rear speakers - but they are plentiful and well priced. A well-cared-for SE will provide more creature comforts.


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