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.