What's the used Volkswagen Passat saloon like?
The Volkswagen Passat is a car that seems to have been around since Noah first laid out plans for his ark but, in fact, it hit the showrooms in 1973.
This is the eighth generation, a version distinguished from the others by being more deliberately aimed at the premium end of the market, with compact executives such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class firmly in its sights. It works, too, with this Passat more than capable of offering a sound alternative to those cars, while the Passat is still keeping its eye on more usual competition from the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6.
It’s good to drive, for one thing, with a spot-on driving position; and, despite a ride that errs on the side of firmness, 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. There’s a sizeable boot, too.
Perhaps unusually, there’s only one petrol engine in the range. That’s the 148bhp 1.4-litre unit and it pushes the Passat along quite nicely. However, most people buy diesel Passats, and there you have a number to choose from. They start with two variants of a 1.6-litre TDI unit, both of which feel a little underpowered but produce excellent economy results – the Bluemotion version gives a claimed average figure of 76.3mpg. More powerful versions of the larger 2.0-litre TDI engine include a twin-turbo model that will sprint this large car from 0 to 62mph in just 6.1sec.
There’s plenty of choice in trim levels, too. Base spec S is sparsely equipped, although it does have air-con and a touchscreen. We’d move up to SE, which offers parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers, among other goodies. GT and R-line trims are very well equipped but, not surprisingly, command a premium on the used market.