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Road Test: Volkswagen Passat Estate BlueMotion 1.6 TDI 105PS

Sector: Upper Medium Price: £21,925 Fuel: 65.7mpg CO2: 113g/km

 

The first car manufacturer to launch a separate eco label, VW has made a lot of headway with its BlueMotion line-up since the launch of the first Polo BlueMotion model in 2007.

Now, no self-respecting car manufacturer would be without a line-up of low CO2/high MPG models, and the choices available have moved on from being typically hair-shirt and self-flagellating to actually quite desirable in some cases.

In the case of the seventh-generation Passat, there’s now a wealth of eco choices available thanks to VW’s adoption of the slightly watered-down BlueMotion Technology version. As well as the 122PS 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Technology model,  every diesel engine is now badged as BlueMotion Technology due to the inclusion as standard of battery regeneration and Stop/Start.

But the eco pinnacle of the range is the 105PS 2.0 TDI BlueMotion model, which was launched last summer and trounces the rest for out-and-out parsimony.

Its figures of 109g/km of CO2 and 68.9mpg for the saloon (113g/km and 65.7mpg for our estate version) are certainly not insignificant – in fact they’re on a par with those of the BMW 3 Series EfficientDynamics. But with a 0-62mpg time of 12.2 seconds (estate: 12.5) it’s certainly a lot more tardy.

And therein lies the rub with the headlining BlueMotion model; it’s highly economical but those efficiencies do come at a price. Not a cost price – BlueMotion models attract a premium of just £220 over the S trim models on which they are based – but a performance one, in which the engine requires a little work and feels willing but never particularly energetic.

That said this model remains a Passat in terms of its exceptional onroad refinement, high quality and general inoffensive nature.

For many fleets, the cost efficiencies of this model, its practical nature – including the 1,731 litres maximum load capacity on the estate – and its conservative, middle-of-the-road qualities will make for a sensible choice.

But for some drivers its clear prioritisation of efficiency over efficacy will be a cross too much to bear.

Just as well that VW has quite a few other less parsimonious, better performing Passat options up its sleeve too.

 

Verdict

Strong economy figures will make the latest Passat BlueMotion a popular one with the bean counters but the resultant sacrifices in performance will not sit well for all drivers. The other Passat diesel models put up less efficient but possibly more desirable arguments from driver’s perspective.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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