Road Test: Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 170 Sport
Sector: Upper-medium Price: £26,420 Fuel: 60.1mpg CO2: 123g/km
The Volkswagen Passat occupies a niche in the volume upper-medium estate sector, being neither fully-fledged premium challenger yet seemingly sitting slightly above the volume crowd in terms of brand appeal.
It is certainly priced to sit between the two ends of the sector and our £26,420 high-end Passat is firmly in Audi A4 pricing territory, although the Volkswagen does come with more kit and a more powerful engine than its A4 price equivalent.
In 2.0-litre TDI 170 guise, the Passat has more than enough power for day-to-day duties, accelerating strongly from low revs in the first four gears before settling into a relaxed low-rev cruise on the motorway. Factor in comfortable seats and little in the way of wind or tyre noise and it makes a relaxing companion to eat up the miles in.
And despite the power on offer the Passat still retains the TDI frugality, offering a claimed 60.1mpg, although our test week of driving netted a 53mpg average. CO2 emissions of 123g/km mean a 19% Benefit in Kind tax banding.
In Sport trim it comes with plenty of standard equipment, too, with cruise and climate control, lowered suspension, tinted glass, iPod dock, Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels and electric windows all round.
It’s also a big car, although its styling helps disguise this. With a roomy cabin providing comfortable seating for five adults, there’s a spacious 603 litres of load space behind, rising to 1,731 litres if you fold the rear seats down. That beats the Ford Mondeo and is not far off the sector leader, the Skoda Superb.
The Passat is a good-looking, well-equipped, spacious and comfortable car that has the added benefit of the Volkswagen brand appeal to lift it into its sub-premium sector. Given the choice between high-spec Passat or entry-level A4 or 3 Series, I’d take the extra toys on the Passat.