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Volkswagen Passat Estate

PRACTICAL MAGIC (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The latest Volkswagen Passat Estate demonstrates the genius in 'things that just work'. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 54

The Volkswagen Passat Estate really brings the goods in its eighth-generation guise. It's slightly shorter, but the longer wheelbase means more space for passengers and cleverer packaging ups the luggage capacity from 603 to 650-litres with all the seats in place. UK buyers get a predominantly diesel line-up, with a 240PS all-wheel drive flagship.

Backgroundword count: 139

Utility is a surprisingly hard sell. Yes, we tend to aspire to the sort of utility we don't actually need, which is why we hanker after sports watches that can submerge to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, Arctic-spec down jackets to withstand a snow flurry in Surrey and, yes, sports utility vehicles that could cross the Darien Gap when all we really need them for is to bump over a parking kerb outside Starbucks. Genuine utility isn't quite so aspirational. Seats that you can clean a baby's worst efforts from, room in the back for a bookcase from IKEA, metronomic reliability; it's what people need but not what draws people into showrooms looking for a dotted line to sign. That's the size of the challenge facing Volkswagen's current generation Passat Estate, a car that does utility utterly brilliantly.

Driving Experienceword count: 249

The eighth generation Passat has sharpened up its game quite significantly and those changes are most apparent in the way the chassis and suspension combine to improve cabin refinement. The longer wheelbase has certainly helped in this regard, giving the Passat a more assured feel on the road and the stiffness of the MQB chassis lets the suspension soak up surface imperfections without having to devote resource to managing chassis flex. There's been real attention to detail in the quest for refinement. The engine is mounted on a rigid steel structure that's is claimed to further dampen vibration which, when combined with a lot of analysis of the acoustic qualities of the engine bay materials and shape, has cut engine noise significantly. Under the bonnet, there's a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual clutch DSG and a wide range of engines. The range opens with 125 and 150PS versions of Volkswagen's 1.4 TSI petrol unit and a 120PS 1.6-litre TDI diesel powerplant, but Volkswagen's volume seller is the 2.0-litre TDI unit with 150PS. There's a high output 190PS version of this engine offered, while at the top of the range is a 240PS 2.0-litre BiTDI engine with twin turbos. If you need some modicom of off road capability, then you might want to consider the 'Alltrack' version, which mates the 150PS and 190PS 2.0 TDI engines with a higher ride height and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Alternatively, there's a petrol electric plug-in hybrid GTE version.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

7.7

12.5

Boot capacity min (litres):

603

Boot capacity max (litres):

1731

Combined mpg:

35.8

65.7

CO2 (g/km):

113

Extra urban mpg:

46.3

74.3

... and 9 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Spacious Family Cars

Performance
80%
Handling
80%
Comfort
80%
Space
90%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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