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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: 144

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. Especially in this updated form.

Driving Experienceword count: 180

Under the bonnet, the key news for Passat buyers is the introduction of an extensively re-worked version of this model's volume 150PS diesel engine, now badged the 2.0 TDI EVO 150PS. As before, it can be had with a 7-speed DSG auto 'box and now features Active Cylinder Shutdown for greater efficiency, the first time that this feature has been fitted to a Volkswagen diesel engine. Diesel and 4MOTION 4WD feature as usual in the 'Alltrack' estate variant which gains a higher ride height for limited off road ability. For petrol people, there's the VW Group's familiar 150PS 1.5-litre TSI EVO unit, available with either manual or DSG auto transmission. Up to a quarter of Passat sales are expected to be taken by the Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric GTE version, which mates a 1.4 TSI petrol engine with an electric motor. This derivative now uses an upgraded lithium-ion battery which now enables a longer 36-mile WLTP-rated driving range. Across the line-up, there's a new 'Travel Assist' feature which allows the car to be driven at highway speeds in partly automated mode.

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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.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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