Believe it or not, this is the eighth generation of the Passat, and despite Volkswagen’s assertions that this is the most ’emotional’ version yet, it’s still a solid, dependable, classless car that looks fairly ordinary, almost bland.

But drive the Passat and study the stats and it’s impossible to find a reason as to why it shouldn’t go on a company car list.

Starting with those stats, the engine on the most popular model – the 150hp 2.0 TDI in SE Business trim – offers emissions of 106g/km (equal to a 17% BIK band) and an official fuel figure of almost 70mpg, while the car comes loaded with enough kit to keep any driver comfortable and secure, offers historically proven rock-solid residual values, and just oozes simple quality and refinement.

While the new Passat is fractionally shorter than before, it’s bigger inside thanks mainly to better engine packaging, and rear-seat passengers, even those over six-feet tall, will have no issues sitting behind similarly sized front-seat occupants.

The boot is also larger and now stands at 586 litres, and if you buy the estate that boot is a whopping 650 litres – before you fold the seats.

The UK will get an all-diesel line-up until the petrol-electric hybrid arrives in late 2015. The 2.0-litre diesels are ‘class-above’ refined, yet also provide enough shove to see 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds for the 150hp version and a 6.3 seconds for the 240hp bi-turbo four-wheel drive version. Even this quick version has a CO2 figure of 139g/km.

The driving experience is supremely comfortable, with first-rate insulation against bumps and potholes, as well as accurate steering and little body roll.

Alongside refinement and efficiency, the Passat also has some new optional equipment including a digital dashboard that uses a screen instead of physical dials, cameras that give a full view around the car, reversing sensors that stop collisions when reversing out of a parking space, and internet connectivity, including the ability to send navigation addresses to the car via Google from any other computer.

Weaknesses? Yes, the Passat looks a bit ordinary, but those in the know will see it for its quality and value and call it what it is: a very good car.

P11D price £25,080*
Model price range £22,160-£36,850
Fuel consumption 68.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 106g/km (17%)
BIK 20/40% per month £71/£142
Service interval variable miles
Insurance (1-50) group 21*
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 586/1152 litres
Engine size/power 1968cc/150hp
Top speed/0-60mph 137mph/8.7secs
On sale January 201