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Volkswagen Passat R36 estate: Test Drive

Date: 06 November 2008   |   Author: Tom Webster

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £31,720
Key rival: BMW 3-series Touring

The Passat is the third VW to get the 'R' badge and associated performance upgrade.

Following the Golf R32 and the Touareg R50, it is available in both saloon and estate styles, and a powerful 3.6-litre V6 engine makes it the fastest of the 'R' family. The estate hits 60mph in 5.8secs, helped by the smooth and quick-changing semi-auto DSG gearbox.

In terms of performance and looks, though, the R36 isn't outrageous enough to compete with the likes of BMW's £50,000 M3 or Lexus's IS-F. That said, it's more enjoyable and much quicker than the standard car. It's also vastly more expensive, particularly when comparing the R36's 30% residual value with the 140PS 2.0-litre diesel's 35%. It's this, together with a 83.4p cost per mile figure and economy of just 26.9mpg, that makes the R36 expensive.

Verdict: Special, but not quite special enough given the price


Special, but not quite special enough given the price