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VW Passat Bluemotion: Test Drive Review

Date: 21 December 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £18,910
Key rival: Ford Mondeo

Topping the trilogy of new Bluemotion VWs powered by the new 105PS 1.6-litre TDI engines is the Passat.

The new engine gives the Passat Bluemotion, in both saloon and estate guise, stunning CO2 and fuel consumption figures of 114g/km and 64.2mpg.

At this level of CO2 emissions the Passat Bluemotion is one of the first in this class of car to get below the minimum 120g/km break-point to qualify for the lowest diesel benefit-in-kind tax band of 13%. The result is that drivers will only pay either £40 or £81 a month to HM Revenue and Customs (depending on their personal tax band). Businesses will have similar savings in employer National Insurance contributions which follow the same CO2 bandings.

While the best match of car and engine for this Bluemotion trio is in the Golf (see page 21), the 1.6 diesel's fit in the Passat runs a close second. There's also a more of a tax advantage in choosing the most efficient Passat than there is for either the Golf or the Polo.

Several rival car makers already use 1.6-litre, or smaller capacity, engines of similar power successfully, so buyers shouldn't be put off by the Passat's 105PS unit. As you'd expect, it doesn't have a huge amount of punch, but equally it's not embarrassingly underpowered either. There's even enough shove to overtake lorries. What's more important is that the gearing, from the five-speed manual, is set up so there's little in the way of cabin resonance that can afflict low-powered eco-models at low revs.

As with the other Bluemotion cars the Passat includes stop-start, aerodynamic tweaks, upgraded engine management system and eco-gearing.

With a light foot drivers should see fuel figures close to the official mpg figure. On our test we managed to just sneak over 60mpg. Impressive for a car in the upper medium class, but not as good as the Skoda Superb Greenline BusinessCar drove a couple of months ago when we achieved more than 70mpg in the real world.

For this reason it's not a 10/10 car, but it's close and is easily a fleet winner.

Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI
105PS Bluemotion 4dr manual
P11D price£18,910
Model price range£17,000-£32,780
Fuel consumption64.2mpg
CO2 (tax) 114g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£40/£81
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 8*
Warranty3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space565 litres
Engine size/power1598cc/105PS
Top speed/0-60mph119mph/12.5secs
On sale February 2010
Score9/10
VerdictThe fleet manager’s pick
of the Passat range


Verdict


The fleet manager’s pick of the Passat range
9/10

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