Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt VW Passat Estate: Test Drive Review
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VW Passat Estate: Test Drive Review

Date: 14 February 2011   |   Author:

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £20,905
Key rival: Ford Mondeo

This is the first time we've sampled the all-new Passat Estate, a car that, despite the gentle styling evolution, benefits from new panels and glass surfaces in all areas apart from the roof.

The luggage area is significantly larger than the previous model, weighing in at 603 litres, 90 litres up on the previous one and well ahead of the Ford Mondeo's 542 litres, if still behind sibling Skoda's humongous Superb Estate. VW has also been working on the boot's usefulness, with a new two-stage sliding luggage cover that just needs a little tap to retract halfway, then again to slide the whole way back. The back seats can be dropped from either the boot or from the rear doors; once folded, loads up to 1960mm long can be slid in.

The 1.6 TDI engine is currently the most efficient in the line-up, but it will be pipped by a Bluemotion version later this year emitting 109g/km and returning 68.8mpg. For the meantime, 114g/km and 65.7mpg are plenty for such a large and capable vehicle.

But to get those emissions figures there is, predictably, a pay-off. The 105hp 1.6 diesel is certainly, in terms of power, as low as cars this size can comfortably go. This Passat is far from nippy - it's fine and refined at cruising speed, but under acceleration it's obvious that this is the low-power version. However, for the emissions and economy figures offered, it's an acceptable compromise.

In basic S trim, iPod interface and leather steering wheel with audio controls come as standard, along with start/stop, while the most popular SE adds extra kit such as driver fatigue sensor, electric seats and Bluetooth.

The Passat's usual excellent RVs and competitive pricing against the likes of the Mondeo and Superb mean KwikCarcost predicts a 48.5p per mile costs figure, completing an all-round package that's hard to beat - at least until the Bluemotion version arrives.

Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI S 105hp
P11D price£20,905
Model price range£20,175-£27,540
Fuel consumption64.2mpg
CO2 (tax) 114g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£45/£91
Service intervalvariable miles
Insurance (1-50)group 16
Warranty3yrs/ 60,000mls
Boot space min/max603/1731 litres
Engine size/power1598cc/105hp
Top speed/0-62mph120mph/12.5secs
On sale January 2011
VerdictExcellent running costs
but engine is only just
up to the job


Excellent running costs but engine is only just up to the job