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Passat is an excellent estate car

Created on 24/05/2017 @ 08:53
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

The trend might well be switching away from estate cars to increasingly popular SUV alternatives but Volkswagen sales of the Passat continue to rise.

And after a week behind the wheel of the Passat Estate SE Business 2.0litre TDi it’s easy to see why it’s still proving particularly popular and a genuine option for business and fleet customers in particular.

The estate accounts for 57% of Passat sales in the UK and the comprehensively equipped SE Business leads the way offering much better levels of refinement than its main opposition in the sector and narrowing the gap on the prestige brands which still lead the way.

Today’s Passat Estate is the eighth generation in a line of vehicles renowned for practicality and reliability. There’s been an estate version since the first generation was launched back in the 1970s, but the current model has a lot more competition.

Mainstream opposition comes from Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer but as the model has moved up market there’s now new opponents in the shape of  BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class, not to mention in-house challenges from Audi A4 Avant and Skoda Superb Estate.

Smartly styled and well built the Passat comes with a comfortable interior that can easily rival more expensive cars. And it’s bigger than previous models, too, offering an enormous boot and plenty of space for three rear passengers.

In fact there’s so much room with the rear seats folded flat you could do spare-time work for the local undertaker.

But it’s not just space and practicality keeping the Passat ahead of the opposition. With a top speed of 134mph, 0-62mph in 8.9seconds, CO2 emissions of 119g/km and combined fuel consumption of over 60mpg this Volkswagen ticks most of the boxes.

Thanks to its innovative light design the current Passat is up to 85kg lighter than the previous model despite its longer wheelbase and additional interior space, helping a 14% improvement in fuel consumption figures.

You won’t find a petrol option in the diesel-only range which contains a 1.6, 120 PS, 2.0 litre with 150 or 190PS, plus a range-topping 2.0 litre turbo with 240PS, DSG and four-wheel-drive.

Seven trim levels are available all offering a high level of standard features including post-collision braking system and misfuelling prevention.

You get front assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-crash system, driver profile selection, front and rear parking sensors and a superb navigation system on the test car aimed particularly at the business user.

New features include Car-Net Guide and Inform; Internet connection via smartphone which allows key information such as traffic problems and weather to be accessed via the colour touchscreen infotainment system.

You get predictive pedestrian protection, traffic jam assist, emergency assist which keeps the vehicle in a straight line and trailer assist which automatically steers your caravan into the tightest positions – if you have the confidence that is.

You can expect to pay just over £28,000 for that package but the test car came stacked with extras that pushed the price tag up to a scary £38,780.

For the extra money you get a top quality voice-controlled Sat Nav system, which will take you weeks to master; climate control, heated steering wheel, winter pack, dynamic chasis control, tyre pressure sensor, an electric tow bar, better alloys, a superb head-up display, LED premium headlights, laminated safety glass and advanced telephone connectivity.

Without doubt the Passat Estate SE Business is an excellent estate car.


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