From £19,620
Dependable choice, but common-rail diesel engine should be worth the wait

Our Verdict

15 million VW Passats have been sold in 100 countries since its launch in 1973

The VW Passat is a competent family car - but does it show any flair?

What is it?

This is the VW Passat Bluemotion estate, the eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) version of VW’s cavernous family load lugger.

The VW Passat Bluemotion estate gets a similar set of green tweaks to the Passat Bluemotion saloon.

Third fourth and fifth gears on the five-speed manual gearbox are lengthened, while a lowered cooling system, lower suspension (8mm at the rear and 15mm at the front) and improved underbody airflow help reduce drag to a Cd of 0.27.

As a result the VW Passat Bluemotion estate manages a combined fuel economy figure of 54.3mpg and emits just 137g/km of CO2.

A new common-rail version of the Passat Bluemotion is on the cards, but for now the engine is still VW’s clattery but efficient 104bhp 1.9-litre pumpe duse diesel.

What’s it like?

As a sensible (and spacious) family car, the VW Passat Bluemotion estate is a fine tool. Its performance won’t set the asphalt alight, but 104bhp and 184lb ft of torque is comfortably enough to keep the VW Passat Bluemotion estate moving along at a brisk pace.

The ride is also surprisingly comfortable and the cabin is decently refined (except for some harsh diesel-sourced vibration through the pedals and gearshift).

Inside the Passat Bluemotion estate is pretty much regular Passat, which means fine-quality materials and sensible, understated design. It really is a very relaxing environment in which to undertake long journeys.

And you can undertake very long journeys; we recorded an average of 50mpg without trying particularly hard.

The only caveat is the slightly uninspiring handling. Although the chassis is grippy and predictable, there’s little excitement to be had.

Should I buy one?

If you want a faithful, comfortable, straightforward car that will swallow the family’s clutter – and big distances – without complaint then the Passat Bluemotion estate is hard to fault. Although perhaps it would be wise to wait for the common-rail diesel engine, which promises even better efficiency and more refinement.

Matt Rigby

Join the debate

Comments
1

12 February 2009

How long before we get a vw bluemotion sirroco.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    1 May 2015
    Vitara shreds its old-school roots to return as a lighter, lower SUV
  • First Drive
    1 May 2015
    Revised diesel 1 Series packs a solid punch but lacks the compelling nature required to merit its premium
  • Jaguar XE
    First Drive
    30 April 2015
    Petrol executive saloons aren't about to outsell their diesel brethren any time soon - but that doesn't mean they're bad cars, as this XE proves.
  • First Drive
    30 April 2015
    The Superb never had a problem with space but for 2015 it gets even more. It's also lighter, cleaner, more frugal and better equipped.
  • First Drive
    27 April 2015
    Whether the original BMW X5 M has diluted the brand is a moot point. However, there's no doubt that this second iteration is a cracking car