There’s precious little added spice to the standard VW Volkswagen Passat’s dynamic recipe here, but while that may be disappointing, it’s also understandable.
There are plenty of hybrid cars on the market whose dependence on low-resistance tyres to even approach their claimed economy in real-world use markedly hampers their ability to hold the road with conviction. For evidence of that, look no further than the Kia Niro.
In light of that, the Passat GTE’s impression of a perfectly competent and well-rounded but not desperately keen-handling family saloon might actually be applauded.
The GTE came to us on the same-sized wheels and exactly the same specification of tyre as those fitted to the diesel Passat we tested last year.
Wolfsburg claims the car’s suspension gets particularly sporty tuning, but you wouldn’t really know it. Moreover, you can feel the effect of that 169kg payload of battery, electric motor and power electronic ballast in the low-frequency lope of the car’s ride, which gradually gathers into slightly dubious vertical body control when you extend the GTE over testing back roads. There’s also an occasionally brittle edge to the secondary wheel control.
The car’s handling response is good, however. Although grip is balanced to prioritise stability over directional agility when push comes to shove, you can certainly harry the car along through corners as hardas you’re likely to want to on the road, with the tyres hanging on to an intended path keenly enough.