The VW Volkswagen Passat GTE is a highly accomplished car and also an appealing one in a much broader sense than the traditional big-performing, high kit-level, volume-brand range-topping saloon.

By combining big-car practicality with an intuitive, refined and highly polished plug-in hybrid powertrain, presenting it at a competitive price level and throwing in the Passat’s familiar quality, desirability and in-car technology, Wolfsburg has created one of the best reasons yet to consider switching from a conventional diesel business saloon to an electrified one.

No great driver’s car, but a worthy range-topping Passat all the same

The GTE’s laid-back pace and its lack of handling bite make it a slightly pallid sports saloon, but as a multi-talented all-rounder, it is very good.

But the market for similar plug-in hybrids has blossomed into a busy niche of cars that look at least as talented as the VW on paper – and which we’ve mostly yet to drive in the UK.

As such, those such as the Audi A3 e-tron, Volvo V60 D5 Twin Engine, Mercedes-Benz C350e and BMW 330e are not ranked, and neither is the Passat in relation.

A proper group test is the only fair way to do so, and it will happen as soon as it can. But until it does, wannabe PHEV saloon owners should rest assured that this Passat will be a strong contender.