What is it?
Volkswagen announced earlier this year it would be replacing its older Highline, Sport and R-Line specifications with new Executive and Executive Style packages.
That means this model comes with DAB radio, leather multi-function steering wheel, heated front seats, cruise control, all-round parking sensors and dual-zone climate control granted with Executive trim, as well as the 15mm lowered sports suspension, 18-inch alloys and tinted rear glass which comes with top-spec Executive Style guise.
It should also appeal to company car drivers, with this Passat slotting into the same field as the likes of Ford's Mondeo Business Edition, launched last year. That car cost £833 annually at 20 per cent BIK, and £1666 at 40 per cent. The Passat, meanwhile, comes out at £1100 at 20 per cent, and £2,201 at 40 per cent.
In total, the retail package costs £29,310 if you also opt for the six-speed DSG transmission. However, extras including metallic paintwork, VW's Park Assist system and an upgraded infotainment package took the total price of our test car to just over £32,000. A pricey package, then, but the Passat estate has been seen as something of a benchmark by which rivals like the Hyundai i40 estate, Skoda Superb estate and Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer are judged. Question is, then, whether the Passat still deserves its class crown?