From £19,620
Classy, versatile and affordable, with low running costs in diesel guise

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Passat 2011-2014

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

8 August 2005

The sixth-generation VW Passat has already beaten its saloon car rivals in our recent group test (15 March). Now the estate version has arrived, a model VW hopes will make big in-roads into Britain’s fleet car ranks.The front end is already familiar, with its bold chrome grille, but from the B-pillar back the Estate has its own style – and it is genuinely stylish, the gently sloping roof, extended rear side windows and an angled tailgate making it more attractive than the saloon. Unlike some in this class, the rear window does not open independently of the tailgate.Inside, the rear load area is wide and flat, although a little high. Boot space is an impressive 603 litres – a useful 108-litre increase on the old one. It’s also 63 litres more than you’ll find in the Ford Mondeo Estate, 28 litres up on the Honda Accord Tourer and 73 litres over the Vauxhall Vectra Estate. With the rear seats folded, luggage capacity is increased to a massive 1731 litres. Extra storage is available under the floor.The added load space can be attributed to a series of factors. Firstly, the new Passat Estate is 92mm longer, 74mm wider, 19mm higher and rides on a wheelbase that’s grown by 6mm over its predecessor. It also forgoes the longitudinal engine layout of the model it replaces for a more space efficient transverse mounting, allowing the length of the cabin to be extended in the process.Volkswagen’s familiar four-cylinder direct injection petrol units will be available in 115bhp 1.6- and 148bhp 2.0-litre guises. They will be joined by a 250bhp 3.2-litre V6.The big sales are expected to come from a trio of diesels; the familiar 104bhp 1.9-litre along with a pair of 2.0-litre units, delivering 138bhp and 168bhp. The 2.0-litre diesel is the best value, and pushes the Estate to 62mph in 10.1secs and on to 126mph.The Passat Estate has never been a car you’d particularly yearn to own if the money you’re spending is your own. But as a tool for those whose working days are spent on the road it has always made a great deal of sense. And so it is with this version, sharing the same refinement, well-controlled ride and tidy, if not entertaining, handling as the saloon. With prices set to start around £16,000, private buyers should give it some serious thought, too.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK