The new VW Passat certainly looks smart. It’s got superior tech and will be an even better company car proposition. As it uses the same engines and architecture as the latest Golf we can also assume that it will be far better to drive than the outgoing car.

The question is how many of us will actually yearn to own one? 

Fact is that this sector of the market is in the doldrums in the UK. Mondeo Man is now running around in a car from the class below, an SUV, or something else entirely. In fact, I was shocked to discover that both the Golf or the Focus outsell the ‘Passat’ class on their own. So a Focus outsells the Passat, Mazda 6, Mondeo, Insignia, Peugeot 508 and the rest combined. 

Mind you, the ‘mid-sized sedan’ is still a staple of US sales where hundreds of thousands of them are sold and where the domestic makers, Japanese and Koreans dominate the market. Of course, VW also makes and sells its own US-flavoured Passat there.