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Volkswagen Passat Estate Review

Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat

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  • Launched in 2015
  • Estate
  • Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
  • Launch year
    2015
  • Body type
    Estate
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel, PHEV

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00/10
heycar rating
Possibly the best large estate

Best bits

  • First-rate accommodation for passengers and luggage
  • Broad range of engines
  • High quality finish

Not so great

  • Pricier than mainstream alternatives
  • Models with big wheels are less comfortable
  • Skoda Superb is cheaper and even more spacious

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Volkswagen Passat Estate Right Side View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Passat Estate Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Passat Estate Rear Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Passat Estate Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Passat Estate Rear View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"There’s a lot to like about the Passat Estate because it is so competent in so many areas. It’s very spacious, comfortable and well-finished inside. There’s a broad engine range and comprehensive equipment levels. It’s far from the cheapest option but you still feel like you’re getting value for money."

Volkswagen Passat Estate Right Side View

The Volkswagen Passat Estate follows the company’s DNA to the letter: smart and discreet design, interior quality to keep the premium brands awake at night, more engine options than a scrapyard and all with a hefty slice of up-to-the-minute technology. It’s also gained a reputation for being one of the most spacious cars of its type.


Like the Volkswagen Passat saloon, it treads the somewhat typical Volkswagen line of being subtle rather than plain. Specified on small wheels and a dull colour and you can play taxi driver to your heart’s content, but go for an R Line model and the Passat looks posh enough to be compared with the likes of Mercedes-Benz or BMW. 


Step inside, and you’ll likely find the whole layout attractive. You can specify Volkswagen’s 12.3-inch Active Info Display that replaces analogue instruments, while the central infotainment system can be anything between 8-inches and 9.3-inches, depending on the specification you go for. Aside from the fancy tech, you’ll find lots of nice materials and a reassuring solidity to how everything works.


And there’s no shortage of space. Lots of adjustment means you’ll have no trouble getting a comfortable driving position and even if you’re tall, someone of a similar height will have no issue squeezing behind you. Factor in a big and well designed boot and you’ll find little to grumble about when it comes to the Passat Estate’s family car credentials. 


Volkswagen’s also covered all the bases when it comes to engines. On the petrol side the entry-level offering is the 150PS 1.5-litre TSI EVO unit with 150PS, or you can choose from 2.0-litre models with 190 or 272PS. The latter is only available in R-Line Edition trim with four-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox. 


As for diesels, the basic offering is a 120PS 1.6-litre, while you can choose from 2.0-litre models with 150PS, 190PS or 240PS, this final engine coming with four-wheel-drive only. 


If that wasn’t enough, Volkswagen also sells the Passat as a plug-in hybrid called the Volkswagen Passat GTE. Its petrol engine and electric motor combine to offer 218PS and its ability to run for around 40 miles on electric power alone can slash your running costs if you have a short commute and somewhere to charge the car.


It’s worth noting that the Passat’s engine range has changed considerably since the car went on sale in 2015 so you’ll find even more variation on the used market. 


The Passat Estate’s drive is similarly comprehensive. It’s quiet and comfortable – though larger-wheeled models are firmer – has plenty of grip in corners and, while it won’t immerse you with it’s engaging driving experience, this is a car you can drive quickly with confidence. 


So the Passat feels like a premium car, has great tech, a practical interior, a large range of engines and strikes a near perfect balance between being comfortable and reassuring to drive. As a result of all this, it deserves a place on your short list if you’re looking to buy a large family car. 

Is the Passat Estate right for you?

If you’re in the market for an estate car of this size then it’s safe to assume that having a lot of passenger and boot space is a big part of the decision-making process, and on that front the Passat is only bettered by the Skoda Superb. 


Like the Skoda, the Volkswagen feels very well built. Most of the interior is made from soft-touch plastics, you get plenty of pretty trim pieces to choose from and you’ll love the logical layout that means operating the Passat’s various systems becomes second nature in seconds. 


Okay, so it’s a little pricier than the Skoda, but then Volkswagen counters that by offering cutting edge tech not offered in the Superb in terms of infotainment and self-driving technology.


Factor in an engine range that covers everything from cheap to buy, economical to run, quick or great in town and, it’s fair to say, there are few significant chinks to be found in the Passat’s armour.

What’s the best Passat Estate model/engine to choose?

With so many engine options you should be able to find one that has the right balance of performance and economy to suit your budget as well as your needs. 


The 120PS 1.6-litre diesel is adequate, but if you’ll regularly have the car fully loaded the 150PS 2.0-litre diesel leaves you plenty of power in reserve. 


Don’t fancy diesel? Then try the 150PS 1.5-litre petrol – it’s a smooth and spritely performer which is packed with clever technology that makes it surprisingly frugal on fuel. 


As for trim levels, the basic SE isn’t short on equipment. It has adaptive cruise control that can accelerate and brake for you, automatic emergency brakes, bright LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. Its 6.5-inch touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can use your phone’s apps – including its navigation – on the car’s big screen.

What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Passat?

As is frequently the way with Volkswagen Group products, the Passat’s key rival is an in-house product in the form of Skoda Superb Estate. It’s even more spacious than the Passat, has an excellent standard specification and is solidly built too. You’ll also pay less for the equivalent car, although the quality and the driving experience aren’t quite as high level as the Passat’s, though it gets achingly close.


Outside the Volkswagen products, Ford’s Mondeo Estate and Vauxhall’s Insignia Sports Tourer are also mainstream rivals that are quite popular choices, while the pricier Volvo V90 feels even posher inside than the Volkswagen. 

Learn more

Volkswagen Passat Estate Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Passat Estate Rear Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Passat Estate Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Passat Estate Rear View

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What is the most efficient version of the Passat Estate?

The Passat GTE is one of the quickest versions, yet also one of the most frugal too. How? Well, it’s a plug-in hybrid, so it comes with an on-board electric motor and battery pack that need recharging from a wall socket or public station. Combined with a gutsy 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, this system has a combined output of 215PS, but emits just 39g/km of CO2.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Does the Passat Estate make a good used car?

Passat Estates are often used as workhorses, so the most popular used models are diesels that will often have covered many miles, so if your budget allows, then we would opt for the 2.0-litre model in at least SE trim, since the entry-level 1.6 TDI in S trim is not the smoothest.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

What is the difference between the Alltrack and the standard Estate?

The Alltrack model bridges the gap between the Passat and Volkswagen’s SUVs with a standard four-wheel drive system, automatic gearbox, raised suspension, and tough exterior styling that includes extra underbody protection and plastics cladding around the wheels.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

What size is the boot on the Passat Estate?

Few cars can carry as much as a Passat in estate guise, and the latest model is no exception, with a 650-litre capacity with the rear seats up. That amount swells to 1780 litres with the back bench folded, although the four-wheel drive Alltrack can’t carry quite as much.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

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