Biggest VW car by class

VW is one of the world’s biggest car makers and offers everything from city cars to supersized vans – these are its largest cars

Chris Rosamond
Dec 10, 2020

The Volkswagen group (VW is part of the same company as Audi and Porsche among a number of other brands) vies with Toyota for the number one slot in the global car-building charts, churning out an incredible 11-million-or-so vehicles every year.

That means the company makes cars and trucks in almost every category of vehicle imaginable, and the tally includes all the VW Group-owned brands like Audi, Skoda and Seat, as well as luxury brands from Bentley to Porsche.

This round-up of the biggest and best vehicles sold in the UK with VW badges provides a great illustration of the wide range of vehicles available just from the parent brand, Volkswagen.

We’ve listed the range-topping models in a broad range of categories, so if you want to know what the biggest VW hatchback, saloon or SUV is and just how much car you could get for your money, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve also included categories for people carriers, pick-ups and vans, so that every larget type of VW is covered.

As you’d expect from a company with a reputation for practicality and efficiency, the biggest VW cars, SUVs, pick-ups and vans are some of the most versatile and desirable around, with options that prioritise passenger space, luggage room and some that offer a substantial amount of both.

The biggest VW cars

1. Volkswagen Passat

Largest VW saloon

Used deals from £8,000
Monthly finance from £186*

The Volkswagen Passat has been around for donkey’s years in a number of different forms and the current model is the eighth generation of the German brand's large saloon, so VW has obviously been doing something right.

The model remains in the line-up today in spite of the advance of fashionable SUVs and more practical people carriers, not to mention the increasing popularity of more upmarket models like the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, which many company drivers aspire to.

The Passat’s recipe for success still appeals though. It’s a large, classy saloon car with handsome if conservative looks, a very roomy interior that’s capable of transporting five adults long distances in comfort, and a large practical boot. The Passat has a luggage volume of 586 litres, which beats the BMW 3 Series by more than 20%, and VW’s excellent technology and build quality means that the Passat gives little away to those more expensive rivals aside from a less flashy badge.

There’s a wide range of engine options in the Passat line-up, including diesel, petrol, hybrid and four-wheel drive versions, and the Passat was updated in 2019 with LED headlamps and semi-autonomous driving aids among the list of improvements. You can grab a nearly new example from around £20,000 or just £280 per month - very little for a high-quality car of this size.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Volkswagen Arteon

Largest VW hatchback

Used deals from £17,490
Monthly finance from £269*

The Volkswagen Arteon shares the platform it's built around with the Passat saloon above, but it gives up some of its more sober-suited sibling's practicality in exchange for styling that’s much more sleek - in fact for sensible VW its dashing design is a bit of a departure from the norm.

The Arteon needs to look the part because it’s VW’s rival for coupe-style hatchback models from upmarket brands, so it has the Audi A5 Sportback (which shares engines, in-car tech and numerous other features with the Arteon) and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe in its sights.

The interior isn’t quite as swish as the exterior from a design perspective, but it’s beautifully built and crammed with the latest electronic tech and safety systems. Importantly for families, the biggest VW hatchback also retains much of the Passat’s practicality.

Sure, headroom is not quite as substantial in the rear due to that sloping roof but it’s still admirable, while the boot is a whopping 563 litres - loads more than the 480 litres in the BMW and Audi rivals - and you get a hatchback, so loading large items is easier than with the Passat saloon above, which has a smaller boot opening.

VOLKSWAGEN ARTEON BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Passat Estate

Largest VW estate

Used deals from £11,500
Monthly finance from £223*

The VW Passat Estate offers all the sophisticated pleasures of its saloon car sister-model above, but adds even more practicality to an already impressive range of features.

In fact the only real difference between the two is the additional metal at the rear, as the Passat’s sloping rear windscreen and boot lid have been replaced by a massive load-bay accessed by a wide-opening tailgate missing from the Passat saloon.

The estate car treatment turns the already roomy Passat into a machine with a massive appetite for luggage. The rear compartment offers a hefty volume of 650 litres with the rear seats in place, which rises to 1,780 litres if you fold down the 60:40-split rear seat backs. It's bigger than pretty much every rival, apart from the Skoda Superb Estate - a closely related VW Group car that has a slightly less plush feel, but slightly more luggage space. Like Passat saloon models, the Passat Estate is available with petrol, diesel and hybrid power.

If you need the space but are on a tight budget, we have 2015 examples available on BuyaCar starting from under £10,000 or around £160 per month on PCP finance. A nearly new Passat Estate will set you back closer to £20,000 or £280 per month for an entry-level 1.6-litre SE diesel, giving you plenty of choice, depending how much you have to spend.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volkswagen Touareg

Largest VW SUV

Used deals from £19,997
Monthly finance from £381*

Since the first VW Touareg off-roader arrived in the early ‘noughties, notably sharing much of its basic technology and engineering with the more sporty Porsche Cayenne, VW has added multiple SUVs to its line-up. You can now get VW SUVs in a range of sizes from the smallest T-Roc and T-Cross models, to the medium-size Tiguan and of course the Touareg, which remains the largest and most luxurious.

The big off-roader is one of VW’s flagship models, and the third-generation model launched in 2019 offers an impressive level of technology and luxury, including the optional Innovision Cockpit which blends a 12.3-inch digital instrument display with a 15-inch touchscreen media system for a truly space-age feel.

VW has boldly refused to add a third row of seats to the Touareg, so there are absolutely no compromises for the five seats that are available, with occupants able to stretch out in total comfort. This means the boot is absolutely huge, too, with a jaw-dropping 810 litres on offer when you raise the tailgate - a BMW X5 has only 650.

With tonnes of driving aids, luxurious cabin finishes and the choice of powerful V6 petrol and diesel engines, driving a Touareg doesn’t come particularly cheap. Nearly new examples start from around £38,000 on BuyaCar, but you can slash that down to around £550 per month with PCP finance.

VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Volkswagen Sharan

Largest VW people carrier

Used deals from £19,970
Monthly finance from £331*

VW hasn’t paid much attention to its full-size people carrier over the years, arguably because it hasn’t needed to. The current model was launched all the way back in 2010 - a long time ago in car years - and although updated in 2015 the Sharan continues to be a solid choice for families and business users who need to carry seven people and luggage.

The strengths of the Sharan are undiminished by time because they’re mostly to do with its boxy design and practical accommodation. It was never the flashiest people carrier around, and while very well built and pleasantly relaxing to drive, the Sharan has never needed to handle corners like a sports car.

Instead, the tasks the biggest VW people carrier was built to accomplish are still fulfilled very effectively. It has a superbly spacious interior, and one that’s hugely adaptable. The middle row of seats slides backwards and forward to optimise rear legroom or boot space, and all the chairs collapse into the floor to provide an enormous 2,297-litre load space. With all the seats folding independently, you can choose any combination of passenger and boot space.

A range of petrol and diesel engine options have been offered over the years, and while a nearly new Sharan will set you back well over £30,000, you can pick up a low mileage 2015 car from a much more affordable £12,000 or so or around £220 per month.

VOLKSWAGEN SHARAN BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volkswagen Amarok

Largest VW pickup

Used deals from £17,995
Monthly finance from £423*

VW arrived fairly late to the fashionable double-cab four-wheel drive pick-up market, but when it came in 2010 the Amarok delivered everything fans of the VW brand hoped it would... except that its small 2.0-litre diesel engine felt a little underpowered.

That was fixed in 2017 when an update introduced a beefy 3.0-litre diesel replacement and transformed the Amarok’s appeal. All 3.0-litre models are punchy and smooth to drive, while top-spec 258hp versions are faster off the mark than some sports cars.

It’s still a commercial vehicle at heart, and while the Amarok is lavishly equipped to appeal to those who like the style of a pick-up and business users who might otherwise consider an SUV, the handling around corners is more wallowy and less precise than the best off-roaders. The ride can be bumpy, too, unless you’re taking advantage of the 1,154kg load capacity with a pallet of bricks in the pick-up bed, which smooths out the firm suspension.

It’s one of the classier pick-up options around, though, with styling that’s a little less brash than most rivals, and the Amarok has a more upmarket feel as a result. You can get older 2.0 -litre versions of VW’s biggest pick-up from around £18,000 on BuyaCar, but the more desirable 3.0-litre versions start at around £22,000.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Crafter

Largest VW van

Used deals from £19,888
Monthly finance from £396*

The biggest model in VW’s van range is the Crafter, which takes on larger commercial vehicle rivals like the Ford Transit, Renault Master and Citroen Relay. New in 2017, it’s one of the most technically advanced vans in its class, with excellent safety kit taken from the car line-up. Features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist and Automatic Emergency Braking are all available as optional extras, and the van driver’s creature comforts are also better than ever with touchscreen media systems, reversing cameras and climate control all available.

As VW’s largest van you’d expect a proper workhorse, and the Crafter won’t let you down. Like many of its rivals, it comes in a confusing array of shapes and sizes, with short, regular and long wheelbases, low, medium and high roofs, as well as single and double cab chassis options for specialist body builders. Whichever version you go for, the Crafter drives very well, feeling much more like a car than a heavy duty machine that can carry all sorts of loads in the back.

Gross vehicle weights range from three to five tonnes, and while most Crafters are front-wheel drive, the heavier five-tonne versions are rear-wheel drive. All are powered by variants of a 2.0-litre 'TDI' diesel engine, with six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic gearboxes available.

You’ll need about £15,000 to get behind the wheel of one of the most impressive vans on UK roads. That's not super cheap, but this is an extremely capable machine for the money.

8. Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle

Largest VW van-based people carrier

Used deals Limited stock

Like many other manufacturers that offer a range of people carriers designed from the ground up as passenger vehicles, VW offers a range of alternative options based on its commercial vehicle range.

The biggest of its van-based people carriers are based on the Transporter van, and you can choose from the more luxurious Caravelle which seats up to eight including the driver, or the more affordable and business-focused Transporter Shuttle.

The Shuttle is the more practical option, as it carries up to nine including the driver. It’s still not exactly cheap - the cachet of the VW badge and its ‘surf bus’ style help to keep cash prices on the high side. However, this desirability also contributes to relatively affordable PCP finance monthly payments, as the vehicle you hand back at the end of the contract is still very valuable.

While the Caravelle offers features such as swivelling seats and fancier trim, the Shuttle feels much more like a van with windows. It's still much more luxurious than most van-based people carriers, though. Both Transporter variants share the same 2.0-litre 'TDI' diesel engine options, so they’re relatively frugal if not exactly fun to drive.

Prices for a two-year-old Shuttle start at around £23,000 on Buyacar but a Caravelle of the same age is a lot more expensive, with prices starting at around £39,000.

VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta Titanium:

Monthly payments over 48 months: £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage allowance: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

Buyacar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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