Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015 – present)

A sensible estate for sensible people, the Passat is practical, comfortable, and efficient

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Well equipped as standard
Comfortable and spacious interior
One of the largest boots of any estate

Weaknesses 

Not especially satisfying to drive
Doesn't have the kudos of other German estates
BiTDI model is an expensive indulgence
Best New Discount

Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate 2.0 bitdi scr r line 4motion 5dr dsg [pan roof]

Total RRP £40,165

Your quote £32,312

You Save £7,853

Volkswagen Passat Estate prices from £10,599  Finance from £158 per month

There are probably two questions anyone thinking of buying a Volkswagen Passat estate will ask themselves. The first is whether or not it gives them a warm glow of pride in the same way that owning an Audi A4 Avant might? The second is whether it is as good value as a Skoda Superb estate?

You see, all three cars are closely related. They share many of the bits that you can’t see in a showroom, from the structure they’re built on to the engines and gearboxes, brakes, and probably all manner of stuff that you could uncover in a game of snap.

Not that this puts people off. More than 30 million Passats have stepped into the line of duty over time, making it one of Europe’s most popular family cars. While in the UK, 57 per cent of Passats sold are estates. It suggests that its formula of classy interiors, plenty of space for growing families and value for money is an appealing one.

This is the eighth generation of Passat. It went on sale in January 2015, and for 2019 there is a facelift in the pipeline, plus some pretty fancy tech upgrades that edge drivers one step closer to becoming redundant. VW will offer a ‘Travel Assist’ feature that gives a fair degree of automated driving, performing many routine driving tasks from a standstill all the way to 130mph.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, though. At its heart this is a discreetly upmarket, practical family car, whether bought new or as a used example.

This means it doesn’t skimp on the basics. In the front, there’s room to stretch out, while the driving position, seat and steering wheel adjust pretty much every which way, meaning drivers of all shapes and sizes should be able to get comfortable.

As for the surrounding environment, this is a first class flight deck that does its best to keep everything clear and within easy reach. It means that despite the Passat’s impressive tally of gadgets and gizmos, you won’t be left fumbling about.

Of particular note is the one thing drivers of modern cars have come to rely on: the touchscreen. In the Passat, the Discover Navigation eight-inch screen boasts clear graphics, intuitive menus and perks such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s possible to upgrade the system to Discover Navigation Pro, with a larger 9.2-inch screen, which brings with it gesture control - where you wave your hand at the screen to perform certain commands - but take it from us, the regular system is all you need.

More practical concerns about where to store odds and sods shows that VW’s interior designers understand the needs of busy families. There are good size door pockets and centre stowage areas and the glovebox can be set to keep drinks cool.

As for the standard of fit and finish, it’s impressive. Better than the Skoda Superb, but not quite on a par with the Audi A4, we don’t think many drivers would find much to grumble about when it comes to the Passat’s feeling of good quality.

In the back seats, the Passat estate plays one of its long-held ace cards: there’s masses of room. A Skoda Superb might just edge it, but this is a bigger car than, say, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo’s much-improved V60. So children in big, bulky childseats will be easily accommodated, and there’s even the option of integrated childseats, in place of the Isofix childseat mounts, on the two outer chairs. Or, as a treat, optional heated seats.

The boot is just as accommodating. With 650 litres of luggage space, or 1,950 litres when the back seats are folded down, it’s as good as the same size as the Skoda Superb’s cargo deck. And with flat sides, stowage areas, luggage hooks and seats that split and fold 40/20/40, it’s more than ready to be challenged with bikes, furniture or, better still, family holidays.

With a plug-in hybrid model - now no longer available new - plus one petrol engine and a choice of three diesel units, the Passat Estate probably delivers what most family car buyers need and at the budget they can afford. These come with either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a seven-speed automatic, depending on the version.

The diesel engines aren’t the smoothest around, but they get on with the job in a determined fashion and the Passat is, generally speaking, a relaxing car to drive, making it especially good at long-distance journeys.

VW dropped the plug-in hybrid version of the Passat from the range, which means anyone looking for a brand new model with low CO2 and good fuel economy will be best off with the 1.6 or 2.0-litre TDI engines. Our money would be on the popular 2.0-litre, 150hp diesel.

Four-wheel drive is only available with the Alltrak off-road model, priced from £37,000, or the flagship, 2.0-litre biturbo diesel engine, which takes the cost to a hefty £39,500 new.

Last Updated 

Friday, June 14, 2019 - 10:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years
Boot size: 
650 litres
Width: 
2083mm
Length: 
4767mm
Height: 
1516mm
Tax: 
£145 to £530

Volkswagen Passat History 

January 2015 UK deliveries of saloon and estate begin with prices starting from £22,215. Diesel engines (1.6, 2.0 and 2.0-litre bi-turbo) only and in S, SE, SE Business, GT and R-Line trims.

June 2015 Frugal 1.6 BlueMotion diesel arrives promising 78mpg

August 2016 VW Passat GTE PHEV (plug-in hybrid) arrives with prices starting at £34,025 after plug-in grant

July 2017 Petrol engine range is launched, with 1.4-litre TSI 125hp and 150hp plus the potent 2.0-litre TSI 220hp.

January 2018 Subtle equipment upgrades across the Passat family, including LED headlights and a smartphone mirroring system.

Understanding Volkswagen Passat car names 

  • Passat
  • Engine
    2.0 TDI
  • Trim
    SE Business
  • Gearbox
    DSG
  • Engine
    The figure ‘2.0’ is the size of the engine in litres (there’s a 1.6 diesel engine and a 1.5 petrol, too), while ‘TDI’ tells you it’s a diesel. ‘SCR’ stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction, VW’s emissions-treatment technology. The figure ‘150’ is the engine’s power rating in horsepower, which can also be referred to as PS.
  • Trim
    The trim level of a car lets you know how much equipment is included as standard. The higher the level, the more gadgets you get and the more that you pay. SE Business is the most popular within the estate range.
  • Gearbox
    Volkswagen's automatic gearbox is known as a DSG. If there's no mention of this, then the car most likely has a manual gearbox.

Volkswagen Passat Engines 

Diesel: 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDI 150 SCR, 2.0 TDI 190 SCR, 2.0 BiTDI SCR
Petrol: 1.5 TSI EVO

The Passat estate’s most popular model is the mid-range 2.0 TDI with 150hp. It’s easy to see why; it provides a good balance of fuel economy and get-up-and-go, and road tax is £170 in the first year.

The lower-powered 1.6 TDI has price on its side but little else. It will feel strained when tasked with hauling a fully laden car, and this in turn will see its fuel economy fall as you’ll need to work it hard to make fair progress.

Step up to the 2.0 TDI 190 and you’ll have all the performance you’ll need. But whether or not it represents good value compared with the 150 version is for you to decide. The most powerful BiTDI is undoubtedly quick, and comes with four-wheel drive, but the cost is prohibitive and we don’t think many family car drivers particularly desire a high-performance diesel.

All 2.0 TDI diesel engines use the same AdBlue technology to clean up exhaust emissions. It means that, at around 4,500 miles (varying according to driving style) a special AdBlue solution has to be topped up. It’s something that’s easy to do at most petrol stations, or a VW dealer can do this on your behalf, though you’ll have to pay to fill this up.

 

Engine

Fuel

Economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.5 TSI EVO

Petrol

51.4mpg

150hp

8.6 secs

135mph

1.6 TDI 120

Diesel

70.6mpg

120hp

10.8 secs

128mph

2.0 TDI 150 SCR

Diesel

67.3mpg

150hp

8.7 secs

137mph

2.0 TDI 190 SCR

Diesel

60.1mpg

190hp

7.5 secs

146mph

2.0 TDI 240 SCR 4Motion

Diesel

49.6mpg

240hp

6.1 secs

149mph

Volkswagen Passat Trims 

S, SE Business, GT, Alltrak, R-Line

As the estate, all models come with four tie-hooks in the boot and a plastic protector for the loading sill. The entry-level S trim is reasonably well equipped with features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air-conditioning, an eight-inch colour screen, trip computer, digital radio and USB connection and cable. Car Net, which includes Apple Car Play or Android Auto, is also thrown in.

SE Business courts fleet drivers with lots of extras including 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, sat nav, climate control, heated washer jets and a rain sensor, and valuable driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control. There’s also a ski-flap, in the back seat for loading long items through without having to drop the seat.

GT gives the Passat estate a slightly more sporty appearance. There are 18-inch alloy wheels, part-leather seats with Alcantara suede-effect trim and a panoramic glass roof. For peace of mind, there’s also a full-size spare wheel.

For the budding adventurer, Alltrak trim provides self-sealing tyres, raised suspension (by 27mm), a rugged styling pack, four-wheel drive, a multifunction display and dedicated off-road driving modes, which include hill descent control.

The flagship R-Line trim offers the most racy look of all the Passats. Whether or not that’s what buyers of this type of family car want is debatable, but nonetheless there are sports seats, plenty of R-Line logos and a sports steering wheel, as well as adaptive LED headlights.

Volkswagen Passat Reliability and warranty 

It feels like a quality product in the showroom but the experience of owners suggests there’s room for improvement beneath the surface.  The previous version of the Passat has been placed close to the bottom of the Auto Express Driver Power survey, with it rated 142 out of 150 cars for reliability. In terms of build quality, owners rated it lower still at 146. Its three year and 60,000 mile warranty is nothing special.

Used Volkswagen Passat 

There are currently 143 Volkswagen Passat Estates available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £10,599 to £34,477 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £158 per month.

The 1.6 TDI S may be the cheapest version you'll find, but as described earlier, it’s best avoided. The impressive all-round 2.0 TDI 150 is the best buy, and because of its popularity there is no shortage of models to choose from on the used market.

The rugged Passat estate Alltrak is quite a rare machine, meaning used prices are surprisingly high, starting from around £17,000 on BuyaCar.

Rarer still is the Passat estate GTE. It was only on sale for a couple of years, and combined an electric motor with a 1.4-litre petrol engine to produce strong performance and low emissions figures in the official tests that every new car goes through. As a plug-in hybrid, its batteries can be charged either by the engine and regenerative braking, or from a household socket or dedicated charging point. Unfortunately, with so few used examples available, the cheapest we found at the time of writing was £24,000.

Volkswagen Passat Prices

Volkswagen Passat GT

1.5 tsi evo 150 gt 5dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,715

You could save up to: £6550

1.5 tsi evo 150 gt 5dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,123

You could save up to: £6742

2.0 bitdi scr gt 4motion 5dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £31,436

You could save up to: £7734

2.0 tdi gt 5dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 67.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £24,576

You could save up to: £6804

2.0 tdi gt 5dr dsg [panoramic roof] [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,984

You could save up to: £6996

2.0 tdi scr 190 gt 5dr dsg[panoramic rf] [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 60.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £27,172

You could save up to: £7158

Volkswagen Passat R Line

1.5 tsi evo 150 r line 5dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £23,767

You could save up to: £6693

1.5 tsi evo 150 r line 5dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,175

You could save up to: £6885

2.0 bitdi scr r line 4motion 5dr dsg [pan roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,312

You could save up to: £7853

2.0 tdi r line 5dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 67.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £25,628

You could save up to: £6947

2.0 tdi r line 5dr dsg [panoramic roof] [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £27,036

You could save up to: £7139

2.0 tdi scr 190 r line 5dr dsg [pan rf] [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 60.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £28,224

You could save up to: £7301

Volkswagen Passat S

1.5 tsi evo 150 s 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,389

You could save up to: £6096

1.5 tsi evo 150 s 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £20,814

You could save up to: £6291

1.6 tdi s 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £21,686

You could save up to: £6409

2.0 tdi s 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,268

You could save up to: £6352

2.0 tdi s 5dr dsg [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,676

You could save up to: £6544

Volkswagen Passat SE Business

1.5 tsi evo 150 se business 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,964

You could save up to: £6311

1.5 tsi evo 150 se business 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,390

You could save up to: £6505

2.0 tdi se business 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,843

You could save up to: £6567

2.0 tdi se business 5dr dsg [7 speed]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,251

You could save up to: £6759

Other Editions