Volkswagen Passat (2015-present)

The Volkswagen Passat is a sensible choice: comfortable, efficient, well equipped and surprisingly practical

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Impressive level of safety and luxury kit as standard
Powerful, economical and smooth diesel engines
Understated, well made feel

Weaknesses 

Not as fun to drive as rival cars
Cheapest car feels spartan
Few choices of petrol engine
Best New Discount

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

Total RRP £37,835

Your quote £30,040

You Save £7,795

If Volkswagen Passats went on holiday, they would go to an all-inclusive beachfront hotel where they would sip their free cocktails by the pool. On a break that’s good value for money but not cheap; with plenty of choice but little adventure.

Much, come to mention it, like the car itself. It’s the sensible option for any family: big inside, with a large boot at the back: smooth on the road and quiet too. It's all wrapped up in quality materials and a modern design for a reasonable price. It does everything you'd want from a car - as long as you're not looking for a great deal of individuality.

As a saloon car, it might not look as practical as a larger hatchback like the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia, but its split rear seats do fold down, so you can push larger items through into the car, while leaving one seat for a passenger.

It’s not as versatile as crossovers such as the Nissan Qashqai, VW Tiguan or Seat Ateca, which blend the mechanical parts from cars such as the Passat with a higher driving position, for a comfortable and economical drive, but with increased practicality.

Its interior features high-quality materials, although lower-order trims are a little gloomy and understated. The cabin is roomy and easily capable of seating four adults in comfort.

The boot is a class-leading 586 litres – and that’s before you push down the 60:40 split rear seat-backs, which increase capacity to 1,152 litres. A Nissan Qashqai’s seats-down boot volume is 1585 litres but all the same, it’s impressive for a saloon.

The Passat rides comfortably and is quiet over most surfaces. At all times it feels stable and composed, and doesn’t lean too much in corners. However, for a sharper driving experience you need to look to the Mazda 6.

All but one of the engines is a diesel. They range from a 120bhp 1.6 litre to a 240bhp 2.0 litre and are smooth, quiet, economical and relaxing to drive. The sweet spot is the 150bhp 2.0 litre. There’s a petrol-electric hybrid badged GTE that can do a claimed 166mpg, although expect 55mpg in real-world use. It can enter London’s congestion charge zone for free, so has its appeal.

The best value lies in SE Business trim with its sat nav and good package of driver assist systems. Higher trims have more gadgets but will lose value more quickly, making the cost of owning and financing them more expensive.

Last Updated 

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 13:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years
Boot size: 
586 litres
Width: 
1832mm
Length: 
4767mm
Height: 
1456mm
Tax (min to max): 
£0 to £145

Best Volkswagen Passat for... 

VW Passat GTE 1.4 TSI DSG
The GTE is a plug-in hybrid that can do up to 166mpg and emits just 39g/km CO2. It can even travel up to 31 miles on electric power alone. So it’s cheap to run, although expect more like 55mpg in motorway driving, on a par with the 190hp 2.0 TDI engine.
VW Passat 2.0 TDI 150 SE Business
SE Business brings a sat nav and valuable driver assist systems. The 150hp engine provides a good balance of power and economy, and the DSG gearbox makes long drives more relaxing.
VW Passat 2.0 BiTDI DSG 4Motion GT
This is the fastest accelerating Passat from 0-62mph but, more importantly, when you're already moving and want to go faster to overtake. It would all be a bit of handful but for the fact that it’s four-wheel drive, which helps makes it grippier when you're accelerating.
VW Passat 1.6 TDI S
This least powerful and least well-equipped Passat might look a tempting proposition to someone on a budget but over the long-term is likely to be a frustrating choice for those very reasons. Buy a nearly new 150bhp 2.0 TDI instead.

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.

Understanding Volkswagen Passat car names 

  • Passat
  • Engine
    2.0 TDI BMT 150
  • Trim level
    SE Business
  • Gearbox
    DSG
  • Engine
    The figure ‘2.0’ is the size of the engine in litres (there’s a 1.6 engine and a 1.4, too), while ‘TDI’ tells you it’s a diesel. ‘BMT’ stands for BlueMotion Technology, VW’s term for its energy-saving technologies that include engine start/stop, low resistance tyres. The figure ‘150’ is the engine’s power rating in horsepower, which can also be written as PS.
  • Trim level
    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.
  • Gearbox
    Volkswagen's automatic gearbox is known as a DSG. If there's no mention of this, then the car is probably a manual version.

Volkswagen Passat Engines 

Diesel: 1.6 TDI SCR, 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDI, 2.0 TDI SCR, 2.0 BiTDI SCR
Hybrid: 1.4 GTE PHEV

The Passat saloon is a mostly-diesel range with the mid-range 150bhp 2.0 TDI the most popular version. This engine provides a good balance of economy and performance, so much so that it’s available in all trims.

The lower-powered 1.6 TDI has price on its side but little else. A cleaner and more frugal version, the 1.6 TDI SCR uses an additive to reduce emissions. However, you will need to occasionally top up a tank with a substance called AdBlue.

The higher-powered 190bhp and 240bhp 2.0 TDI engines use the same AdBlue technology. The most powerful of the two provides exhilarating overtaking performance and is only available with 4Motion four-wheel drive. However, it’s far from frugal making the 190bhp a better all-round performance alternative.

The vastly more expensive GTE combines 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. It’s a plug-in hybrid meaning its batteries can be charged either by the engine and regenerative braking, or from a remote power socket.

Powered purely by its batteries it can travel up to 31 miles before the petrol engine is needed to take over. For short journeys, you're likely to use very little - or no - fuel if the car is charged up. Biut on longer journeys, fuel economy falls to a fairly standard 55mpg, as the car's engine is doing most of the work. It is exempt from the London congestion charge andqualifies for a low business tax rate.

Volkswagen Passat Trims 

Basic S trim is reasonably well equipped with features such as air-conditioning, a 6.5-inch colour screen and a digital radio. SE Business courts fleet drivers with lots of extras including a sat nav and valuable driver assist systems.

GT is the luxury one with Alcantara trim, larger wheels and a panoramic roof. R-Line adds sporty detailing. All-wheel-drive 4Motion versions have Dynamic Chassis Control and full LED lighting.

Note that not all engines are available in all trims. The 1.6 TDI is offered with S, SE Business and GT trims but not R-Line. The higher-powered diesels are only available with GT and R-Line. The exception is the 150bhp 2.0 TDI which is available in all trims.

BlueMotion trim is confusing because, with the exception of the GTE, the Passat’s engines are called BlueMotion, too. As a trim it is offered only with the 1.6 TDI where it brings lowered sport suspension and an extra 6mpg over the 1.6 TDI S. Bluemotion engines are so-called because they feature fuel-saving technologies.

As standard, the GTE model has more gadgets while in Advance trim it has a larger screen, a sat nav and even more technology.

Volkswagen Passat Reliability and warranty 

The Passat’s doors close with a reassuring thunk, cabin materials feel premium and the paint appears to be deep. However, the Passat hasn't got the greatest track record of reliability. Owners pushed the previous version of the car close to the bottom of the Auto Express Driver Power survey last year, where is was ranked 142 out of 150 cars for reliability. In terms of build quality, they rated it lower still at 146.

Only time will tell whether the current Passat can improve on these low scores. Its three year and 60,000 mile warranty is typical of most car makers.

Used Volkswagen Passat 

Buyers are turning away from the Passat, in favour of taller crossover and SUV cars, which offer a higher driving position and more space inside, even if they are generally less smooth and stable over bumps.

To appeal to more buyers, you'll find big VW Passat discounts on new cars, which pushes the price of used models down. The Volkswagen badge means that it still remains more desirable than rival cars, though, so prices aren't t bargain-basement levels.

The underpowered 1.6 TDI S will be the cheapest version you'll find, but best value may be the higher-powered and better-equipped models, which lose more of their value as they get older.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Price

£35,245

£28,716

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Passat 2.0 BiTDI DSG 4Motion GT

Save

18.5%

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-

-

Best for families

Price

£25,045

£20,527

£18,390

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Passat 2.0 TDI SE Business

Save

18%

26.6%

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Best for economy

Price

£36,525

£29,005

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Passat GTE 1.4 TSI PHEV DSG

Save

20.6%

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Volkswagen Passat Prices

Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion

1.6 tdi bluemotion 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 76.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,272

You could save up to: £5733

Volkswagen Passat GT

1.4 tsi 150 gt 4dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,685

You could save up to: £6210

1.4 tsi 150 gt 4dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,089

You could save up to: £6406

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

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,417

You could save up to: £7423

2.0 tdi gt 4dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,576

You could save up to: £6474

2.0 tdi gt 4dr dsg [panoramic roof] [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £23,980

You could save up to: £6670

2.0 tdi scr 190 gt 4dr dsg[panoramic rf] [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 60.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,165

You could save up to: £6835

Volkswagen Passat R Line

1.4 tsi 150 r line 4dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,484

You could save up to: £6606

1.4 tsi 150 r line 4dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,888

You could save up to: £6802

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

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £30,040

You could save up to: £7795

2.0 tdi r line 4dr [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £23,375

You could save up to: £6870

2.0 tdi r line 4dr dsg [panoramic roof] [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,779

You could save up to: £7066

2.0 tdi scr 190 r line 4dr dsg [pan rf] [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 60.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,963

You could save up to: £7232

2.0 tsi r line 4dr dsg [panoramic roof]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 44.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £26,192

You could save up to: £7258

Volkswagen Passat S

1.4 tsi 150 s 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,743

You could save up to: £2372

1.4 tsi 150 s 4dr dsg

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,165

You could save up to: £2570

1.4 tsi s 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,932

You could save up to: £2258

1.6 tdi s 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,645

You could save up to: £2500

2.0 tdi s 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,632

You could save up to: £2638

2.0 tdi s 4dr dsg [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,056

You could save up to: £2834

Volkswagen Passat SE Business

1.4 tsi 150 se business 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,189

You could save up to: £5716

1.4 tsi 150 se business 4dr dsg

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £20,611

You could save up to: £5914

2.0 tdi se business 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,078

You could save up to: £5982

2.0 tdi se business 4dr dsg [7 speed]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,502

You could save up to: £6178