The latest Volkswagen Passat has this year alone notched up sales of more than 16,500 cars in the UK (YTD, Oct 2016), and retains its position as the third-highest selling Volkswagen here; proving particularly popular, as it does, with business and fleet customers.
The Passat saloon is available in a choice of five trim levels: S, BlueMotion, SE Business, GT, and R-Line, while the hybrid engined Passat GTE is offered in standard and Advance trim. In estate form the car is offered with the addition of the all-wheel drive Alltrack trim.
And it’s the estate version of Volkswagen’s familiar family transporter that accounts for the majority of sales, at just over 57%, with the comprehensively equipped SE Business leading the way.
In estate or saloon silhouette this best-selling model is equipped with 17-inch ‘London’ alloy wheels and Volkswagen’s Discover Navigation system, which adds satellite navigation and includes a 6.5-inch colour touch-screen control system. The SE Business trim also features Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which helps to avoid accidents by keeping the car at a safe distance from the traffic ahead. ACC uses a radar sensor to automatically adjust the speed by braking and accelerating, taking the stress out of driving. Front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and a rain sensor increase the equipment count still further, while fog lights and tinted windows ensure the SE Business looks the part, too.
Also proving popular with UK buyers is the models’ sporty and luxurious GT trim. With 3Zone climate control and the high-resolution dash-mounted Active Info Display headlining the list of standard equipment, it’s clear why Volkswagen customers see the inherent appeal of the Passat GT. The GT also features LED rear lights, 18-inch ‘Oxford’ alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof.
A crucial aspect that makes the Passat particularly attractive is the wide line-up of all-diesel engines, which span capacities of between 1.6 litres and 2.0 litres with outputs of between 120 PS and 240 PS. The top of the range 2.0-litre 240 PS Bi-turbo diesel engine also brings 4MOTION all-wheel drive to the Passat GT and Passat R-Line.
Other engine options available for the Passat include the 1.6-litre TDI with 120 PS that powers the BlueMotion model. This engine emits just 95 g/km* of CO₂ and reaches 76.3 mpg* on the combined cycle. A similar 1.6-litre TDI is available across the rest of the range, and this motor ranges from 104 g/km to 109 g/km. Stepping up a level, the 2.0-litre 150 PS engine is also available across the Passat range, while the powerful 190 PS engine is available in GT and R-Line trims. In total the Passat can be powered by a choice of five diesel engines and is also available in plug-in petrol/electric hybrid form via the Passat GTE.
The broad Passat range covers all areas of the executive saloon market. The Passat GTE, which opened for order in August this year, blends a high performance petrol engine with cutting edge electric drive technology to give a combined range of up to 660 miles. The immediate torque of the electric motor propels the Passat GTE to 62 mph in just 7.6 seconds, while its maximum speed where the law permits is 140 mph.
Meanwhile the rugged yet refined Passat Estate Alltrack, which went on sale in the UK in June 2015, has proved popular too. With its 4MOTION all-wheel drive, increased ground clearance (up by 27.5 mm) and off-road suspension, it’s designed further broaden the already generous capabilities of the car. A choice of a 150 PS or a 190 PS engine underline its versatility, while styling cues such as redesigned front and rear bumpers, plus hill descent assistance, combine to make the Alltrack a capable companion on city street or rural track.
One of the defining features of the Passat family is its multitude of advanced safety features. This includes an optional extendable head-up display, which reduces the amount of time the driver may divert their eyes from the road. Front Assist, standard from SE Business trim, prepares the brakes for application when an obstruction is detected in the road ahead. And if the driver doesn’t apply the brake, or fails to apply enough braking pressure, the Passat will automatically do it on their behalf via the City Emergency Braking function.
With the optional Predictive Pedestrian Protection the Volkswagen Passat will perform an emergency stop if a person steps in front of the car, while Emergency Assist will steer the Passat to a safe halt, with the hazard lights flashing, if it detects that the driver has become incapacitated behind the wheel.
The current Passat has been honoured time and time again in its short life, collecting some of the industry’s most coveted titles. Perhaps the most prestigious award to date is the overall title of European Car of the Year 2015, awarded by a panel of expert independent journalists from across the continent.
In the UK it has been named Best Upper Medium Car by Fleet World and Estate Car of the Year in the UK Car of the Year Awards. The Passat GTE won the What Car? Best Electric Car award in January this year, and also took top honours in the Plug-in Hybrid Family category in the AutoVolt Electric and Hybrid Awards.
The latest generation of the Passat has continued Volkswagen’s strong run of success in the Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year Awards too. The Passat Estate won the prestigious title in 2016, and the Passat Alltrack defended it for the brand when it picked up the Towcar of the Year 2017 Award just a few weeks ago.
Additionally, the safety systems mentioned above contributed to the Passat gaining a full five stars from Euro NCAP in 2014.
Priced from £22,905 RRP OTR in saloon form, and £24,480 RRP OTR as Passat Estate, the Volkswagen remains, then, a leader in the upper medium car class. For more details on all the cars in the Volkswagen Passat and Passat Estate ranges, together with brochures and pricing and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.