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Why would you love a VW Passat? If you mean the CC then OK – it is as stylish as Mercedes’ CLS but cheaper and less polarising with other motorists.
But if you are looking at the conventional saloon or estate, then again I ask, why? It is bland inside and out and it does nothing better than its competitors. Still, if it is what you have your heart set on, then you are right to be weighing up petrol vs. diesel.
In terms of MPG, the 2.0 diesel is significantly better than the 1.8 turbo petrol. It is also a smoother drive. But it is up to 10% more expensive to buy, which I am reluctant to tell you, because you will probably have to buy diesel – there are hardly any petrols on the used market.