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Now in its eighth generation, the Passat is a large family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1973. More than 22 million units have been sold worldwide since its launch, over half a million of which have been in the UK. While the class includes stiff competition from the likes of the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo, the Passat puts refinement and high-quality interior at the top of its agenda and its latest generation gives rivals something to be worried about. The stray away from more traditional family cars has meant that the Passat is even targeting compact executive models like the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series, and Volkswagen certainly has the quality and refinement to present itself as tough competition.
The latest generation Passat offers three core diesel engines, and a bi-turbo plug-in petrol hybrid. The diesel engines are all high-volume TDIs, and comprise the 1.6-litre, the 2.0-litre 150 and the 2.0-litre 190. Power ranges from 118bhp to 187bhp, and all the core engines show off the Passat as having punch, high fuel economy and smooth performance. The green technology of Volkswagen is showcased via the GTE plug-in hybrid, which combines a 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine with a powerful electric motor. The total system has a power of 215bhp, which can reach a top speed of 140mph and is capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. Five trim levels are available, ranging from the entry-level S, through the SE and SE Business lines, up to the top GT and R-Line trims. All models can be saloon and estate body styles.
The Passat really stands out from the crowd with its executive and high-class interior, laden with the latest technology and equipment. Eight-speaker stereo, DAB radio, Bluetooth, SD reader, USB connectivity and a 6.5-inch touchscreen come as standard across the range, and the roomy cabin and boot space makes the Passat a comfortable and practical choice. Safety standards are also high, with a range of features included to minimise the effects of accidents.
The Passat is sharply styled, spacious and features a high-quality interior, making it a convincing rival for others in the family car class.
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