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Volkswagen Passat Review


  • Great all-rounder
  • Wide choice of engines
  • Classy


Arval’s pick of the range:

Volkswagen Passat SE Business 1.4 TSI 150hp DSG

Volkswagen Passat - Overview

The Volkswagen Passat is the German brand’s large family car that competes in the heartland of the company car market. The Passat is available as a traditional three-box saloon, estate and an all-wheel drive estate with slightly raised suspension and some protective bodywork trim to create the Alltrack version. There’s also a wide range of power plants including diesel, plug-in hybrid and the recently reintroduced petrol engines.


What is the Volkswagen Passat like to drive?

The Volkswagen Passat is a brilliant all-rounder in the way it drives. The Passat will keep high-milers and motorway cruisers in total comfort day after day. All the engines are refined but the petrols are especially efficient in this area. The seats offer great, firm support, which means you’ll never suffer from back-pain while the suspension cushions bumps but doesn’t give way to excessive bodyroll. Around town, the steering is light and makes the large family car easy to park and manoeuvre.

For those wanting a bit more spirit in the way their car drives, the Passat offers that too thanks to steering that improves confidence and effective brakes.

The Alltrack all-wheel drive version is worthy of special mention as it is surprisingly capable both off-road and on slippery surfaces.

What engines and gearboxes are available?

Petrol engines:

  • 1.4 TSI 125hp, 114-127g/km CO2 (23-26% BIK), 51.4-56.5mpg
  • 1.4 TSI 150hp, 115-120g/km CO2 (24-25% BIK), 54.3-57.6mpg
  • 1.8 TSI 180hp, 130-137g/km CO2 (27-28% BIK), 46.3-48.7mpg
  • 2.0 TSI 220hp, 146-149g/km CO2 (30% BIK), 44.1-44.8mpg


Diesel engines:

  • 1.6 TDI 120hp, 95-110g/km CO2 (23-26% BIK), 67.3-76.3mpg
  • 2.0 TDI 150hp, 109-130g/km CO2 (25-30% BIK), 57.6-67.3mpg
  • 2.0 TDI 190hp, 109-137g/km CO2 (25-31% BIK), 54.3-67.3mpg
  • 2.0 TDI 240hp, 144-146g/km CO2 (32-33% BIK), 50.4-51.4mpg


Hybrid engine:

  • 1.4 GTE TSI 218hp, 40g/km CO2 (13% BIK), 156.9mpg



  • 6-speed manual
  • 6-speed automatic
  • 7-speed automatic


Need more information on BIK (benefit in kind) and CO2? Then why not try our calculator to help you work out your running costs.


Volkswagen Passat trim levels explained

There are many trim levels to the Passat range, some specific to a model or engine. The range runs from S, through to SE Business, Bluemotion and GT, to R-line. There’s also a specific trim for the Alltrack and the hybrid is available as GTE.


  • 16” alloys
  • Bluetooth
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Lumbar support front seats
  • 6.5” display
  • DAB radio
  • CD player
  • Manual aircon
  • SD card reader
  • USB & aux connections
  • Powered door mirrors
  • Powered windows


SE Business (in addition to S)

  • 17” alloys
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Sat nav
  • Power-fold mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto lights & wipers
  • Upgraded front seats
  • Parking sensors front and rear


Bluemotion (in addition to S – only on 1.6 diesel)

  • Front centre armrest
  • Trip computer
  • Aero bodykit


GT (in addition to SE Business)

  • 18” alloys
  • Three-zone aircon
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated washer nozzles
  • Front centre armrest
  • Increased connectivity
  • GT bodykit


R-Line (in addition to GT)

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • R-line body kit
  • Upgraded seats


GTE (in addition to GT)

  • Alcantara upholstery
  • Headlamp washers
  • 8” control screen


Alltrack (in addition to SE Business)

  • 18” alloys
  • Three-zone aircon
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated washer nozzles
  • Front centre armrest
  • Increased connectivity
  • Roof rails
  • All-wheel drive
  • Alltrack body kit
  • 8” control screen
  • Off-road driving setting


How to spec the Volkswagen Passat

Until recently, the pick of the range would have been the 150hp diesel, but with the introduction of the 150hp petrol, which offers a lower company car tax bill, better performance and similar real-world fuel consumption to the diesel, the 1.4 TSI is now the engine of choice for all but the highest mileage drivers. In terms of trim levels, the SE Business spec is an easy choice as it offers everything the company car driver would want including Bluetooth, sat nav, cruise control, alloy wheels and more. The only reason to look at other engine and trim options would be for the diesel-only Alltrack or the high-spec GTE hybrid.

Volkswagen Passat Interior – what’s it like?

Up front, the Volkswagen Passat is a quality car. The fit and finish of the materials used in the dash is faultless, what’s more, it puts some prestige interiors to shame. The layout and controls are clean and simple, making them very easy to use.

There’s plenty of rear head and legroom for five adults and that goes for both the estate and saloon.

The rear seats in the estate are 60:40 split-fold items, just in case the frankly massive boot isn’t big enough at 650 litres. The boot in the saloon is similarly impressive at 586 litres.


Volkswagen Passat Alternatives

Alternative models to consider include the Volvo S60, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo, Skoda Superb, Hyundai i40, Toyota Avensis, Audi A4, Kia Optima and DS 5.



The Passat is a large family car you buy and run with total confidence that it will exceed your expectations. The Passat is solid and reliable and a great vehicle for high-mileage drivers.


We are here to answer all your questions, please give us a call to discuss anything you might want to know, or drop us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can request a call back from one of our advisors.