Volkswagen Passat Saloon Review

Volkswagen Passat Saloon

The Volkswagen Passat Saloon range...

List Price

£28,875 - £41,695

Acceleration (0-62mph)

7.4 - 11.3 seconds

Top speed

127 - 147 mph

Engine Power

122 - 218 bhp

CO2 Emissions

28 - 147 g/km

Fuel Economy (Combined)

44.1 - 217.3 mpg

Prices & Specification

Comfortable; great safety features; good range of engines


Not an exciting drive; slightly bland design; optional extras bump the price up considerably

A classy update, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat is likely to be particularly popular as a corporate car. It will stand up well to the competition offered by the Ford Mondeo; and with its great safety features and solid reliability and its motorway performance it will certainly do everything it says on the tin.


There are three petrol and three diesel engines on offer with the VW Passat. Petrol versions include a 1.4 litre (120 bhp), a 1.8 litre (158 bhpp) and the biggest, 2.0 litre (207 bhp). The 1.4 litre has a top speed of 127 mph and will take you from 0-62 mph in 10.3 seconds; and the 2.0 litre can reach 148 mph and does the 0-62 mph sprint in 7.6 seconds. The three diesels consist of a 1.6 litre (104 bhp) and two 2 litres (131 bhp and 141 bhp). You won’t make quite such a quick getaway in these – the 1.6 litre moves from 0-62 mph in 12.2 seconds, and the most powerful does the same in 8.6 seconds. There is a choice of three gearboxes – a six speed manual, and six or seven speed auto DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). The larger versions of both petrol and diesels coupled with the DSG will give you a powerful combination; and the fact that the gears are operated by paddles on the steering wheel may be an added attraction – or not.


Thoroughly at home on the motorways, the VW Passat offers a comfortable, quiet, relaxing and safe ride. An optional extra will give you a choice of suspension – normal, comfort and sport; although the standard set up will be fine for most. There is also an option of laminated rear windows, which make this already quiet car even quieter. If you are a driver who enjoys driving for driving’s sake this one might prove a wee bit unexciting; but to get up and down the country in comparative comfort and with the lowest possible stress levels, it is well worth considering.


The Passat’s look is unmistakably Volkswagen, with its now recognisable family face. Even the entry level trim comes with 16 inch alloys, with added details as you move up through the range. It’s an elegant car, with attractive sets of lights both front and rear; and it has bold, sharp lines.


As always, one look inside the Passat confirms VW’s reputation for high quality finishes. The controls are mostly precise, clear and user friendly. There is a lot of scope for adjusting the driver’s seat/steering wheel combinations and any size or shape of driver should be able to drive in comfort.  Four adults can sit comfortably with plenty of leg and shoulder room, although a bit more side support in the front would not go amiss.

At 565 litres, the boot area is ample if not over generous, and there is a good amount of space for your other, smaller bits and pieces inside. The rear seats fold down easily at the touch of a button to give more flat load space. Should you have both hands full when you want to start loading up your 565 litres, VW have come up with a nifty device whereby you can open the boot with a foot movement at the back of the car. This is only available with the keyless start system – but it’s the sort of feature that once you become used to it you wonder how you ever managed without!


The Volkswagen Passat comes in five trim levels – working upwards from entry level S, through SE, Bluemotion, Highline to top of the range Sport. They are well kitted out throughout the range, the S trim coming complete with aircon, alloys, Bluetooth, electric windows front and back, USB, and a lot of safety features. Moving up through the range, added extras include sat-nav, automatic headlights and wipers, climate and cruise control, parking sensors, sports front seats and lowered suspension. The latter only appear in the Sport level, along with a touch-screen sat nav system.


The Passat has five stars in the EuroNCAP ratings, and deserves every one of them. As well as the usual sets of airbags – front, back, curtain; anti-whiplash protection, there are several interesting extras. These include a fatigue detection system, traffic sign detection, light assist and side assist lane-changing warning system and an optional city emergency braking function. An Electronic Stabilisation Programme includes Trailer Stabilisation, with the help of a factory fitted tow bar. VW have obviously prioritised safety with the Passat – all of which adds up to make the whole package even more attractive.

Buying & Owning4.5/5

The Volkswagen Passat isn’t the cheapest in its class to buy, but the costs of owning one are modest and may come as a pleasant surprise. The BlueMotion model, for instance, has a combined fuel consumption of 68.8 mpg which is good by anyone’s standards; and it has equally impressive emissions of 109 g/km. The Passat is likely to re-sell easily, and servicing is going to be reliable; and the car is so well made that you are unlikely to be in and out of the garage very frequently.

Reviewed by cars2buy