Passat Estate SE BlueMotion 2.0 TDI 140PS
million Volkswagen Passats
have been sold worldwide since the
first generation model came along.
Now the seventh-gen models are here
and, as youd expect, theyre
VOLKSWAGEN'S SEVENTH GENERATION PASSAT now on
sale in four-door Saloon and five-door Estate body styles
takes on not only a fresh appearance both inside and out, with every panel and
glass surface apart from the roof being new, but also adopts the latest technologies
and efficiency measures to make it among the most economical cars in its class.
The new Passats will sell against the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and
Audi A4 as well as the sub-premium brands such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall
Insignia, Honda Accord, Toyota Avensis, Volvo S60/V60 and Skoda Superb.
The best-selling version of the new Passat range is expected to be the Estate
SE 2.0-litre TDI 140PS (138bhp). For the first time, as buying patterns change,
the Estate is expected to outsell the Saloon, accounting for 53% of UK sales.
In 2011, Volkswagen UK will sell just under 10,000 Passat Saloons and just over
11,000 Estates with overall around 80% of Passats being taken
up by fleet and company car users.
company car or retail customers, all are looking for lower running costs in
the form of VED road taxes, lower Benefit-in-Kind company car taxation and improved
fuel economy and the latest Passats might well appeal.
emissions are just
120g/km and with the six-
speed manual box
Passat returns an official
my test best was only
The engine line-up reflects the challenge of meeting today's customer needs.
The petrol line-up comprises of smaller but more powerful TSI direct injection
units: 1.4-litre 120bhp, 1.8 157bhp and 2.0-litre 207bhp.
Every second-generation diesel engine is now badged as a BlueMotion Technology
product, signifying it is equipped with battery regeneration and Stop-Start
systems as standard. The TDI line-up comprises 1.6-litre 103bhp, 2.0 138bhp
and 2.0-litre 167bhp units. Most engines are available with the choice of six-speed
manual of six/seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmissions.
The best-selling 2.0-litre TDI 138bhp unit in estate guise my
road test model with SE specification and costing £23,375 has
236lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm, CO2 emissions of just 120g/km and returns
an official 61.4mpg with the six-speed manual 'box although my
'test best' was only 48.4mpg. Road tax is £nil in the First Year and then just
£30 per annum after that. Company car drivers will enjoy a relatively low 13%
trim levels are available: S, SE and Sport. Additional equipment added to the
new Passat over the outgoing model includes an iPod interface and leather multifunction
steering wheel for the S model. The SE trim level gains an eight-speaker digital
radio, Bluetooth connectivity and the new driver fatigue detection system; while
at the top of the range, the new Sport model gains touch-screen satellite navigation.
All Passats are fitted with six airbags, ABS, Electronic Stabilisation Programme
and whiplash-optimised head restraints as standard.
addition, the new seventh-generation Passat is the quietest and most refined
iteration yet: thicker glass is fitted to the side windows while the windscreen
features a thin plastic film sandwiched between two layers of the glass to help
reduce noise transmission.
front bulkhead incorporates increased sound deadening which, combined with the
latest generation of common rail diesel and TSI petrol engines, cuts the engine
noise entering the interior of the new Passat. Unfortunately, on certain surfaces
tyre noise entering the cabin was less appealing.
an estate, the
load capacity will be a
with all five seats in use
the boot space is 603
litres and with the split
rear seats folded
this goes up to 1,731...
Those are the main bones of the new Passat but there's more information that
will also be of interest: the refreshed exterior design makes it look a classier
vehicle an important feature in this very competitive sector.
The new VW family grille with the chrome horizontal fins framed
by a pair of angular headlights looks modern and, of course, includes
the daytime running light function. At the rear there are more distinctive tail
lights. And chrome trim detailing around the windows, along the side sills and
in the front and rear bumpers, brightens the exterior without making it too
glitzy. Consequently it remains understated but classy.
The Passat has grown by 4mm to 4,771mm nose-to-tail; the width and height are
the same (at 1,820mm and 1,516mm respectively) so it looks sleek but substantial.
Being an estate, the load capacity will be a major consideration. And the Passat
delivers: with all five seats in use the boot space is 603 litres and with the
split rear seats folded this goes up to 1,731 litres. The load area is well
shaped, so easy to use; and the tall tailgate opening is kind to your head.
A tailgate release button inside the car was both thoughtful and very convenient.
Still inside, there's a revised dashboard with new dials and soft feel trim
finishes in places, an analogue clock, subtle metalwork highlights and comfortable
new seats. The instrument layout is simple and uncluttered and there's a comprehensive
list of standard fixtures and fittings. The overall experience is one of comfort
Being more of a refreshed model, the new estate does not outshine the competition.
It's unquestionably more polished than before but while it has now reached the
same level of others in its class, it doesn't exceed them.
the fuel economy: it is good but not class-leading. I found the new 2.0-litre
diesel units in the BMW EfficientDynamics 3/5-Series Touring and C/E-Class BlueEfficiency
Estates to return better real-life fuel economy but they do cost more to buy
than the Passat, have higher road tax costs and their Benefit-in-Kind taxes
are also slightly higher. But the official homologation figures are all that
count, so on paper the Passat Estates score higher for most users.
quiet in the new model,
and its high torque
output from low rpm
makes the Passat
responsive to drive...
48.4mpg test drive fuel economy I achieved during my week's test could, I think,
have been better. Driven at around 60mph on motorways the fuel consumption was
52.7mpg but driven at 70mph this dropped to 46.1mpg with the overall figure
of 48.4mpg being registered with A and B class roads and some in-town driving
included. This was below the 50+mpg figures achieved by the similar BMW and
Mercedes models tested recently over comparable routes.
The engine, with its high torque output from low rpm, makes the Passat responsive
to drive despite its high gearing. The unit is very quiet in the new model
indeed, most noise aspects of the new Passat Estate are hushed except for tyre
noise intrusion on some road surfaces.
The Passat's suspension set-up is on the 'comfort' side which is no bad thing
for high-mileage company car drivers. However, drivers will have to accept conservative
interior styling, some tyre noise intrusion and real-life fuel economy that
on my test didn't come close to the official figure.
Plus points include the polished exterior styling, roomy and well equipped interior,
low taxation and a responsive engine. All other driving aspects including flexibility
of use, plus the updated design, are welcome improvements. David
Volkswagen Passat Estate SE BlueMotion 2.0 TDI 140PS | £23,375
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 10 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 120g/km