The Volkswagen Passat has been around in several generations since the 70s. It's always been a solid, reliable performer while looks and technology have got better and better over time. On the used market, you can find plenty of Mk7 and Mk8 models. Volkswagen have made a real effort to make the Passat an upmarket vehicle, and as a result you get a nice premium feel, with a comfortable interior and refined performance. The saloon models make great company cars with their executive looks, while the estate versions are ideal for families with their spacious interior.
The Passat has a simple yet classy exterior design, with the headlights connecting to the grille to give the front a neat, sharp look. This look has remained fairly consistent through recent generations (given the Passat's popularity, why would VW change it?), with pointier headlights and sharper bonnet lines on Mk8 models bringing it up-to-date. Standard exterior kit is generous throughout the range, with entry-level Mk7 and Mk8 models including alloy wheels, halogen headlights and heat-insulating green
While the Passat's exterior hasn't changed much, Volkswagen have refreshed it nicely for the latest generations. Mk8 models in particular have a high-quality cabin with soft-touch materials and the 12.3-inch Active Info Display screen. With its upmarket image, you'd expect the Passat to be well-equipped, so the generous standard specification comes as no surprise. Mk7 models come with an MP3 compatible CD player, climate control and air con as standard. Mk8 models are even better equipped, offering a multimedia system with DAB digital radio plus iPod and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
Being an executive, upmarket car, the Passat is designed to be comfortable and refined to drive. It offers an extremely smooth ride on motorways, which suits the company car target market and soaks up poor road surfaces very nicely. If you want a slightly more engaging drive, you can put the suspension in Sport mode (as opposed to Normal or Comfort). Estate models are also impressive tow cars, with a braked towing capacity of 2200kg on some models, enough for many caravans.
Practicality is a strong point for both saloon and estate models, with enough room for four adults to sit in comfort and an impressive volume of boot space. There's well over 550 litres with the seats up, across the range, and the latest estate models boast a massive 650 litres. Folding the seats down creates an extra 1000 litres, making the Passat hard to beat in terms of luggage capacity. If you get a model with keyless entry you can even open the boot automatically, making loading the boot a breeze.
Engines and transmissions
On the used market, most of the models you'll find will be diesel. The most common options are the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI engines. The former offers between 104bhp and 120bhp, depending how recent the model is and whether it's an estate or saloon. The 2.0-litre engines produce a range of outputs, from 138bhp at the bottom end of the scale up to an impressive 240bhp from some engines. The 1.6-litre engines are more economical, with some offering over 70mpg, though the 2.0-litre options also do well in this regard - whichever engine you go for, you can expect well over 50mpg. 6-speed manual is most common on the used market, though you can find some models with the smooth-shifting DSG automatic.
The Passat is ideal for professionals who want to cruise into work in a premium-feeling car, with its smooth motorway performance and well-equipped interior. The estate models, with their cavernous interiors and large boots, double up as great family cars, so the Passat is a wise choice for the working man or woman who also has to do their fair share of ferrying the kids around. Add in the hefty towing capacity and you've got a capable horsebox or caravan tower too. The Passat, then, can claim to be a car for all the facets of everyday life.Used Volkswagen Passat for sale