Why on Earth would you consider buying a new example of the Volkswagen Passat, with its all-new replacement now just weeks away from hitting the roads? Having spent a while driving the run-out edition Passat Executive Style in Estate form, we reckon you could do a lot worse than consider this last hurrah for the existing Passat as a do-it-all family wagon.
Replacing the Highline, Sport and R-line models in the ageing Passat range, the Executive and range-topping Executive Style models tick every option box you could want while lowering the resulting price.
So, what could entice you into picking up a soon-to-be-replaced Passat? The Executive model gets sat-nav, heated leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and front/rear parking sensors, plus automatic lights, wipers and cruise control. That little lot is worth £1700, but VW is instead charging only £200 extra versus the old range-topping Passat Highline in light of the car’s short intended lifespan.
Our Passat Executive Style test car builds on that spec with lowered sports suspension, 18-inch alloys, xenon headlights and foglights plus tinted rear glass. That’s a bundle worth over £2000, but the Style’s premium over the Passat Executive is a fiver shy of half that amount.
Clearly, the fact the sub-£30,000 Passat Executive Style is remarkable value for money isn’t in doubt. But could you live with the fact the car is based around a nine-year old design? Given how gracefully this particular Passat is ageing, certainly. It’s not just the clean, simple styling and pleasing materials inside and out that stand the test of time: the Passat is still refined, still frugal, still rather effortless to drive.
It’s never going to be as engaging as the Mazda 6 on a twisty road, and the DSG gearbox in our car isn’t as pleasing as some of VW’s most recent efforts. But these are small criticisms of what remains a fine all-round family car, helped along, of course, by a massive 1,731-litre boot.