Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen's Passat is expensive, but it's ecologically-friendly and has good fuel economy, too

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

You might not spot the Passat Bluemotion on the road, with its subtle badging and revised chrome grille, but you'd be advised to take a closer look. The benefits are remarkable, and while this estate may not be quite as frugal as the saloon, it is, by any standards, incredibly economical. Private buyers will have to do a high mileage to recoup the £1,000 Bluemotion premium, yet for business drivers, it makes a lot of sense.

Pushing technology to the limit is what car manufacturers should be all about - and that's exactly what Volkswagen has done with Bluemotion. It combines a variety of tweaks, and can be applied to any VW model to create the cleanest and most fuel-efficient car in the line-up.

We've already been impressed by the Polo Bluemotion and Passat saloon. So how does this practical estate version perform? It uses the same modified 105bhp 1.9-litre TDI engine as the four-door, and this car gets lengthened gear ratios.

Underneath, special spoilers have been added to improve airflow, and the ride height has been lowered.

Even though the load-lugger is not quite as slippery as the saloon, there are still some significant gains in fuel economy. It rises from 47.9mpg on the standard TDI to 54.3mpg, giving an epic range of 839 miles. Thanks to the tweaks, CO2 emissions drop by 19g/km to 137g/km, which means the estate falls from the 20 per cent company car tax band to 18 per cent.

Covering 0-62mph in 12.4 seconds it's not especially quick, but on the move the 250Nm of torque pulls well. And with those aerodynamic changes raising the maximum speed by 3mph to 118mph, it's a great motorway car.

Factor in the huge 1,731-litre boot space and standard-fit climate control - plus a neat light on the dash which tells you when is the most economical time to change up - and you've got a practical, well equipped car.

There is a downside, though: the price! VW estimates Bluemotion adds £1,000 to the cost of the Passat S - taking this car to a hefty £18,415.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 2022 review
Toyota GR86
Toyota GR86

New Toyota GR86 2022 review

The GT86 has evolved into the GR86, gaining a bigger engine, a stiffer shell and chassis tweaks. Is it now affordable sports car perfection?
26 May 2022
New Smart #1 ride review
Smart #1 - front
Smart

New Smart #1 ride review

We get an early taste of the new all-electric Smart #1 from the passenger seat ahead of it going on sale at the end of this year
27 May 2022
New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k
Ora Cat 01 - front
Electric cars

New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned
27 May 2022