Passat Bluemotion

Stop-start technology brings cleaner reputation to saloon Passat.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

IF you’re in the market for a business car, you care deeply about the environment or do lots of miles, then the BlueMotion makes sense. But it doesn’t really move the game along any further from the outgoing model. Even the benefits of the stop-start technology are marginal, and with a higher price than the standard 2.0-litre turbodiesel, there’s little incentive for private buyers.

Volkswagen has cleaned up its act with a new addition to its economical BlueMotion range. Based on the firm’s family-friendly Passat, this version gets improved aerodynamics, longer gearing and a new 2.0-litre diesel engine. An advanced stop-start system is also fitted. In the real world, this means average fuel consumption of 58mpg and emissions of only 128g/km.

Eco-friendly measures including a digital change-up arrow on the instrument cluster help to maximise economy. Drive according to its command and you’ll do well to see the fuel gauge needle move, but it also encourages the driver to trundle along at little more than tickover, ruling out any urgent in-gear acceleration.

The Passat is clever around town, though. Roll to a stop, change into neutral, and the engine switches off. Put the car into gear again, and the diesel fires up. Performance isn’t blistering – 0-62mph is 11.9 seconds, but 250Nm of torque from 1,500rpm is adequate.

There’s no disputing the fact that the Passat BlueMotion is the cleanest, most efficient VW saloon yet, but it’s really only business users who cover hefty mileages that will benefit.

Rival: Mondeo ECOneticFORD’S eco-saloon is faster and has more character than the VW. However, with 53.3mpg and 139g/km, it’s not as frugal or clean as its German rival.

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