Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion

Third-generation green machine hits the road

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

VW is now on its third-generation Passat BlueMotion, and the new version is greener than ever. But, while the car isn’t as stylish as an Insignia EcoFLEX nor as dynamic as a Ford Mondeo ECOnetic, its ability to sip the minimum amount of fuel for the distance covered makes the Passat hard to ignore and very easy to recommend. The fact that the BlueMotion retains the Passat’s spacious interior, decent level of standard kit and competitive price is an added bonus.

Blue is still the colour of the greenest Passat! The fuel-sipping BlueMotion version of the firm’s mid-market model now has a new 104bhp 1.6-litre common-rail diesel, which replaces the 108bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit. Significantly, this cuts the car’s CO2 rating from 128g/km to 114g/km, while combined economy improves from 57.6mpg to 64.2mpg.

On the road, 250Nm of torque means performance is adequate – and 0-62mph takes a leisurely 12.4 seconds. But the Passat has no trouble keeping up with traffic, providing you are willing to work the long-ratio five-speed gearbox a little harder.

The upshot of the extended third, fourth and fifth gears is that engine noise at motorway speeds is muted. However, the car’s main rivals all feature six-speed transmissions, which offer greater flexibility.

Around town, stop-start silences the engine unobtrusively when you are stationary. Combine this with the fact that the car boasts a 70-litre fuel tank, and the Passat has a theoretical range of nearly 1,000 miles, meaning fill-ups are few and far between.

The BlueMotion makeover also includes some aerodynamic tweaks. There’s a deeper front bumper, side sills and a small boot spoiler. The 16-inch alloys are wrapped in low rolling resistance tyres, and the suspension is lowered by 15mm at the front and 8mm at the rear. While not as attractive as Vauxhall’s Insignia EcoFLEX, the additions suit the VW, making it as easy on the eye as it is on your wallet.

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