Car buyers searching for premium saloons need look no further than the Volkswagen Passat – for years it’s delivered exactly what the majority of drivers need. With lots of interior space and a range of strong, economical engines, the Passat is a smart choice.
However, it’s worth remembering that there are numerous alternatives with the same qualities the Volkswagen has to offer and, in some cases, at a cheaper price. We’ve taken a look at 10 competitors to see if they’re worth consideration.
Remember, after you’ve chosen the car you’d like, spec one up in our car configurator for the very best deals.
An all-new Audi A4 was released in 2015, and it’s still a class leader. Although it still looks pretty conservative, the new front end gives it a poised, meaningful look. There’s been a bigger improvement on the inside – quality materials are used throughout, resulting in an interior that’s one of the best on the market.
There’s an ample choice of petrol and diesels engines for the A4, but the go-to choice is the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel – it’s powerful enough for everyday use and its efficiency means it’ll return over 70mpg and is tax free. It’s more expensive than the Passat and it isn’t quite as practical – boot space is 100 litres short of the Volkswagen.
For the best deals, use our Audi A4 configurator to start receiving offers from dealers across the country.
The award-winning Skoda Superb is aptly named – it’s one of the best saloons on the market, providing lots of interior space for not a lot of money. The humungous boot adds an extra 50 litres of capacity to the Volkswagen’s, while the overall interior quality isn’t far behind either. Rear legroom is laughably huge as well – not only does that make it ideal for ferrying adults about, but it saves the seatbacks from the kicks of angry toddlers.
There’s good news for your wallet too – expect to pay around £4,000 less for a Superb than you would for the equivalent Passat and, coupled to the 1.6-litre diesel engine, it’ll return over 70mpg. Behind the wheel, it’s obvious that the car has ties to the Volkswagen Group – the dashboard is awash with soft-touch and quality plastics, making it feel just as up to date as any German offerings.
Remember, our Skoda Superb configurator will get you the best deals from only the top UK-based dealers.
The latest Ford Mondeo has taken the popular saloon to new heights in terms of design and quality. It’s not only the exterior that looks refined – inside, you’ll find a spacious interior that’s screwed together just as well as many more expensive alternatives.
Thanks to the capacious interior and supple suspension, ride quality is exceptional, with the Ford soaking up bumps with ease. There’s an good range of engines available – from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to a 2.0-litre diesel – but the best balance comes from the 1.5-litre diesel. Refined to drive, you’ll find it achieves around 70mpg and is free to tax.
Spec up your perfect car with our Ford Mondeo configurator – you’ll get the best prices from Ford-approved dealers.
Thanks to its sweeping lines and graceful rear end, the Mazda 6 is one of the most stylish saloons on sale. Behind the curvacious lines there’s an interior that’s big enough to swallow up a family of four and their luggage with ease. That said, at 483 litres, boot space lags a little behind its competitors.
Behind the wheel is where the 6 shines through – mate any of the petrols and diesels on offer to the firm yet comfortable suspension and you’ll be rewarded with an engaging drive. If you plump for the 148hp diesel engine, running costs needn’t offset the thrills – it’ll get from rest to 62mph in nine seconds but you’ll still get over 60mpg and only pay £20 per year in tax.
For the best deals, spec up your perfect model with our Mazda 6 configurator – you’ll receive offers from the best Mazda-approved dealers across the UK.
If you need a four-door family car but want something with a little flair, the Volkswagen CC offers saloon practicality with coupe styling. A close relative of the Passat, the result of its lower body and firmer suspension is a sportier drive. While it may be more fun, Volkswagen haven’t forgotten about comfort – on long journeys it’s one of the most refined in its class.
There’s a singular 1.4-litre petrol engine on offer but you can choose between two power outputs with the 2.0-litre diesel. The latter come with BlueMotion technology, meaning the 138hp diesel returns over 60mpg while tax is just £30 a year. If it’s all-out load lugging capacity you’re after though, the Passat would be the better choice – the CC’s swoopy styling impedes on rear headroom and boot space.
It’s worth noting that the CC is based on the previous-generation Passat and as such the interior doesn’t feel quite as posh – but we expect to see a new version of the CC in 2016.
If this four-door coupe is the one for you, our Volkswagen CC configurator will get you the cheapest deals, straight from the UK’s top Volkswagen dealers.
BMW 3 Series
The popularity of the BMW 3 Series is thanks to its great handling, huge engine range and healthy standard specification. While some other marques are hot on its heels, the 3 Series still takes the prize for best drivers’ saloon – body control is excellent, with clever tech helping it to feel nimble around town, while remaining planted on long journeys.
Although there are just two petrol and three diesel engines available, they can be specced with various power outputs, ensuring there’ll be something for everyone’s needs. The wisest choice is most likely to be the 2.0-litre diesel. Power and torque figures are more than adequate, while 70mpg is easily attainable.
The Vauxhall Insignia is one of the cheaper cars on this list and, in some ways, it shows – there’s significantly less space in the cabin, particularly for rear passengers. While Vauxhall has dramatically improved quality over the last few years, the Insignia lags behind here too – it can’t match the premium appeal of some German rivals. Boot space remains acceptable though, with 530 litres on offer.
The Insignia feels most at home on the motorway, with all engines capable of swift yet frugal process. Opt for one of the 2.0-litre diesels though, and you’ll get Vauxhall’s Whisper quiet technology. This means even the torquiest 168hp diesel feels amazingly refined on the road. It’ll also manage well over 60mpg. It can’t compete in the quality-stakes but, for motorway miles on a budget, the Insignia is worth consideration.
Spec up your perfect Insignia with our Vauxhall Insignia configurator – you’ll get only the best deals from Vauxhall-approved franchises.
For the price of a mid-range Passat, you could bag yourself the luxuriously-appointed Jaguar XE. While the Volkswagen is a comfortable cruiser, sit behind the wheel of the XE and you’ll immediately realise it’s a sportier machine. Impeccably well put together, the interior is topped off by a fantastic new infotainment system as standard.
Fitted with the 161hp diesel, you’ll return around 75mpg. The fantastic efficiency of the diesels also mean you’ll pay no road tax. The dainty Jaguar can’t compete for size though – rear adult passengers will find headroom a squeeze, and you’ll find just 455 litres of space in the boot. While it isn’t as practical, the XE makes up for any shortcomings with its style.
To save money on your new Jaguar, our Jaguar XE configurator will get help you find the best deals.
It’s easy to forget about the Volvo S60 with such a large array of German saloons to choose from, but this shouldn’t take anything away from the fact it’s a fantastically well-made and sturdy alternative. As with all Volvos, safety is a priority and the S60 is among the best performing in this regard.
It’s smaller than the Passat, but there’s still room for four adults to sit in supreme comfort. With the standard kit list including Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and cruise control, its £21,000 starting price makes it excellent value for money. For a Volvo, the boot isn’t that big – if luggage capacity is a priority you’re better off with something else.
Spec up this safe Swede with our Volvo S60 configurator – you’ll save money and only receive offers from the very best Volvo dealers.
Only a few years ago it may have been unfair to pit a Hyundai against a Volkswagen, but as the Hyundai i40 demonstrates, the company can make cars that are just as refined and well-made as many European offerings. Step inside and you’ll find an interior that, while not up to Audi standards, can still very much hold its own next to others in this list.
If you want an i40, you’ll have to make do with the only engine choice on sale – a 1.7-litre diesel. Although it won’t set the road alight, the 113hp unit is well-balanced and achieves over 60mpg. It isn’t particularly fun to drive either, with the likes of the Mondeo and Mazda 6 making much better driver’s cars but, despite its shortcomings, the i40 is still a large, well-made saloon that offers good looks at a fantastic price.
To save more money off the attractive list price, our Hyundai i40 configurator will make sure you get the best prices, from only the best Hyundai-approved UK dealers.
If you like the look of any of the above cars, remember to check out our car configurator to get the best prices. If none of these cars are for you, our car chooser will find ones that are – it’ll whittle through the 400+ currently on sale to find the ones best suited to you.