"Sporty" sells. Your car might be less stimulating than a supermarket's value range but throw on some big wheels and a bodykit and it'll gain a whole new lease of life.
Not that we're impling VW is trying to mask a dull car of course, but the new Passat R-Line is the perfect example of applying sporty touches to a volume model.
It offers all the usual Passat benefits, such as practicality and economy (the former multiplied if you pick the estate model), with an injection of visual interest.
Starting at the sharp end, a body-colour front skirt with chrome details cheers up the front bumper, as do standard fog lights and an R-Line badge on the front grille. LED running lights and bi-xenon headlamps complete the transformation.
Body-colour sills enhance the R-Line's hunkered-down look, as do hefty 18-inch 'Kansas' alloy wheels, while the windows are lined with a chrome strip. Around the back there's more chrome on a deeper rear bumper.
Pricing starts at 22,115 for a 1.6 TDI saloon in R-Line trim. A 1.4 TSI R-Line saloon starts at 22,470 - add VW's DSG dual-clutch gearbox and it leaps to 23,970. Two 2.0 TDI models are also available, 23,230 with a manual gearbox and 24,970 with the DSG.
R-Line models can also be had in uber-practical estate form. Expect to pay 23,490 for a 1.6 TDI, and 23,880 and 25,385 for the 1.4 TSI with manual and DSG transmissions respectively. A 2.0 TDI is again available, for 24,620.
If for any reason you'd like your car to look like an R-Line but don't actually want an R-Line, VW will also sell you the body kit for 900 on Highline and Sport models.
Priced from: 22,115
Available from: Orders open now, deliveries June
Chances are if you're looking at a Passat or Passat Estate it'll be with your company's money. This is good news, because R-Line models offer all that sporty styling without compromising on economy - so pick a 1.6 TDI for example and its 114 g/km of CO2 means a manageable BIK rate of 17 percent in 2013-2014. With a buzzScore of 7.9, you're sure to be happy with your choice.