The Volkswagen Passat Estate is a practical family estate with roomy back seats and a range of frugal engines. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more expensive than some alternatives
The VW Passat Estate covers all the important bases if you’re looking for a practical family estate car that’s easy to drive and cheap to run.
Okay, so its understated styling and minimalist cabin might not get your pulse racing, but everything within reach feels solid and very nearly as upmarket as in the more expensive Audi A4 Avant. You can even get the Volkswagen Passat Estate with a digital driver’s display instead of conventional dials – just like in the Audi.
Even without this futuristic screen the VW’s interior looks modern, if not particularly stylish, and its standard-fit infotainment screen is bright, crisp and easy to use. You’ll have to spend a bit extra if you want satellite navigation or smartphone mirroring features but at least the standard stereo is punchy enough for all but the most die-hard music fans in your family.
Thankfully, the Volkswagen Passat Estate’s front seats are a very comfy place to kick back and soak in some tunes. Space in the back isn’t quite as generous as in the less-expensive Skoda Superb Estate, but the VW’s softer central seat makes it better for carrying three adults side by side.
It’s a similar story in the boot. It might not be quite as cavernous as the Skoda’s but there’s space for a baby buggy and some golf clubs under the raised load cover. Need to carry even more? Flip the back seats down and the VW Passat Estate’s flat load bay is big enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached.
The VW Passat Estate is certainly practical, but it’s hardly very exciting. A bit like getting a pair of socks for Christmas when you really wanted an iPhone
If you regularly fill your car’s boot to the brim then go for a Volkswagen Passat Estate with the punchy-yet-economical 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine. If you spend more time driving around town then get a quieter – and cheaper – 1.4-litre petrol model.
Whichever engine you pick, the Passat Estate is a breeze to drive. It’s easy to see out of, reasonably comfortable over rough, potholed roads and even comes with parking sensors as standard. It might not be quite as fun to drive as a Mazda 6 Estate but it’s very quiet at motorway speeds and the optional automatic gearbox makes long distance drives as relaxing as possible.
You can also rest easy knowing that the Estate should be just as safe in a crash as the tough saloon model. It’s the icing on the cake for what is a spacious and surprisingly comfortable family car that’s well worth considering if a big boot is high on your list of priorities.