The Passat is Volkswagen’s longest-running badge in its current line-up. More than 30 million have been sold since its launch in 1973.
Both saloon and estate models are perennial leasing favourites, so Volkswagen has given the range an update to keep things fresh.
Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, the plug-in hybrid GTE is pitched to be a big seller. The previous version made up one in every 10 Passats on the road. This time, Volkswagen expects the GTE badge on one in every four.
With a longer range, improved equipment, and low running costs, there’s little to disagree with VW on.
There’s little competition either. Only Kia offers a PHEV estate from mass-market rivals.
Moving up to the executive class, BMW’s 330e is only available as a saloon. While Mercedes-Benz has the C 300 de in both saloon and estate; all German rivals are more expensive than the VW.
Volkswagen’s trusted 1.4 TSI petrol engine provides the conventional power for the Passat GTE. It’s paired with an 80 kW electric motor for a combined 218hp and 400 Nm of torque.
Performance figures are 7.4 seconds and 7.6 seconds for the saloon and estate respectively. Top speed comes in at 138mph, and it can get up to 87mph on electric power alone.
It’s punchy then, rather than a full-performance estate. Pick-up is excellent thanks to the electric motor. When that starts to run out of puff, the petrol engine takes charge. Alternatively, the driver can hit the ‘GTE’ button, to get maximum power.
The Passat handles as well as you would expect from a VW. It’s refined, secure, and comfortable – both in town and on the motorway. Even with the petrol engine running, it’s a quiet car to drive. In electric mode, it’s virtually silent.
The Passat GTE’s party piece is its running costs. Official fuel economy is quoted at 180.8mpg in the least efficient specification. Similarly, the highest CO2 emissions get are 29 g/km.
These come from the new, larger capacity battery. Now 13 kWh rather than the old model’s 9.9 kWh, the Passat GTE can cover 33-36 miles (depending on body style) on a single charge.
It’s a very useful range; regular charging will see many leasing customers rarely need to use the petrol engine for day-to-day tasks.
The GTE specification is likely to be very popular with business customers wanting to lease a Passat. With such low CO2 emissions, the Passat GTE saloon has a company car tax banding of 16% before dropping to 12% in tax years 2020/21 and 2021/22; the estate’s banding for benefit in kind purposes is the same as the saloon.
Prices are around £2,300 less than the outgoing model. Despite this, equipment has been improved. VW has launched more sophisticated versions of its driver assist systems, a new infotainment set-up, and wireless app connect.
There are just two trims to choose from, GTE and GTE Advance, with £2,550 between them. The latter is likely to prove the more popular.
The previous Passat GTE was a very good car. This new version moves on to being truly excellent.Low running costs will help tempt leasing customers in. Once behind the wheel, they’ll find a comfortable, refined, and practical car that offers a highly versatile drive.
At Kew Vehicle Leasing we have the Volkswagen Passat GTE available on both a business lease rental and on personal contract hire. Contact us on 0203 189 1299 to find out more and discuss your VW Passat leasing requirements.
1st of January 2019