It doesn’t get much more common sense than a Volkswagen Passat. but how about a plug-in hybrid Passat that will do up to 36 miles on pure electric running, with a neat 1.4-liter turbocharged engine to give it petrol-powered peace of mind as well.
It does seem like a comprehensive business or family car solution than the Passat GTE. not only because it’s available as an estate and as a saloon, but because however, you spec it always has CO2 of under 40 grams per kilometer. although if you do put big wheels and loads of equipment on it you will see the official electric running drop to more than 30 miles.
Even so. it’s a very efficient car. but it does cost from 36,000 pounds for the saloon or from around about 38,000 pounds for the estate. so it’s not cheap then and you can add loads of options if you wish. so what we need to know is is it as efficient as it seems on paper when you’re driving it in the real world.
You plug the Volkswagen Passat GTE in via the socket on the nose of the car. it comes with 2.5-meter cables that allow you to plug into a normal 3 pin domestic socket or a type 2 car charger. that domestic socket will fully charge the 13-kilowatt hour battery and around about five and a half hours from empty. or plug the car into a dedicated charger or home wall box and you’ll get the same result in three and a half hours. well the force at GTE will charge up at any type 2 AC charger or standard home wall box.
Three and a half hours is the quickest charge you’ll ever get as the cars charging rate is capped at just over three kilowatts. battery warranty on the force at last for eight years and a hundred thousand miles.
Of course, the reason that you’re going to get the GTE over any of the normal these allure petrol Passat options is for the electric running. our car is on 18-inch wheels and more than anything else wheel size will affect the electric range on any car. so if you want anything close to that a fictional maximum range of 36 miles. you’ve got to go for 17-inch wheels and a fairly basic car.
However even on these wheels, our car is doing about 22 miles in mix driving with quite a bit of motorway, and when it’s quite cold and rainy. so I think in the summer you’re going to see 25 miles very easily. go for the 17-inch wheels and I reckon you’re going to see 30 miles which is much more acceptable for the 13-kilowatt hour battery that this has got.
Not only that but of course, it has got all the various plug-in hybrid modes that you expect. so you can stick it in emo down here. and you’ve got the option of hybrid or pure electric mode and you can also ask it to charge the battery with the engine or you can just reserve the state of battery charge. so you’ve got both of those options or of course, you’ve got straightforward EV mode and you can do up to 80 miles an hour and electric-only. so you can do your whole commute without waking up that petrol engine if it’s short enough.
If you do wake up the petrol engine. then it’s good to know. that it’s not that bad on the economy even if you haven’t got much battery charge left. so I reckon you’ll see around about 40 mpg probably a bit less in mix driving even as I said with that much battery charge. alternately, of course, like you, most people will do I suspect we just stick it in hybrid mode and drive it, and the car will shuffle between the two power trains.
It’s a nice and smooth 6-speed automatic gearbox is standard. it’s just a very easy car to drive this. do have the adaptive dampers on this car. it’s nice actually. especially I like in comfort mode. you get quite a lot of body movement then but you get a nice sort of cushy ride comfort. it’s relaxing that’s exactly what I think a Volkswagen Passat should be.
The steering is a bit lifeless. but it’s precise there’s loads of grip. it’s very easy to drive. a secure composed car. and although it has got a 215 brake horsepower. and you can stick it in GTE mode down here for maximum performance. and it’s got a surprising turn of posts but sprightly. it’s not without fun if you want it to be. but even so really what you want like I said comfort mode sit back and relax and enjoy the efficiency .and this is a really lovely car.
While the Volkswagen Passat drives nicely. I think it’s in here that it could well sell itself because there’s a nice sense of understated posh that sets it apart a bit from some of its rivals. all the materials feel nice visibility and driving positions good. and you get loads of equipment at a standard. so even on the ordinary GTE, you get 17-inch alloys, blue brake calipers, LED headlights with the c-shaped running lights, front and rear parking sensors, the traveler sit stuff with cruise control all of that.
So you don’t need to add anything if you don’t want to. you can go for the advanced model which UPS the standard 8-inch screen. this 10-inch screen and is a really good system. so it’s got all the features you could want including Wireless apple car play and android auto which is the best thing ever. but you do of course have a factory fit and navigation, DAB radio, Bluetooth all of that stuff so it’s easy to use it looks great and it’s got everything you want on there.
The only annoyance with the GTE is that you have to pay extra for keyless entry and a reversing camera even on the top-spec advanced. so that’s a bit annoying. but other than that it does do everything you could want it to.
Storage and space
The Passat Estate is impressively practical although. its official boot capacity of 483 liters is a bit less than you getting more expensive rivals like the Volvo v60 and Mercedes e-class. the Passat long squared-off boot space low load lip and underfloor storage make this about as utilitarian as a plug-in hybrid gets. so well you can get the Passat as a saloon, we would put our money into the excellent. there’s masses of room for two tall passengers or a couple of bulky car seats in the back seats as well.
The biggest compliment that we can pay the Passat GTE is to say that it is as comprehensive as it seems on paper. it is a great solution if you need quite a lot of space a bit of electricity running and a petrol engine to keep you going for those longer journeys. not only that but it’s great is a company car and it stacks up given space it offers even compared to rivals like the more fun if a bit smaller BMW 330e.
So yes. we’ll have to wait and see how the probably cheaper Skoda Superb IV stacks up against the percent when it arrives in the UK. but even so, it’s not hard to see why the percent would be such a popular car and it’s not hard to see why it is one of our favorite plug-in hybrids.
You may also like to read: BMW 330e: The Luxury Plug-in Hybrid