Living with the VW Passat GTE Estate

Living with the VW Passat GTE Estate
Living with the VW Passat GTE Estate

The Volkswagen Passat Estate is a great car, perfect for someone who needs to carry gear around and who covers a fair number of miles a year. Add in the hybrid element and things get slightly more confusing. With the diesel you know you’re going to get good fuel consumption, but with the hybrid you soon end up in the sort of mental maze that gives you a headache.

Price: £39,770 (after £2500 gov’t grant)
Price as tested: £42,360 (after grant)
 Driver’s Assistance Pack Plus (including emergency assist intervention, dynamic light assist, lane assist, predictive pedestrian protection and traffic jam assist) £1225, Dynamic Chassis Control £725, metallic paint £595, rubber boot mat £45

The problem is that it’s all a bit addictive. You’re driving a car where the manufacturer makes great play of the fact that you’re single-handedly saving polar bears, whales and some sort of obscure but important plankton. While that’s jolly good, you’re also interested in saving fuel, and again the manufacturer tells you your altruism and green credentials come with a big saving for you as your reward.

VW claims 156.9mpg is possible. Which is ridiculous, right? Except we managed, according to the reasonably accurate trip computer, 237mpg. How do you like them apples?

That’s great of course, and we worked out we’d only need to fill the petrol tank once every 2610 miles. And then we decided to live once again in the real world. We did manage that astonishing figure, but only by going on a five-mile local jaunt which only had about 30sec of engine use in it, otherwise it was all battery power.

Still, the figure stands. So if you want to use this big estate car for tiny, short journeys where various mechanical bits are barely up to working temperature, then you too can see amazing fuel economy.

As well as that figure of 156.9mpg – and we don’t know exactly how that is measured – VW also claims a real-world driving range of 664 miles between petrol stops. That’s not exactly 2610 but by any standards it’s a stonking range. Work out the fuel capacity and that gives you a fuel economy of 57.5mpg, taking into account a 31-mile range on electricity only.

Perhaps that’s a more realistic range, and one VW tacitly admits. It’s still a mighty fine figure. Sorry, we kind of got carried away talking about the numbers there. It’s what happens with this hybrid. It’s a nice car by the way.

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