rsz_vw_7646_passat_bluemotion_estate-2For our December issue, SBT’s Simon Skinner gets behind the wheel of this staple motor from the Vokswagen line-up. Testing the BlueMotion 1.6 TDI SCR 120PS version

Volkswagen have a reputation of being a tough car. They’ve bul their reputation on reliability and build quality for many a year and it’s the result of this historic campaigning that the brand still enjoy to this day, with them seeing many of their cars regularly achieving ‘best in class’ status.

The Passat has been around for many a year, having sold more than 442,000 cars in the UK alone since its launch in Jan 1793. The latest version of the Passat was unveiled in 2014 at the Paris Motor Show and showed the world that this was a model that was going nowhere in Volkswagen’s line-up. Volkswagen UK sold 9,326 Passats in 2015, and on top of that, 10,606 Passat Estates with additional 3,857 CC models were also sold, so it’s easy to see why.

Currently, there are Seven trim levels available in the Passat line-up; the S, BlueMotion, SE, SE Business, GT, Alltrack and the R-Line. All of which offer a good spec of standard features. Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash system, Driver Profile Selection, Ergo Comfort seats and front and rear parking sensors are on SE and above; and Discover Navigation on the SE Business, which is aimed squarely at business and fleet drivers.

The best-selling model though, is the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS with manual gearbox in SE and SE Business trims with over 80 percent expected to be sold into the fleet market. Clearly, Volkswagen are doing something right with this car for the business user.

My experience with the 1.6 TDI SCR for the week, wasn’t really too far from what I had expected. I’ve always found Volkswagens to offer a reassuring drive and the Passat is no exception. It offered a secure, solid and comfortable drive and although slightly underwhelming in terms of performance and frills, the model delivered exactly what it promised and exactly what I thought it would prior to its arrival.

rsz_vw_7626_passat_bluemotion_estate-2The current Passat model is an understated thing, by way of it’s looks, I mean. It’s a good-looking car that holds its cards close to its chest. It’s by no means ostentatious and retains its key attributes with a kind of understated style that suggests the years of refinement have really worked.

This is a car with bucket loads of space inside and a fuel tank that will carry you for almost a thousand miles!

Tech inside is impressive and delivers on pretty well all fronts. bluetooth telephone and audio connection with a composition media system; 6.5” colour touchscreen and a DAB radio. You’ll also find eight speakers dotted around the front and rear of the car, giving plenty of punch when you turn it up.

All in all, this model from Volkswagen is about as reliable as you can get. Not just in terms of it firing up each and every time that you ask it to, but in its build quality, it’s status, it’s practicality and the support that you can expect from Volkswagen too.

It may not be the least expensive in its class, but it’s my opinion that, if you’re in the market for this kind of car for your business, it’s worth going the extra mile.

On the Road Price: £24,455.00

CC: 1598

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Top speed: 129mph

0-62 mph: 11seconds

Emmissions class: Euro 6

Fuel consumption: Urban 65.7mpg, Extra-urban 85.6mpg, Combined 76.3mpg

Insurance Group: 15E

Warranty: 3 years or 60K miles, 3 years paint and 12 years body