Volkswagen Passat (2001–2005)
Much more than merely facelifted Passat. Looks classy and hides very comprehensive improvements under the skin. Now with a 12 year body warranty.
New engine range begins with 2.0 litre 8 valve 115bhp shared with Golf Mk IV GTi, but at a low price of £14,495 which includes ABS, climate control, Thatcham 1 alarm immobiliser and much more. TDI 130 S was an excellent car for company drivers because it combines a low CO2 output of 154 g/km with a low on the road price of £16,310. Has no less than 228 lb ft torque and goes like a steam train. Range also includes a 100bhp TDI PD, a 150bhp 1.8 petrol turbo, a 150bhp V6 TDI, a 170bhp V5 and a 193bhp V6 4Motion four wheel drive. 6 speed manual gearbox on TDI PD 130 Sport and TDI V6 Sport. Others have 5 speed manual, 5 speed Tiptronic auto or 4 speed auto.
Rare 280bhp W8 4Motion capable of 0-60 in 6 seconds and 150mph top speed for less than £30,000
150bhp petrol turbo S versions of saloon and estate introduced May 2001 with 5-speed Tiptronic auto option.
In May 2002 115bhp 8 valve 2.0 litre engine replaced by by the 130bhp 20v 2.0 litre as used in the Audi A4 B6. 0-60 comes down from 10.9 seconds to 9.6 seconds, top speed goes up from 124mph to 130mph, fuel economy improves from 32.8 mpg to 34.9 mpg on the combined cycle, and CO2 emissions are down from 206g/km to 194g/km. Price for the S spec with standard a/c up by £155 to £14,850, but because CO2 emissions are down company car drivers actually paid less BIK tax than for the old car. Passat S Estate with the 2.0 130bhp engine is priced at £15,800.
Three 3-point rear seatbelts standard spec from mid 2002. Massive discounts on petrol Passats at end of 2002 in order to meet targets (2.0S 130bhp saloons advertised for £11,500 by VW dealers). TDI 130 4-Motion introduced at end of 2002 with six speed box and 228lb ft torque (18 lb ft up on 5-speed TDI 130). This is huge fun, with plenty of grip and steering feel. The best Passat of all to drive. 0 - 60 10.1 secs. Top speed 127mph. Mpg: 43.5 combined for saloon; 42.8 for estate. CO2: 176g/km for saloon and 178g/km for estate. Prices: £18,815 SE saloon; £19,775 Sport saloon; £19,765 SE estate; £20,725 Sport estate.
Improved 2.5 V6 TDI from May 2003, now with 163PS and 258lb ft torque. Conforms to Euro IV emissions regs, bringing 3% saving in BIK liability. Prices: £21,875 saloon; £23,990 estate.