Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015 – 2024) Review

Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015 – 2024) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Passat Estate is a very impressive car, offering plenty of space, good performance and high levels of comfort. It’s especially appealing as a tow car, particularly with the optional trailer assistance system installed. The Passat is fairly expensive, however, while the lack of a petrol option might be a problem for some buyers, particularly low-mileage drivers.

+Relaxing and quiet to drive. Packed with the latest technology. Manifold in head diesel engines. Trailer assist works brilliantly. Spacious boot.

-Expensive to buy new. No petrol engines.

New prices start from £23,795
Insurance Groups are between 12–28
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Volkswagen Passat Estate is in the enviable position of being one of the defining cars in the large estate class that big rivals like the Skoda Superb, Audi A4 Avant and Ford Mondeo Estate are judged against.

Like its saloon counterpart, the Volkswagen Passat Estate is a significant step forward from the previous model. It’s sharper-looking, more spacious, more comfortable and packed with the latest technology.

The all important load space has been increased - up to 650 litres from 603 litres, expandable to a huge 1780 litres by folding the seats. But not only is the load area large but it is also user-friendly.

The load lip is low and the opening is wide, so getting items in and out is easy. There’s a variable height boot floor which is simple to adjust and the split rear seats tumble forward with one-touch levers, leaving a flat load area ideal for bigger items.

Like the saloon, the Passat Estate has a diesel-only engine range with four choices, ranging from a 1.6-litre with 120PS to 2.0-litre with 150PS, 190PS or 240PS in BiTDI form. The latter has a very impressive peak torque figure of 500Nm and is offered exclusively in conjunction with a DSG automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The Passat Estate is a good choice of tow car, rated for braked trailers up to 2200kg for the top 240PS model, or 2000kg for the 150PS diesel. One piece of technology that will really help is trailer assist, which will reverse a trailer in a straight line or at a set angle automatically. It also includes a camera to aid with hooking up.

Trailer assist is one of several high tech features, including advanced cruise control with lane assist. When specified in conjunction with a DSG gearbox this can bring a car to a halt in low-speed traffic, then follow the car in front at slow speeds automatically. The system also includes collision mitigating braking, plus there is a head-up display on offer.

Ask Honest John

What do you recommend as a very comfortable, roomy, economical, safe and reliable car?

"We’re thinking of changing our 2012 Honda Accord Diesel Tourer for something with as much or more room - we need the space for sailing gear - but with a softer ride, more directional stability on motorways, brighter headlights, automatic transmission, predictable handling and similar reliability and economy. Like the Accord the new car would be mostly used for regular 100+ mile trips on motorways to the coast and back. I love the Accord’s diesel, the best engine I’ve ever had, so something like a diesel estate VW Passat or Skoda Superb could suit, but are the engines reliable, is the DSG box reliable and critically is it wet or dry clutch - wet clutches seem to be a better bet? The budget as little as possible (we see our cars as costly tools) but realistically it will have to be mid/high £k teens, perhaps a little more. Is there anything else I should consider?"
A Skoda Superb or Volkswagen Passat sounds ideal. You won't go wrong with the 2.0 TDI engine, provided you cover enough motorway miles to keep the diesel particular filter (DPF) clear (it sounds like you do). The DSG gearbox is reliable these days, too. As an alternative, take a look at the Volvo V90 - it's a very comfortable premium estate car.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can I fit 235/55/R17 tyres to my Volkswagen Passat?

"I own a Volkswagen Passat Estate. My local tyre seller has said it is ok to fit 235/55/R17s and replace the existing 215/55/R17. Is he right? "
As long as the tyres actually fit on the rim in this instance then yes it should be fine, but 20mm is the maximum increase you should install. The wider tyres will sightly improve cornering accuracy and braking performance, but you may get more aquaplaning in the wet because of the increased surface area.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Can you recommend an SUV or estate car that can carry ladders?

"My 2014 2.0-litre diesel auto BMW 5 Series falls foul of the clean air zone (CAZ) requirements. It's been my third 5 Series, used for my work as a surveyor. The rear seats fold to accommodate my ladders and other long equipment. I'm looking to replace it with a CAZ compliant vehicle that fulfills the role. My motoring is a mixture of local journeys and longer runs of up to 300 miles round trips, including the London area. I have got used to a larger car, and automatic is a must. I'm not wedded to BMW and would consider something cheaper but of decent quality, finish and accessories. Comfortable seats and a quiet cabin are desirable. I have always preferred lighter coloured interior upholstery. I have tended to buy used cars at about 3 years old. An initial search suggested a Ford Mondeo estate, but I am aware that the fashion is now for the SUV type of vehicle, and I'm not a fan of estate cars, though I would consider one. Can you suggest a few alternatives that I might consider? My budget is flexible but, if my car is worth about £6,000, I would not wish to add much more that £14,000-£16,000 to that."
The issue with SUVs is that they may not be long enough to accommodate your equipment, unless you go for something large such as a Kia Sorento or BMW X5/Audi Q7. Other options we would be considering are the Volkswagen Passat or Skoda Superb Estate, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, the Volvo V90 and the Mazda 6 Tourer. A Skoda Kodiaq may also fulfill your needs but again isn't as long as the estate cars here.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

My Volkswagen Passat 1.5-litre Evo TSI judders when it goes under 20mph. Can this be fixed?

"I have a 2019 Volkswagen Passat Estate 1.5-litre Evo TSI, which often judders when it goes under 20mph. The diagnostic does not fix it and Volkswagen says its a characteristic of the vehicle. Do you know if this can be fixed, please?"
This is an issue we've received multiple complaints about. In mid-October, Volkswagen told us: "As far as we are aware the software update has been a success and no further measures are planned. We are unaware of any current cases relating to the 1.5-litre TSI engine." So, the software update has fixed the issue, according to Volkswagen. There's been no further news relayed to us since then, though we still get complaints about this engine, mostly in regards to used models rather than new models. We first reported complaints from our readers in regards to the 1.5-litre engines in Volkswagen Group (VW, Skoda, SEAT and Audi) models in January 2019. Our most recent article (from July 2020) on the issue is here: Your full consumer rights are here:
Answered by Georgia Petrie
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015 – 2024) cost?