We get behind the wheel of VW’s fuel sipping Passat GTE saloon writes Suzanne Keane
What is it? The Passat has always been a popular contender in its segment and with consumers beginning to look away from faithful diesel models the GTE hybrid is stepping in to fill a gap for those looking for something a little more environmentally friendly.
Who is it aimed at? The Passat GTE is aimed at those looking for a practical family car with green credentials and possible low running costs.
Styling? The stylish looks of the Passat have been retained and a few blue “GTE” touches and new bumpers are the only signs that this one is a little different under the bonnet.
Under the Bonnet? The Passat GTE comes with a 1.4TSI Petrol engine with 156bhp but as the car is a plug-in hybrid there is also a 114bhp electric motor hidden underneath which can boost the total bhp to 218 when required! Charging is easily accessible through the front grille and it comes with 2 cables – one for charge points and another that will plug into a standard 3 pin socket.
What about inside? Inside, the Passat GTE is impressively equipped and feels sturdy and practical. The longer wheelbase means there are acres of leg room both in the front and back. Boot space in the saloon version is a little restricted but the estate has acres of room for anything you’d need to carry! The seats on the test car were a Velour/Weave fabric but it might be worthwhile splashing out on one of the many leather options available as these felt a little cheap.
On the Road? On the road the GTE feels just like any other Passat although a little heavier on bends. Around town the electric motor allows for very smooth driving.
And Safety? The Passat GTE comes with a Curtain airbag system, Front Assist including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Electronic Stability Control, ABS, ASR, EDL, engine drag torque control and trailer stabilisation as standard. The Passat was also awarded the maximum five stars when tested by the EuroNCAP.
What are my options? The Passat GTE comes with a very high level of specification as standard such as 18” alloy wheels, cruise control, parking sensors, climate control. 6.5” touchscreen radio, blue ambient lighting, LED headlights, privacy glass in the rear, Auto headlights with separate daytime running lights, start stop system and regenerative braking. The test car was also fitted with a rear view camera, Discover media, Bluetooth and USB x2, Carnet with E-Remote and had Tungsten Silver Metallic Paint which add on an extra €2,892.
Will it break the bank? The Passat GTE starts at €42,225 OTR and the car tested was €45,117 with options. Annual road tax is just €170 with CO2 emissions of only 39g/km. Official figures state it will use just 1.7l/100km on the road. If you’re able to plug the Passat in every night you’d easily manage a reasonable commute on electric power only. If, however, you’re relying on the petrol engine to get you around the running costs could be excessive and a diesel Passat would be a better option!
So the verdict? While the Golf GTE is a very impressive Golf the Passat GTE just feels a little dull so unless you have your heart set on a Passat and a short daily commute you’d be better off with a Golf GTE or a diesel Passat.
Why you’ll buy one? Quality, Economy
Why you won’t? A little dull
BMW 330e – prices start from €41,030 (OTR)
VW Passat GTE Saloon
Engine: 1395cc, TSI DSG 218bhp combined (150bhp petrol and 114bhp electric)
Max speed: 225km/h
0-100 kph: 7.4 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 39 g/km (€170)
Model price range: €42,225 (as tested €45,117)
No of Doors: 4 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Electric/ Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 1.7 l/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 402 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2791 mm
25th November, 2016