AT A GLANCE
WHAT IT’S GOT Plenty of wow factor and all-round desirability. VW has taken an average-looking car and made it into something special. WHAT IT HASN’T Not much missing. The extra $5K for the Comfortline model pretty much covers everything but be careful ticking the options box. OWNERSHIP VW sells a lot more Golfs than Passats in Australia but this model could change the equation, especially at the price, and capped servicing provides some surety. WHAT WE LIKED The way it looks, the way it rides and the way it handles, not to mention the price and excellent fuel economy. WHAT WE DIDN’T The auto stop-start is a pain. You can switch it off but you have to do so every time you drive the car. FORD MONDEO FROM $33,190 Mid-spec Trend from $40,490. Largest and most powerful of the group, uses 8.2L/100km. MAZDA6 FROM $32,490 Value Touring model from $37,290. Feels as if it could have been made in Europe and goes lightly at 6.6L/100km. SUBARU LIBERTY FROM $29,990 Premium from $35,990. Classier than before, with AWD of course. Thirst is 7.3L/100km and it’s the only one with 18-inch wheels.