Car Mechanics (UK)
The Passat is an excellent family car, particularly in estate form. But as with most VWS, it does take a fair amount of deciphering to find the right model to suit your needs. For a £4000 budget, we’ll be looking either at the Mk6 (or B6 in VW speak) model, or at the top-end of the budget you can keep your eyes open for the Mk7 (B7) models too. This is fundamentally the same platform underneath but offered in a much more contemporary-looking package and is the one we’d suggest you go for. Our £4000 is right on that cross-over point, though; do you play it safe and opt for a low-mileage, excellent condition earlier but less-refined (and less pretty) B6? Or go for a newer, better-equipped, smoother B7 with higher miles?
With VW’S brilliant reputation for reliability (remember, these engines and platforms are shared across a huge number of models in the VAG range) we’d perhaps suggest you can afford to take the gamble and go for the newer car – £4000 will easily get you a 138bhp Bluemotion in Tech SE or Tech Executive trim with between 100-140k miles.
There are petrol options from a 120bhp 1.4-litre to a 207bhp 2.0-litre, but we’d stick to the diesels in a Passat. Of the three diesel options, the 138bhp 2.0-litre is the pick of the bunch. All three diesels come with Bluemotion tags in their name, signalling their fuel-saving technologies such as Stop-start and other gadgets that help lower the emissions and tax-friendly 120g/km – or £30 per year road tax.
Whichever engine or trim you go for, you’ll be getting an incredibly versatile family wagon, and a huge 1731 litres of boot space with the rear seats flat.
The cabin and interior have a very pleasant high-quality feel, and the Passat is loaded with tech to keep its occupants safe. It might have a reputation for a being a little bland in comparison to some of its rivals on this list, but the Passat is genuinely a brilliant car that will do everything you expect of it. Buy one, and you won’t be disappointed.