back to article Volkswagen Passat GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS 6spd DSG

The VW Passat 2/0 is a car you buy with your head. All cars are a combination of a head and heart purchase. Some, like an Atom or Elise swing wildly towards the heart. Some like the Skoda Citigo are bought on numbers and practicality. All manufacturers try to inject some aspect of both into their cars. Even if it’s just …

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  1. thesykes

    "although the sat-nav doesn't take postcodes"

    what year was this review written?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      wow that's handy!

    2. Bonce

      If it's anything like the satnav on the Mk7 Golf (it looks the same) then the postcode entry is hard to find, but most definitely there. Look at the bottom left of the address entry screen.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        I don't get it.

        I've tried several in-car satnav systems and they are all a nightmare. I tried the one in my mates Discovery and it took almost as long to navigate the satnav as it did to get to the destination.

        Why do people pay £500-£1000 for such an poor option when a £80 TomTom or the free Nokia Here app will do a far better job?

        1. VinceH

          "Why do people pay £500-£1000 for such an poor option when a £80 TomTom or the free Nokia Here app will do a far better job?"

          Because it's 'integrated' and therefore cool makes their dick longer?

          1. sonicmonkey

            Integrated sat nav

            "Why do people pay £500-£1000 for such an poor option when a £80 TomTom or the free Nokia Here app will do a far better job?"

            They're often worse than that - £1000 - £1500 for the integrated sat-nav is a massive rip-off and I wouldn't opt for it if I bought new. But if you don't buy new then it's a handy thing to have in a used car where the cost doesn't filter through to you so badly.

            They go out of date but 95% of the time they're fine, and the extra time spent programming a destination into a possibly badly designed one is saved not having to plug in the tomtom to the windscreen and have cables hanging around the dash.

            And more time saved when you stop for a quick pee at the services and don't have to unplug the tomtom every time.

            1. jason 7 Silver badge

              Re: Integrated sat nav

              I have to say last autumn I had a top of the range Volvo S80 as a hire car. It had all the gizmos except for the built in satnav (I guess because Hertz love to push their 'EverLost' system).

              Now that was fine for me as I had a TomTom. But for the car with its 6" (?) dash screen...it didn't have a lot to do. It was virtually useless unless making a settings change (not often), just displaying the radio station or the reverse cam when parking.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Integrated sat nav

                I have to say last autumn I had a top of the range Volvo S80 as a hire car.... But for the car with its 6" (?) dash screen...it didn't have a lot to do. It was virtually useless unless making a settings change (not often), just displaying the radio station or the reverse cam when parking.

                Yes. I have a 2015 Volvo XC70 - the AWD estate - and most of the time the screen isn't doing anything useful, which is a bit annoying. That's particularly true when my wife and I go on vacation; we have different tastes in music, so generally I have the system on mute while we're driving across the country for 8 hours a day. So it's just showing me what it's not playing.

                There's a "trip statistics" display, but when you stop and restart the engine it resets to whatever the previous media setting was, and if you want trip statistics (which aren't all that useful anyway) you have to navigate back to it. And there's a "screen saver" option which blanks the screen, but then if you are listening to something you'll probably want to turn it off again. Or you can turn the system off entirely, but then no parking camera.

                But again that's probably because Volvo want you to buy their $1500 nav system. Not likely. On the rare occasions I want satnav, I have it in my phone. I also have some experience with the advanced navigation techniques of stopping to look at a map or asking directions.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I tend to use a combination of Android Google Maps and Waze for my navigation needs.

          Doesn't go out of date like a standalone satnav either.

        3. John Sager

          Rubbish in-car satnavs

          I don't get it either. Having just bought a 2012 Audi A4, the satnav in that is antediluvian compared with even the 6-year old Tom-Tom I had in the previous car. The data was even on a DVD for heaven's sake, blocking the CD/DVD slot. At least the car has two SD slots so the satnav data is now copied to a SD. If I want to update the maps it's about £200 from the dealer, I think. Other built-in satnavs I've seen are just as rubbish.

          Surely the companies who supply the satnav features to the car manufacturers can see that this is something that needs to be updated on a regular basis at a reasonable price. In fact, the same goes for all in-car electronics - the renewal cycle these days is much shorter than the average life of the car, and has been for years.

        4. Cloud, what..... Sorry... Um... - you just made that up.

          Me: I'd buy a hypervisor from vmware but wouldn't buy monitoring software from them as thats not their core skill.

          Customer: What do you mean?

          Me: Well you wouldn't for-instance buy a satnav from a car manufacturer would you? They are always rubbish. They love to charge you loads of extra money for something of little extra value.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Why do people pay £500-£1000 for such an poor option

          As some idiot said above, because it's integrated, meaning that it's always there, it can interact with other systems in the car, it's a bigger screen, and is one less loose object to go flying if you have a prang.

          With that said, I agree with you, it's just taking the piss: OsmAnd gives much better nav instructions than the satnav thing I paid well above £2,000 for. Mind, for a single occupant scenario the integrated satnav is a lot safer to use, though given the price difference you could probably just hire a co-pilot.

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      VW GROUP SAT NAV

      The system was written for German postcodes. It was impossible to enter the full UK postcode, not enough character spaces.

      I can tell that the sheer, impressive might of Tutonic technocratery has swung into action. Add a "goto end" command at the beginning of the enter post code routine for the UK market.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Post Codes

      Reason not too many satnavs bother with that is because post code entry is not a widely used feature outside the UK.

      With that said, I actually tried this a few weeks ago on some other VW (can't recall if the nav system was the same as the one shown in the badly resized picture here) and it *does* take post codes: just enter them in lieu of the town name.

  2. ZSn

    not that bad

    I drove this car as a hire car in Germany a few weeks ago and was quite impressed. Admittedly saying that it is an accountants car is true, but it did do cross country reasonably well and was stable at over 100 mph. Briefly (very briefly!) letting go of the steering wheel at that speed showed that it stayed true while still having a light touch around town. The automatic handbrake was better than anything else I had seen and I got 5 l/109 km (55 mpg) out of it.

  3. Nick L

    "Very sensible"

    Those two words sum up the Passat. "Very sensible". It's a pleasant enough car, but it's blander than a bland thing being incredibly bland. The motoring equivalent of magnolia paint. Does absolutely nothing wrong, but does absolutely nothing to allow you to enjoy driving.

    And of course "very sensible" doesn't equate to buying a new car at list price.

    I think El Reg is a little confused at the competition, too. The BMW competition would be the 3 series, or 4 series grand coupe with 4 doors (no, I have no clue, either...) but not the 5, which is gargantuan. A4? Indeed, as it's the same platform.

    But the biggest issue: 35 grand for something that's merely competent? 1 year old Mondeo and a 10 year old Elise would still be way under that, get you and the family from A to B cheaply, and you + 1 other from X to Y - preferably a track - with as much thrills as you want, and still cost less in depreciation.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: "Very sensible"

      Yep. Every Passat I've driven has been "worthy but boring". I would never considerer buying one.

    2. Kristian Walsh

      Re: "Very sensible"

      It was once the case long ago, but these days, the VW Passat and Audi A4 do not share the same platform - for a start, the A4 has its engine mounted in a different orientation to the Passat. The Audi larger-car platform is known as "MLB" ("Modularer Längsbaukasten" for "modular, longitudinal(engined) parts-kit") for this reason.

      The A3 and faux-SUV models do use the same MQB transverse-engined modules as their equivalent Volkswagen models, though.

      Agree with everything else you've said though. At that price, I'd want a lot more than "competence".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Very sensible"

      >But the biggest issue: 35 grand for something that's merely competent? 1 year old Mondeo and a 10 year old Elise would still be way under that, get you and the family from A to B cheaply, and you + 1 other from X to Y - preferably a track - with as much thrills as you want, and still cost less in depreciation.

      Pointless comment. If you want to bring in a one year old Mondeo then you need to use a one year old Passat as comparison. Similarly if you want to use a ten year old Elise then you need to use a ten year old Passat.

      Why you would compare an Elise with a Passat is beyond me though. Yes, the Elise will be a hell of a lot more fun to drive, but if you want to bring along a family + luggage it's useless.

      1. Toltec

        Re: "Very sensible"

        @AC

        "Why you would compare an Elise with a Passat is beyond me though."

        It was not a comparison, he meant why not buy a year old Mondeo as white goods transport and a ten year old Elise for fun with the same money a new Passat would cost.

        He may be a petrol head :)

        My addition, Diesel and FWD meh, I may have the same affliction.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Very sensible"

        "Pointless comment. If you want to bring in a one year old Mondeo then you need to use a one year old Passat as comparison. Similarly if you want to use a ten year old Elise then you need to use a ten year old Passat.

        Why you would compare an Elise with a Passat is beyond me though. Yes, the Elise will be a hell of a lot more fun to drive, but if you want to bring along a family + luggage it's useless."

        I think you missed Nick's point. He surely meant the cost of this new Passat is equivalent to the cost of the Mondeo PLUS an Elise. That way you get the best of both worlds - a sensible daily driver + a trackday car for the weekends.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Very sensible"

          Fair enough. But you could also buy a second hand Passat at the same spec as the Mondeo. As has been mentioned the Passat doesn't hold its value particularly well either. Also, if you do plenty of miles, then it's often worth paying extra to be in a car you enjoy sitting in, although I say that having never driven a Mondeo. Or a Passat for that matter.

          New cars like this are generally bought as company cars. They don't sell many privately. If you're going to be getting a company car it'll be new Mondeo vs new Passat and the Passat will probably be cheaper as the German cars tend to hold their value better than big Fords. Same's true if you buy: it's not it costs that matters: it's the difference between what you pay and what you get back that matters.

    4. Sigfried

      Re: "Very sensible"

      Disagree about the comparison, the Golf/Jetta is the VW equivalent of a 3 series, the Passat is definitely a 5 series sized vehicle, if not quite a competitor. The A6/7 would be the VW/Audi Group 5 series comparison. That said, the later A4 (B8 and on models) are damn near identical in size to a Passat/5 series and only marginally smaller than an A6 anyway.

      Passat is a competent people mover, I have an older (07) V6 AWD estate version, and that gets along fairly well having 190 Kw (250 bhp) and possibly the best sounding 6 cylinder engine around. A little bit of a barge at times but not too bad. Worst feature is that 2007 was in VW's bad period for electrical troubles and that can be a problem.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: "Very sensible"

        I have a 3 year old 5 pot 2.5T mondeo, and I guarantee it is a much better car to drive. Cheaper too (doubt it is cheaper to run but it doesn't go through tyres as fast as the wifes heavier diesel so a couple of hundred extra on fuel is offset by the couple of hundred extra in tyres)

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The IT angle..

    ...what is the provenance of those photos? They look like they have been blown-up from thumbnails! :)

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: The IT angle..

      No - that would look blurry. They look as though someone resized them down from higher-res using some form of ancient PHP library.

  5. James Cane

    I don't think VW will lose any sleep if you choose to buy an Audi instead. They are, after all, the same company.

  6. Ben Rose
    IT Angle

    WTF has this got to do with IT?

    Are times so hard that you need to try and steal page views from car mags?

    I sort of understand the electric car reviews, they are kinda techy and have apps for control etc.

    This is just a stinky diesel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF has this got to do with IT?

      Agree 100%. And motorcycles reviews would be much, much better!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF has this got to do with IT?

        A lot of us in IT use cars for our jobs. We tend to buy diesels as they're the best tool for a job, just like you wouldn't buy a mainframe just to do a few spreadsheets.

        There are a shitload of articles on the Register which don't interest me, so I tend to not read them. I read this one though, even though I've no intention of buying one, or anything like it.

        1. Ben Rose
          Megaphone

          Re: WTF has this got to do with IT?

          I was right though, it was a stinky diesel :O)

  7. Yugguy

    NOONE will want this

    As Sniff so rightly said, it could be the best car in the world but it will still be hated.

    Because the shiny-suited middle manager who gets this as his fleet car wants an Audi.

    Could be a good used buy though in a few years.

    1. Stuart 16
      FAIL

      Re: NOONE will want this

      It will be a mini-cab in a few years. VW should provide a factory-fitted mounting for the 'For Hire' sign.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NOONE will want this

      Yup.

      Bought my 1.9TDi with 61k on the clock for a tad under £5k. It does what it says on the tin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NOONE will want this

        Either a) your car came in a bloody big tin or b) your car came with writing on it? What did it say, four wheels, one at each corner, one careful owner, bogies flicked around the cabin, chewing gum under the drivers seat, sex fluids on the back seat?

  8. BobRocket

    the illusion of choice

    So this VW Passat holds up well against the Audi A4, surely the Skoda Octavia can give it a run for its money.

    Which one is best ?

    They all are because they are the same car with different bonnet badges.

    (it is like comparing a VW Sharan with a Seat Alhambra or a Ford Galaxy).

    Next you will be extolling the benefits of Daz over Ariel

    1. Nick L

      Re: the illusion of choice

      The Skoda Octavia's not the same car though: that's based on the Golf platform. For the same platform as the A4/Passat, you'd need to be looking at the Superb. At least Seat have given up trying to compete in this sector.

      IT angle? None. Who cares.

      1. /dev/null

        Re: the illusion of choice

        Well, actually the latest Golf, Passat, Octavia, Leon, A3, and this year's new Superb (among others) were all designed using the MQB "modular transverse construction kit" (probably the best translation of the German), so the old distinction between different VW Group "platforms" is becoming quite blurred.

  9. 0laf Silver badge

    Probably keeps the front wheels on the ground well enough with that power and torque because like most modern 'normal' cars it'll be heavier than a heavy thing that drinks pints of heavy.

    Also the reassuringly expensive VAG group are now just looking expensive since they don't do particularly well in the reliability stakes.

    Depreciation will be catastrophic for the first 3yr after which it'll probably be a decent buy with an extended warranty.

    This is a car bought by fleets, without VAT and with big discounts. I doubt too many private buyers will be ready to stump up £35 for a Passat, well specced or not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd pay £35 for one.

  10. Kristian Walsh

    Size comparison is wrong.

    The Volkswagen Passat is the size of the BMW 3-Series model, not the larger 5-Series... If that makes the Passat look even more expensive, it's more a reflection of how far down the price range BMW has moved in the last decade, rather than VW trying to be aspirational. (The entry levels of the 3-series range make a fine advertisement for a Ford Mondeo)

    I would never buy a Passat however. If I needed a dull, large, family-sized car, and really didn't care about the badge, a Skoda Superb costs far less than this price, and unlike a Volkswagen it'll still be working properly when the loan is paid off.

    Kudos to the author for starting at the Lancia Fulvia and Alfa Sud, and ending up at a Volkswagen Passat, though. Usually the mid-life crisis runs the other way...

    1. JamesPond
      FAIL

      Re: Size comparison is wrong.

      Or a Mercedes C-Class, which can be had for a similar price, has a much classier cabin and is rear-wheel drive.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prat in a Passat

    nuff said.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's OK-ish

    I get this one a lot as a result of driving too many rentals (upgrades almost come as standard now), and if there is one thing that can be said about it is that it does distances very well, at speed. I zapped across Germany once in one of these at a measured average of 160km/h (it's a time of day thing, don't try this during the day) and it was (a) very comfortable and (b) stupidly economical to the point where I thought for a while that I had a car with a defective fuel gage (if you're doing a motorway stretch +1000km on a single tank is achievable if you stay at 120..130 km/h)..

    I agree with most that I wouldn't buy one, but it is one of the more practical rides out there, and it has an impressive amount of boot space to, er, boot.

  13. Blitheringeejit
    Coat

    Heated steering wheel???

    The world has gone completely mad. I'm leaving.

    /coat

    1. JamesPond
      Flame

      Re: Heated steering wheel???

      When I worked at Jaguar LandRover, a heated steering wheel along with a fuel burning heater (i.e. burns fuel to heat the car, either started remotely or when first starting the car, rather than waiting for the engine to warm up before delivering heat) were regularly purchased as options in Russia and Canada but virtually no where else. So there is a market for them, just not in warmer climes.

      1. Blitheringeejit
        WTF?

        Re: Heated steering wheel???

        Heating the car up before or after you get in, OK I understand that. My car has heaters.

        But the steering wheel is IN the bloody car, so why does it need heating separately?

        1. /dev/null

          Re: Heated steering wheel???

          You obviously weren't driving to work in central Scotland in the winter of 2010/2011...you'd be surprised how cold a steering wheel can get.

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Heated steering wheel???

          I recall reading somewhere - can't be bothered to google it, so take this with an appropriate level of scepticism - that heating the steering wheel is one of the most effective/efficient ways to "trick" the driver into thinking the whole car is warm. For electric cars, where every erg wasted on interior heating is one less to use to propulsion, a heated steering wheel is the best way to make the driver feel "warm" quickly and efficiently. If your hands are toasty, you're more inclined to ignore your chattering teeth and icicle-encrusted nose.

          All of which is somewhat tenuous when applied to a combustion-engined vehicle like this one, of course. For what it's worth I have a heated steering wheel in my Volvo XC60. It's handy on cold mornings. Wouldn't have paid extra for it, but it came bundled on the car along with more compelling features (heated seats... mmmmm)

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Heated steering wheel???

          Come to Michigan in January and I'll let you drive my car. You'll see why the heated steering wheel is a desirable feature.

          It's not as useful as the electrically heated windshield, or even the heated washer-fluid jets. It's probably not as desirable as the heated seats. But does it make a difference? Most certainly.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Heated steering wheel???

        Driving to work in -20°C conditions, a heated wheel is nice for the first few minutes - especially if you've just frozen your fingers through your gloves clearing the snow and ice from the vehicle...

  14. 2Fat2Bald

    35k?

    Sorry, VW, but it's too pricey. That car is up against the 3 series, and you can get a nice one for 35k (a bloody nice one if you buy an ex-demo, or something along those lines). I used to like my old Passet 2.5 V6 TDi. But 35k for a four-pot VW passat? At least it had the feeling of being a bit "special" as it was a V6.

    35k for a four-pot diesel passat? - no chance.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: 35k?

      And an ex-demo Passat would be a lot less than 35K...

      An ex-demo anything is going to be a lot cheaper than "new".

      Here we have "Tageszulassung" or pre-registered, which will also save you a bundle of cash - I think I saved around 6K on my Toyota Verso.

      My Citroen C3 was a "Jahreswagen" (nearly-new, often factory employee pre-owned). That saved me a bundle as well - nearly 2 years old, but less than 10K kilometres, 12K€ saving.

  15. Jim 59

    Not sure why everyone is so down on the Passat. Never been in one but they are nice looking cars. True, the black jumpers would prefer an Audi, but others prefer non BMW/Audi for the same reason.

    It's too expensive though but.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      I don't think people are down, it is as you say - too expensive, there are much better options. Plus they depreciate heavily so pointless buying one new.

  16. big_D Silver badge

    Folding mirrors

    Come from a class above?

    So my 2012 Citroen C3 is a class above the Passat? :-O

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gooseneck boot hinges?

    The gooseneck boot hinges just scream costcutting to me.

    If a 2005 Peugeot 407 can have a nice cantilevered hinge that doesn't eat into the boot, why can't a 2015 VW Passat?

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Sorry I find it difficult to get interested

    in this class of car.

    To me this is the white goods of cars, when people discuss Mondeos, these, Vectras and the like, I actually think choosing a new oven was more interesting*

    * Bosch double built under for those interested

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Passat is a nice car

    That being said a 35K sticker is a stretch, IMO. The Diesel is thrifty but takes away a lot of the driving fun. The VR6 is a much better choice if you want a good mid-sized family car with some performance. As with BMW and Audi the options are where the auto maker reaps high margins. They know most people will desire many of the options that should be standard equipment. It's a psych job most consumers fail.

  20. Andy Miller

    Tech angle?

    Did you not get one with the "Trailer Assist" automatic trailer reversing gadget? I think lots of caravanners will be interested in that and it's an interesting new bit of applied technology.

  21. jungle_jim

    I am getting a Passat

    I am a Sales rep ( boo hiss) do 30 - 40 thousand miles a year and currently have a 3 year old company insignia

    The choice of new cars for me was as follows:

    Mondeo 2.0 Duratorq TDCI Zetec 150PS Econetic £23,635.00

    Insignia 2.0 CDTI Design Nav 140PS Ecoflex £20,674.00

    Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI SE Business 150PS BMT £25,620.00

    Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCi N-Tec 5dr £23,945.00

    Mazda 6 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav £24,480.00

    After having a play with all of them I ranked them as follows:

    Passat Saloon 2.0 TDI SE Business 150PS BMT £25,620.00

    Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCi N-Tec 5dr £23,945.00

    Mazda 6 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav £24,480.00

    Mondeo 2.0 Duratorq TDCI Zetec 150PS Econetic £23,635.00

    Insignia 2.0 CDTI Design Nav 140PS Ecoflex £20,674.00

    The Passat was the upper end of the price range, but it is worth the odd £200 extra a year in BIK that I would have to pay.

    I daresay others will have a similar choice and this end of the market I think it is a good choice.

    That's all I have to say about that.

  22. PeterMur

    Problems with my VW Passat

    Hello! Something happened with my Volkswagen. The engine began to run unevenly, appeared to vibrate, and the oil consumption increased. Has anyone encountered this problem? What is the reason?

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