The Volkswagen Passat proves to be a good all-rounder on the road, as discovered in its company car review.
When the current Volkswagen Passat range was launched at the end of 2014, the manufacturer took the unusual step of making it available only with a choice of diesel engines.
At the time, this was understandable as the fleet sector accounted for around 80% of the range’s registrations and diesel was the default fuel choice.
However, market trends change and the manufacturer has responded to them: last year it launched a plug-in hybrid option, and now it has added a number of petrol models to the range.
These mirror the trim levels of the diesel line-up, but will be priced at roughly £1,900 below their diesel counterparts.
Combined with competitive efficiency, this means the cost argument for opting for a petrol Passat stacks up for both fleet and driver.
For example, the 1.4 TSI ACT 150 SE Business DSG saloon – aided by Active Cylinder Technology, which shuts down two cylinders under certain conditions to reduce fuel consumption and emissions – has an official combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 117g/km.
This puts it in the 22% benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band, meaning a 20% taxpayer would incur an annual bill of £1,108.
In comparison, the same employee driving the equivalent diesel – a Passat 2.0 TDI 150 SE Business DSG with a P11D price of £27,080 – would face a BIK charge of £1,354.
The diesel model also loses out in the running cost calculations.
Over a four-year/80,000-mile cycle, the 1.4 TSI will cost 37.40 pence per mile (ppm), with the diesel priced at 38.37ppm.
The good news continues to the car itself. Passats have always been very good large family cars, and our test model was no different.
On the road, it proved to be a good all-rounder. It rode well, while the petrol engine provided ample performance, delivering its power smoothly from low revs.
It’s more refined than its diesel counterpart, with reduced engine noise particularly noticeable at lower speeds.
There’s plenty of room inside and while the cabin may lack the design flair of some of its rivals, it more than makes up for it in ease of use and build quality.
The eight-inch touchscreen used by the satellite navigation and infotainment system is a highlight: the display is super sharp and the technology is intuitive to operate.
Other standard equipment includes keyless start, stop-start function and adaptive cruise control including front assist and autonomous emergency braking.
SE Business trim also features front and rear parking sensors, air conditioning, Bluetooth telephone and audio connection and Volkswagen Media Control which allows smartphone and tablet control of infotainment system.
Overall, it’s an impressive package and, combined with its attractive running costs, the petrol version is undoubtedly a strong contender on a fleet choice list.
Model tested: Volkswagen Passat 1.4 TSI 150 SE Business DSG