A trip from Peterborough to Newquay in Cornwall and back meant five hours behind the wheel.
Long journeys can either be a pleasure or a killer, depending on the car and the traffic conditions, so with the knowledge that I have been a very happy Passat driver for the past two months I was looking forward to my trip.
Shortly after setting off, my passenger nodded off in the comfortably-reclined, heated leather seat.
The Passat is great for long distances – I just set cruise control, turned Van Morrison up on the CD player and, including a short rest break, we hit Bristol in three hours and four minutes. How can I be so accurate?
Because the multi-function indicator on the dashboard shows driving time, distance driven, current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, driving range and ambient temperature.
I had the pleasure of informing my waking passenger of all the details of our journey so far. For some strange reason he wasn't as impressed as I was. Perhaps he was a little groggy.
The next step of the journey took us on twisting Cornish lanes, where the engine proved flexible, pulling well from low speeds when the chance came to pass slow traffic.
The weather was splendid so we turned off the air-con and opened the sunroof, which is better than most as it doesn't produce the horrible booming noise at low speeds or deafening wind noise at high speeds that some do.
Average fuel consumption for the journey was 43.6mpg on the motorways and A roads, and I used half a tank of fuel covering 320 miles.
As the coast neared, I could also provide a running update of the outside temperature to prepare us for the beach. Smashing.
The Passat did have one fly in its ointment ,though. Hundreds in fact. Over the weekend, the windscreen wipers didn't help in cleaning all the dead bugs off the screen on the journey home no matter how much I tried.
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer) £65 per month
Figures based on three-years/60,000-miles