The Passat has been performing below par recently on fuel efficiency; journeys that previously achieved 54-55mpg have dipped to 49-50mpg, while longer journeys are stuck in the mid-50s.
I put some of it down to the winter weather necessitating longer and stronger blasts from the climate control system, but having read one of our own Fleet News articles about tyre pressures, an alarm bell chimed.
And yes, all four tyres were under-inflated, to the tune of 15% or 5psi on average (all four should be 33psi).
Figures from tyre suppliers suggest this would lower fuel efficiency by up to 5% – half the drop I’ve actually experienced.
Interestingly, while I’d estimated an average fuel consumption of about 53mpg since my last fill-up based on the journey trip computer, the actual figure after filling up revealed a disappointing 49mpg: 11.22 gallons to travel 552 miles.
I’m now repeating the exercise with a frugal right foot (and correctly inflated tyres) to see whether I can boost this.
Fuel aside, the Passat continues to provide stress-free and cost-free motoring, with no niggles or faults. It remains supremely comfortable on all road surfaces and is an ideal chariot on long journeys.
Meanwhile, its cavernous 565-litre boot space came into its own while transporting a Christmas tree back from the local nursery.
With rear seats folded, there was ample room for the bushy six-footer.
However, it did remind me how heavy the Passat's boot lid is.
There’s no need to go to the gym if you frequently pump it up and down – those arm muscles will be bulging in no time!