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Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion Estate

Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion Estate

Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion Estate

Model/Engine size: 1.9 TDI
Fuel: Diesel
Fuel economy combined: 54.3 mpg

First there was the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion – the greenest Polo in the model line-up . Now Volkswagen is rolling out the BlueMotion treatment to the rest of its car range including the Passat saloon and estate.

This means that greener cars are now available for people who have partners, children and dogs – as well as business users who need to trundle up and down the motorway with a car full of widget samples.

So what has VW done to extract more miles from the gallon? One of the main changes is the longer gearing. This applies to third, fourth and fifth, however it is fifth gear that will make the biggest difference in normal driving. Note that the car has 5 gears not 6. They’ve also fitted lower rolling resistance tyres, lowered the ride height, and improved the aerodynamics, so reducing drag by 2%. There is also a gear shift indicator on the dashboard, but it’s assumed that people won’t be focusing on this all the time when they’re driving.

Interestingly, the reduced aerodynamic drag on the BlueMotion also makes it fractionally faster than the standard Passat, giving it a 3mph improvement, meaning that this version can manage 118mph.

People who hate having to stop at fuel stations on a regular basis will love this car. The fuel economy combined with the 70 litre tank means that, in theory at least, this car could travel around 850 miles on one tank – ie. more than the length of the UK.

Although the Passat is not as loud as the Polo, the engine is noisy, and not that refined. However there is reasonable torque from the 105bhp unit, although it will certainly not get you excited.

The same can be said for the overall driving experience. Is it going to inspire you to take the B road home? No. This is not a rewarding car to drive. The steering doesn’t have any direct feedback, just as the chassis doesn’t feel precise.

The theme continues in the interior. Dull but solid is a fair description. The Passat BlueMotion gets climate control, and alloy wheels on the outside, but sat nav is extra.

The BlueMotion costs around £1000 more than the S version. You’re paying more for better economy – but you’re also paying more for less power.

Companies will be attracted to the tax saving potential of the Passat BlueMotion, as it means 2% less company car tax than the standard 1.9 diesel Passat (18% rather than 20%). This means a saving of £616 per year at the 20% tax rate, and £1,217 saving for those in the 40% band.

However business drivers need to be committed to the environmental cause, otherwise they’ll be looking at colleagues in top of the range Mondeos with lots of equipment and performance, and feeling very green – with envy.

VW Passat BlueMotion Estate Review

So should you consider this car? If you want a large, practical car – it has a huge 1,731-litres of boot space – that is also efficient, especially on the motorway – yes. It will appeal to companies especially, and there are few green estates to choose from.

However, as with all cars, this will change. There will be more green estates coming our way, and Volkswagen hasn’t really gone that far with the technology – much more is possible.

In the meantime this is a great car for sitting on a motorway and being efficient.

Fuel economy extra urban:
64.2 mpg
Fuel economy urban: 47.9 mpg
CO2 emissions: 137 g/km
Green rating: VED band C – £120
Weight: 1616 Kg
Company car tax liability (2007): 18%
Price: £18,405 (From £15,150 to £26,365)
Insurance group: 7
Safety: NCAP 5 Stars
Max speed: 118 mph
0-60mph: 12.4 seconds