I have run a Passat Turbo Sport Saloon for the last 12 months as a company car, and it is with great regret that I am about to say goodbye to it. Whilst it isn't the most exciting car about either to drive or look at, it is handsome enough and it goes like a train! I have done 44,000 miles in the last 12 months and there is not a single thing wrong with the car, the total cost to my company for four services, four new tyres and front brakes has been a paltry £1000. It will cruise all day at high speeds and still return 34mpg, and I've seen 140mph on holiday in Europe. The only downside is the depreciation, mine has done high miles, but had I shelled out £21k of my own money, I would be seeing less than half that back if I had to sell it now. Still, if you have the chance of running one as a company car it represents much more for your monthly allowance than anything else from Germany ot Italy, and who wants a French car? It's now better looking since the update too.
Its with great regret that I prepare to say goodbye to my Passat 1.8T Sport. I chose it as a company car two years ago when my work required me to do endless long journeys, and it was perfect for that job. VW based the Passat on the same platform as the group's Audi A4 and A6. The A4 is slightly smaller than the Passat and the A6 slightly larger, but both are more expensive than the Passat. Some may prefer the Audi badge, but in terms of value for money, the VW is a clear winner. For me the 1.8T engine is the best feature of this car. The Passat version produces 150bhp, though the same engine is easily tweaked to 180 or even 225bhp in the Audi TT, so it clearly isn't performing under too much stress in the Passat. More importantly it produces torque across its entire rev range so the engine doesn't need to be thrashed to get the car moving, and there's no need to stir the five speed gear box too frequently to keep the car in a narrow power band. At all speeds the engine is smooth and free flowing, and is a pleasure to behold. The body and chasis are also well sorted. The car soaks up rough terrain without complaint, but is clearly at its best cruising motorways. When cornering at speed there's just a little too much body roll, but the firm, supportive seats hold the driver and passengers well enough. Equipment levels are generous, and everything has a quality feel to it. Even the plastics are well made, and leather and metal are used where appropriate; Leather trimmed wheel and gear lever knob and chromed metal door release catches. Reliability has been superb with not a single problem in 45,000 miles - until now that is. Days after I decided to sell it the temperature gauge sender failed and the engine temperature permanently reads 0. I'm going to forgive it because it will be fixed FOC under warranty. Perhaps it's getting me back for selling it? A basic service every 10,000 m
iles plus a new pair of front tyres at 30,000 were the full running costs. Petrol consumption has been great for such a large, powerful car, and despite 'enthusiastic' driving I was able to average 30 mpg. Depreciation of VW's is supposed to be very good, but falling new car prices have hit its second hand value. List price for the car when new was £21,000 (including optional Electric Sunroof and Xenon lights), but it's resale value was only £9,975 after two years, due in part to the high mileage. Assuming that the company probably paid much less than list for it, then I guess that the depreciation was probably around 20 to 25% per annum. The Passat has to be considered by anyone who wants a quality, reliable saloon car at a reasonable price. Alternative offerings from Ford, Vauxhall and others don't offer quite the same value, despite their lower initial cost, and the Passat clearly beats its Audi siblings in the value for money stakes. I'd have no hesitation recommending it. By the way, I got it from Vantage VW in Leeds who are the best dealer I've ever come across. When they checked out the temperature gauge sender they even washed and valeted the car for free, even though I wasn't paying for the repair work! Thank-you Vantage! I'll miss you as well as the car.