Car review - Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion

Syd Taylor saves the planet and his cash with this economical quality saloon

It was an overcast day when I peeked through the curtains to see the grey test car awaiting me. Perhaps if they had sent me a blue one, the sky would have changed colour in sympathy. As it was, the only ‘Blue’ theme was in the name, since the car in question was a Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion - an eco friendly variant of that family car/executive saloon that rivals, among others, Ford’s Mondeo, BMW’s 3 Series, and the Volvo S60.

Inside it’s beautifully finished and masterfully assembled to a level that shouts top quality and there’s lots of room front and back. The SE variant on test has all the necessary convenience, comfort and safety features, with little lacking for the dedicated sybarite. It’s no good, of course, having all the gadgets and a comfy seat if the ergonomics are for an anthropoid so let me reassure you that you’ll fit into one of these as surely as into your finest brogues. It has a low profile, sleek sides and an undeniable air of quality, cutting a dash without looking too flash.

And then there’s that BlueMotion technology, a sprinkling of a little eco-dust on existing concepts. All the better to minimise those emissions while applying a little quantitative easing to the vehicle economy. It doesn’t mean that you get more for less, but at the very least you can be confident that what you’ve got will go far.

The 4 cylinder 2.0 litr 140PS diesel tested returns about 55mpg overall but on leisurely runs I saw well over 65mpg. Its sister car with the 1.6TDI 105PS engine has set a world record for a standard passenger car on a single tank of fuel - 1,527miles!

You might expect dull performance from such economical cars, but you’d be wrong. The test car was lively - maybe even ‘sporty’, propelling you to over 130mph - more than enough for anyone. The diesel engine is delightfully smooth, willing and torquey and with the six speed DSG gearbox that is probably the best there is. This rock solid piece of top quality engineering handles precisely, rides beautifully and - contrary to what’s been written in some deranged reports - is comfortingly quiet.

Seldom has my credit card been treated so gently. ‘Think blue?’ I thought to myself - ‘I’d rather think lolly’ - because in a vehicle as economical as this you can easily save enough money to buy a lolly a day for a thousand years. In fact I treated myself there and then and as I relished the strawberry ice cream taste, I reflected that this Passat certainly took some licking. Silly, you might think but it’s a testimony to the virtues of this car that life suddenly takes on a pleasurable tinge, as though blue was the new colour of rose coloured specs.

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If you’ve not guessed by now, I was tickled pink by this high tech fuel sparer. It’s the sort of car that would have even Mr. Scrooge chuckling with delight and whistling all the way to the counting house.

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