The Volkswagen Passat is fast becoming another serial winner. This is the third year in a row the Passat Estate has topped the second weight category.
Its looks may not stand out from the crowd, but what it lacks in individuality the Passat makes up in ability. As a tow car, a daily commuter or the family taxi, the VW quietly and efficiently gets on with the job.
The VW’s towing credentials are what we’ll concentrate on here, and after two years at the top of the class, they were never in doubt. Stability at speed is excellent. High winds made for some of the most challenging towing conditions we’ve experienced at the Tow Car Awards, but only slight steering corrections were necessary – even when pulling a caravan with no stabiliser and the Al-Ko ATC system disabled. Data from the ATC shows how well the Passat coped with high winds, and with speeds above the legal limit.
The punch from latest generation of VW’s 2.0-litre diesel means reaching 60mph won’t take long. The Passat pulled its Swift caravan from 30-60mph in just 11 seconds. The VW is a practical car, too. With seats up, there are 603 litres of space to fill – enough for all our test load of holiday luggage. With seats down, that expands to 1731 litres.
In everyday driving the VW continues to make your life easy, thanks to a comfortable ride and excellent refinement. It’s very quiet at speed, and a sound driving position means long journeys are no chore.
It’s official combined economy of 60.1mpg is impressive for a car of this size, and Sport models come well equipped.