With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best used hybrid estate car...
The Volkswagen Passat has been with us for so long and through so many generations that there’s a version to suit pretty much anyone else’s taste, budget or lifestyle.
For us, it’s the estate body that makes the most sense, for the added practicality it offers over the saloon. This latest, 2015-onwards version is bigger and posher than earlier generations, too, and it’s the first to offer what is undoubtedly the most appealing Passat variant: the Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid.
With a smooth 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, the GTE pumps out a total of 215bhp, delivering punchy performance whenever you need it. It’s also decently quiet, handles neatly and rides well.
Meanwhile, the interior is nicely designed and assembled, there’s loads of space for passengers and luggage, and standard equipment is generous.
But the GTE’s raison d’être is its ability to travel for up to 31 miles on electric power alone (34 miles if you choose one of the upgraded post-2019 cars), and that can lead to impressively low fuel bills. True, the BMW 330e and Mercedes C300de can go even farther on electric power, but they cost much more to buy and aren’t nearly as spacious or practical.
Even better, early Passat GTEs can be found for as little as £10,000. However, we’d look at 2017 cars for between £12,000 and £14,000, while post-2019 models with that longer battery range cost upwards of £17,000.
Reliability’s good, too; the Passat ranked fourth out of 24 models in the executive car class in the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey.