Volkswagen Passat (05 - 10)

The Volkswagen Passat is never far from the top of the shopping list because it is a benchmark car for the segment.  Producing and selling popular cars has pretty much become a tour-de-force for Volkswagen thanks to their rock solid reputation for reliable, robust, steadfast, and cost-effective vehicles. The Passat has been the figurehead for such traits since its introduction in 1981. Practicality levels are impressive; there’s acres of space in the cabin, and a good size boot which can hold some pretty large items. You can easily fit five adults in the cabin, leg/head room will not be an issue, and it is extremely comfortable. It is also well designed inside; good quality materials are used throughout, and the dashboard/centre console is neatly laid out and easy to use. On the road, it handles well; the steering is responsive and the ride quality is smooth. Excellent driver.

Look out for

•  Problems with the air-con apparently are common

What we like

•  Practical; spacious cabin and one of the biggest boots in class

•  There are some really fine, efficient engines

•  A great car to drive in any setting and you never feel uncomfortable

•  There’s a decent level of standard equipment and safety features

•  Reasonable price tag and it is pretty cheap to keep on the road

What we don't like

•  The diesel engines can get a bit noisy at times