Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in now on sale from £36,525

A winner in the Large Family Car class in the recent Next Green Car Awards even before its showroom debut here, the new Volkswagen Passat GTE is now available – starting at £36,525 (RRP OTR), excluding Government Plug-In Car Grant of £2,500.

The first Passat with plug-in hybrid drive system, new car offers spirited performance alongside the possibility of zero emissions when driving in all-electric mode, with an electric range of upto 31 miles.

Available in saloon or estate body styles, the Passat GTE is equipped with a 1.4-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine delivers 156 PS, while the electric motor adds a further 115 PS, emitting just 39g of CO2 on the EU Combined Cycle, equating to fuel economy of 166 mpg. Yet with 400 Nm of torque and combined system power of 218 PS.  Electric power is stored in the on-board 9.9 kWh battery pack sited under the rear seats.

The new car can sprint from rest to 62 mph in a lively 7.6 seconds before heading to a top speed of 140 mph, where legal. The potential range between refuelling stops is more than 660 miles.

A specially developed six-speed DSG gearbox is standard on the GTE and features a third, disengagement clutch. This decouples the TSI motor whenever possible, to allow the vehicle to make best use of kinetic energy and hence increases efficiency still further.

Building on the already elegant lines of the new Passat – voted European Car of the Year 2015 – the Passat GTE is distinguished outside by distinctive C-shaped LED daytime running lights and an additional blue line across the radiator grille: design cues which are shared with the award-winning Golf GTE. A redesigned front bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels also mark out the new car.

Inside, in addition to the optional innovative Active Info Display with specific customised read-outs, standard features include blue ambient lighting, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats covered in Alcantara with Vienna leather side bolsters. Unique GTE badging also marks out the new Passat.

Volkswagen’s new Car-Net e-Remote app allows a wide variety of tasks to be performed via smartphone – including charging . All climate control functions can be also activated remotely, while information on the vehicle’s state of charge, recent driving data or last parking position can be displayed. It is also possible to check whether the doors are closed and the lights turned off.

Under normal circumstances, the Passat GTE starts in pure electric E-Mode. When it reaches minimum battery charge hybrid mode is activated. Here the Passat GTE operates as a full hybrid, charging the battery under deceleration and automatically using the TSI motor and/or electric motor as required. However, should the driver wish to conserve electric power (for example to use E-Mode in a city at the end of a journey), Battery Charge mode can be selected. For maximum power, GTE mode can be chosen: this uses both petrol and electric motors.

Charging is achieved either via a standard UK domestic mains outlet in around four hours and 15 minutes; or in two hours 30 minutes from a dedicated wallbox with a 3.6 kW supply.

The Passat GTE comes in two highly specified trim levels in the UK. On top of the standard features of the Passat GT (such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, Discover Navigation, Bluetooth and parking sensors), standard items include LED headlights and tail lights, Mode 2&3 charging cables and Car-Net e-Remote. Standard items on the GTE Advance trim also include the new Active Info Display, Discover Pro navigation (eight-inch screen), Nappa leather, Area View and LED premium headlights.

Judges in the Next Green Car Awards said of the Volkswagen:

“Volkswagen’s Passat is an excellent large family car that performs well in every area. Add to it the plug-in hybrid powertrain that effortlessly provides drive for all situations and the Passat GTE becomes a dominant model in the large family class.”

Volkswagen Passat GTE (pricing before OLEV grant)

Passat GTE 1.4 TSI £36,525

Passat GTE Advance 1.4 TSI £40,180

Passat Estate GTE 1.4 TSI £38,075

Passat Estate GTE Advance 1.4 TSI £41,730

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.