Facelifted for the 2020MY, the Euro-spec VW Passat is still available as a plug-in hybrid. It’s called the Passat GTE, boasts a sportier appearance and has revised oily bits and better all-electric range.
Power comes from a 1.4-liter TSI petrol unit and an electric motor, which deliver a total output of 218 PS (215 hp / 160 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. Nothing new here, but the 13 kWh battery is 31 percent larger than before, and this gives it a zero-emission range of up to 56 km (35 miles) in the WLTP test cycle, and 70 km (43 miles) in the NEDC.
It can be driven in EV mode all the way up to motorway speeds, with enough punch to keep up with the traffic. When the ICE kicks in, you will do 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 7.2 seconds, which is quite good for a mid-size family car. However, the regenerative braking system, which saves energy and stores it into the battery for later use, makes it feel a bit sluggish on the go. The steering is not sharp either, and in certain scenarios, it feels like a big vehicle, but if comfort is your thing, then you won’t be disappointed.
The 2020 Passat GTE is nicely specced too, with LED headlights, an infotainment system and smartphone integration being offered as standard. You can also equip it with a larger touchscreen display, digital dials and Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, which can be operated at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph).
So, should the plug-in hybrid version of the German family car make it to the top of your list, or should you check out something else, like the Skoda Superb iV, which is basically the same car beneath the skin? CarGurus’ review shared below might help you decide.