First Drive of 2015 VW Passat GTE

If anyone needs proof that the world is slowly changing, look no further than the major car manufacturers. These lumbering dinosaurs are being forced, kicking and screaming, into the eco driven future to the extent that they’re even converting their major sellers into green machines. The latest example is this Volkswagen Passat GTE, a plugin hybrid (PHEV) which boasts ‘official’ consumption figures of 149 mpg and 31 miles of all electric range. And at a price which is very nearly the same as the diesel version it will presumably one day replace.

What makes this new car so special is the fact that 70% of all Passat sales go to fleet buyers, the faceless men who buy thousands of cars for their corporate, mile eating executives who spend their lives driving up and down the nation’s highways. These guys demand the best deal for their bulk buying, so when a hybrid becomes a part of the menu, you know that times have indeed changed.

First impressions

The new Passat is an impressive saloon/sedan, no question. The sleek elongated bodyline looks every inch a motorway cruiser, and it’s clear that the company has its sights set on the BMW and Mercedes equivalents with the introduction of this new 2015 model. The car we tested had all the fancy trim and upmarket materials of a deluxe limo, thankfully with a character to match. Watch our video below to get an idea of how the car performs in practice.

Read more: Red Ferret

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