Richard Berry road tests and reviews the new Volkswagen Passat 206 TSI R-Line Wagon with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Do your part to stop the spread of SUVs - buy a wagon. Yes, sports utility vehicles have become so popular that this year they’re expected to outsell regular cars in Australia for the first time. The thing is wagons generally offer just as much (or greater) cargo space and have more sporting ability than their SUV siblings. 

Take Volkswagen’s Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon which is not only the flagship in the range but the spiritual successor to the Passat R36 war wagon that was revered for the way it could haul ass and a decent cargo at the same time. It’s a hard act to follow, but the new wagon has been given a drivetrain transplant from another Volkswagen known for being an animal.  

The eighth generation Passat arrived in 2015 but this flagship of the range didn’t land in Australia until late in 2016 and when it’s not hating SUVs it hunts Subaru’s Levorg and other fast wagons including Volvo's V60 T5 R-Design and the Skoda Superb 206 TSI.

Quickness aside this is still a wagon and that means it needs to be practical, too.

So how did the Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon deal with children, shopping and everyday commuting? Is it as athletic on the road as it is on paper? Could it be the best reason to join the resistance and not buy an SUV?