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VW Passat 2020 review: 140TSI Business Wagon

The Volkswagen Passat is a new-style, well designed wagon that fits the family.

If you have a family you need a car with space, which can come in either an SUV or you can go for an old school wagon.

Only wagons aren't so old school anymore. They've been updated and modernised and come out looking like this Volkswagen Passat. It's undeniably stylish and very functional, which is what we're all after right now.

The Volkswagen Passat 140TSI Business Wagon costs $47,990, before on-road costs and competes with cars like the Skoda Superb wagon and Mazda6 wagon. I drove it over seven days for this week's family review.

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✅ What does it look like?

Being a wagon, it's elongated, low profile and very sleek. The front grille blends seamlessly into the headlights and it's all very graceful. I find a wagon like the Passat wins in the style stakes compared to a bulky SUV. This is streamlined design and it works.

  • The Volkswagen Passat is a new-style, well designed wagon that fits the family. (image: Dean McCartney) The Volkswagen Passat is a new-style, well designed wagon that fits the family. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • Being a wagon, it’s elongated, low profile and very sleek. (image: Dean McCartney) Being a wagon, it’s elongated, low profile and very sleek. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • I find a wagon like the Passat wins in the style stakes compared to a bulky SUV. (image: Dean McCartney) I find a wagon like the Passat wins in the style stakes compared to a bulky SUV. (image: Dean McCartney)

Inside the car is lovely, too. The new Passat comes in just this one spec so it's all here - leather appointed seats, a leather steering wheel and gearshift that all look fabulous together.

The centre console is very nicely designed with some metallic accents and a few good tactile features and it feels premium. It also helps that everything is within reach and functional, too.

The new Passat comes in just this one spec so it’s all here. (image: Dean McCartney) The new Passat comes in just this one spec so it’s all here. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How spacious is it?

The front has plenty of leg and head space for me and the taller members of my family. There's no feeling of being cramped and we were able to stretch out.

My children were equally comfortable in the back seat. They're aged six and eight, and I'm happy to sit back there too at 161cm.

  • The boot is larger than an average mid-sized SUV's, with 650L of boot space that is long, rather than high. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot is larger than an average mid-sized SUV's, with 650L of boot space that is long, rather than high. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • I was able to pack two children's bikes in there which I can't often do and it will easily fit a double pram and groceries. (image: Dean McCartney) I was able to pack two children's bikes in there which I can't often do and it will easily fit a double pram and groceries. (image: Dean McCartney)

There's a load of room between my knees and the seat in front, so I think taller adults and other teenagers would be fine back there even for long journeys.

You can fit a third child seat in the rear, I did it with two boosters and a baby seat. You can also fit a rear-facing baby capsule onto the back seat, without the front passenger having to compromise too much on leg space.

And the boot is larger than an average mid-sized SUV's, with 650L of boot space that is long, rather than high. I was able to pack two children's bikes in there which I can't often do and it will easily fit a double pram and groceries.

My children were equally comfortable in the back seat. They’re aged six and eight, and I’m happy to sit back there too at 161cm. (image: Dean McCartney) My children were equally comfortable in the back seat. They’re aged six and eight, and I’m happy to sit back there too at 161cm. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How does it drive?

Driving the Passat Business Wagon is a very smooth experience. There's not much that ruffles this car.

It's quiet and you barely feel small bumps in the road. It's quick off the mark and being a wagon it's more agile than an SUV, too.

Driving the Passat Business Wagon is a very smooth experience. (image: Dean McCartney) Driving the Passat Business Wagon is a very smooth experience. (image: Dean McCartney)

There's a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine so you get up hills fairly quickly and feel confident cruising along highways.

Parking is good, as long as you accommodate the length of the car. The steering wheel turns nice and easily so there's no issue squeezing into tight spaces. A high definition reverse parking camera helps, too.

You can also take advantage of 'Park Assist' which parks the car for you when you need it to.

There’s a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine so you get up hills fairly quickly and feel confident cruising along highways. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine so you get up hills fairly quickly and feel confident cruising along highways. (image: Dean McCartney)

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

It's a great height for young children to climb in and out of, especially if you're always late, like moi, and need them to move quickly (which for children is impossible). This height does speed up that process.

The front seats are heated and 14-way power adjustable, and the driver's seat comes with a massage function.

  • The front grille blends seamlessly into the headlights and it’s all very graceful. (image: Dean McCartney) The front grille blends seamlessly into the headlights and it’s all very graceful. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • This is streamlined design and it works. (image: Dean McCartney) This is streamlined design and it works. (image: Dean McCartney)

There are two cupholders in the front, a spot to throw keys and a phone and a large centre storage bin plus bottle holders in all four doors.

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and their own climate control. My children always appreciate being in control of their air!

✅ How safe is it?

Safety in the Passat wagon is super comprehensive. For advanced safety you get auto emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane change assist.

So, there are the usual airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags for the front and back row. Then, on top of that, there are side airbags for back seat passengers, which is not common and something that I appreciate having young children.

You'll also find two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children's car seats. The Passat wagon scored the maximum five stars on the ANCAP test in 2015.

✅ What's the tech like?

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, and CarPlay is now connected via Bluetooth so you don't have to plug it in to be connected to your phone.

With these, you can use maps to navigate and your streaming app to listen to music and it was all quite seamless. Instead of a regular USB port you'll find a USB-C port which is faster to plug in. If you don't yet have one you'll have to get an adaptor.

✅ How much is it to own?

The Volkswagen Passat 140TSI Business Wagon costs $47,990 before on road costs. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.6L/100km.

It's covered by Volkswagen's five year/unlimited km warranty and servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km.

It comes with a space saver spare. (image: Dean McCartney) It comes with a space saver spare. (image: Dean McCartney)


The Wrap

The Volkswagen Passat Business Wagon is a great family car that works just as well as an SUV if you don't miss the height. It has loads of interior space for my family of four and plenty of boot space to accommodate all our needs. It drives beautifully and has all the safety you would want for a family, plus the latest in technology.

I gave it a family rating of 8.1 out of 10. My kids gave it an 8.0, they love that they have their own air con in the back seat.

Likes

Interior design
Smooth drive
Advanced safety

Dislikes

No AWD
Small side mirrors

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4

$47,990

Based on new car retail price

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