Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate reliability & safety

A suite of driver-assistance systems and a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating make the Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate very safe car indeed

Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate
Euro NCAP Adult protection Child protection Safety assist
5 stars 85% 87% 76%

The Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate hasn’t specifically been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, although the saloon version of the non-hybrid variant did undergo testing in 2014: it secured a five-star rating – the highest possible score – and 85%, 87%, 66% and 76% in the adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian and safety assist categories respectively.

The Euro NCAP test procedure has moved on since the Passat was put through its paces several years ago, so the results should be treated as a guide to today’s model. But with new driver assistance systems added since then, the Passat GTE Estate should exceed the standards set by its saloon relative.

Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate reliability & problems

The latest Passat GTE has only recently been introduced, so as yet there are no recurring reliability issues that have become apparent. German engineering has a reputation for quality, so the Volkswagen badge reassure those looking for a reliable set of wheels.

Volkswagen scored a customer satisfaction rating of 88.50% in our 2020 Driver Power survey. Interestingly, fellow Volkswagen Group brands Skoda and SEAT finished ahead of Volkswagen itself, suggesting that car buyers trust VW’s sister brands slightly more; Audi was two places behind in 21st. The Passat itself – specifically, the Mk8 – was rated as the 54th best car to own by drivers in the 2019 Driver Power survey but did not feature in the 2020 survey.

Safety

There's a variety of active driver assistance systems on the Passat GTE Estate, designed to limit the chance of a crash happening in the first place. Travel Assist includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, both of which work at speeds of up to 130mph.

Travel Assist is impressive, if a little nannying. It smoothly adjusts your rate of progress when it senses a change in the speed limit or a corner approaching, with no jerky antics. However, it does occasionally panic about whether your hands are on the steering wheel – even if they always have been – and it takes time to get used to how much of the driving the car is doing. If you really don't get on with it, you can always use the standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance separately to the full Travel Assist function.

Meanwhile, Emergency Steering Assist – which automatically helps you steer around obstacles – makes its first appearance on a Volkswagen. There are more conventional systems, too, such as automatic driving lights and parking sensors at the front and rear.