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Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate reliability & safety rating

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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating rating

4.0 out of 5

Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
5 stars (2014 – rating expired)85%87%76%

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

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The Euro NCAP test procedure has moved on since the Passat was put through its paces several years ago, and as of January 2021, its rating had expired. 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 no apparent recurring reliability issues. Volkswagen as a brand came in 18th place out of 29 brands in the 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. A lower than average 19% of Volkswagen owners reported an issue with their car in the first year of ownership, although this was not specific to its electrified models.

The Passat itself – specifically, the Mk8 – was rated as the 54th best car to own by drivers in the 2019 survey, but hasn’t featured since.

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.

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