Volkswagen Passat GTE review: The best plug-in hybrid estate to buy?

Are you ready to plug-in yet? In an environment where many are shunning diesel, yet where many petrol models still don’t deliver stellar fuel economy (and have a tax bill to go with them), plug-in hybrids look like the ideal option for the discerning motorist.

Volkswagen is just one manufacturer to offer a growing range of plug-in hybrids – marketed under the GTE sub-brand. We’ve driven the Golf GTE in its pre-facelift form, but the Passat GTE estate, as reviewed here, is an interesting option because it’s at the larger end of the car size spectrum, providing space that exceeds an Audi A4.

The idea of a plug-in hybrid is to offer the best of both electric and fuel worlds. The ability to drive on the electric battery only on shorter trips, but the reassurance of having a petrol engine on board, to allow you to go further when you need to without running out of juice. Then, when home, simply plug into a socket and recharge the battery.

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