My friend refuses to purchase a used Volkswagen Passat. This is rather strange, as he recognises it as one of the most reliable, best handling, most prestigious, and capable vehicles in its class. His issue is with the 'Passat' name, which he argues makes it sound like an emergency laxative.The current generation Passat, which was introduced in 2005 in saloon and estate guise, is available with a variety of engines. One of the best is the 2.0-litre 167bhp diesel that propels the Passat, and my name loathing friend, to 60mph in 8.3 seconds. This variant is also economical as it averages 50mpg, which leaves plenty of spare cash for a boot full of tummy medicine. Alternatively, the 3.2-litre 295bhp V6 petrol hits 60mph in 5.4 seconds and is capable of an impressive 155mph. Perfect for late night runs to the chemist. The Passat's handling is everything a driver could reasonably expected of a quality family vehicle. This means confidence inspiring traction, a supportive ride, slick transmission, and nicely weighted steering. These characteristics complement the impressive safety features, and the quality construction that means the Passat should give reliable motoring years after the Planet of the Apes film comes true. Now, German vehicles are not always the best equipped in class – but the Passat has various gadgets to compensate for the (apparently) dodgy name. Basic S models get six air-bags, an electronic parking brake, and - wait for it – an umbrella compartment. The SE adds cruise control, and the recently introduced Highline Plus has touch-screen satellite navigation and good old Bluetooth. According to Motoring.co.uk's database, prices for three year old examples of the used Volkswagen Passat start at £8,000. Okay, you could certainly buy many of its rivals for less, but this capable machine is worth the premium. Perhaps my mate should buy one and rename it Percy.
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