The latest VW Passat is really just a larger Golf with a boot…

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I suppose that if I needed any further proof as to how good the Passat is then I just had to take the word of the judges from the European Car of Year. The Passat won by 92 votes – the largest margin in years.

Dragging along in second place was the Citroen Cactus (reviewed elsewhere on Car Couture), with the Ford Mondeo way back in fourth (we’d love to test Fords but unlike 40 other manufacturers who load us cars they don’t appear to know what a motoring blog is!).

It was the biggest victory margin in years, with the voting team giving VW’s sensible family car all round praise. Notable that British judges opting for the Citroen Cactus instead. Weird.

The biggest accolade I can give the Passat is that it is really a Golf with a boot but in larger form. And perhaps that’s all you need to know because there’s no better hatchback out there than the Golf…

Should you pay £40,000 for a Volkswagen Passat estate? Our top spec test car has plenty going for it

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Whether or not you’re prepared to for out almost £40,000 for our top spec VW test car is really a no brainer. The sweet spot of the range is much further down the Passat line-up.

However, all Passat models share one common theme – a slick and stylish design that puts the estate up there with premium brand German rivals.

It’s not that long ago that the Passat was regarded as worthy but dull load-lugger that spent most of its life screaming up and down the M1. Not any more – this eighth generation model hasn’t been designed by robots.

My only reservation would be in the cabin. The interior still lacks BMW coolness, Audi chic. I love the ribbed seats and straightforward approach to the lay out of the controls but surely there’s room for a little style too?