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Volkswagen Passat Estate


Gari
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How good is the VW Pasat Estate as a tow car. I am looking at 2017 Volkswagen Passat ESTATE R-Line TDI 190ps DSG Auto and towing a Bailey Unicorn Saville  MTPLM 1369kg?

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You mean a U4 Seville? The answer is "what caravan?" We are on our third Passat Estate which have been 2 x 140bhp and the current 150bhp. With the 190bhp you won't even know the caravan is there given the Seville is relatively light. The DSG I am told is a dream. Ours was 1326Kg and uprated to 1450Kg and we still had/have no problems. We get up to 33mpg towing without a heavy foot, 50mpg or more on short solo journeys, and have had mid 60's solo on a longer journey. It even gets upper 40's solo around town! It has goodly comfortable heated front seats, heated washer jets, probably a self adjusting dipping interior mirror, individual front and separate back aircon controls, and a chilled glove box. There are other bells and whistles too many to mention here.

 

If you are buying VW Used then you get warranty that includes breakdown which you can extend for not too much money, and you can even keep the breakdown cover going after that! It is provided by the AA with home start included at much less than the AA will charge you for the same.

 

If you have driven it and like it don't hesitate, BUT IT. You will never regret it (but there again I am biased!)

 

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It was a Practical Caravan mag towcar award winner at some point -bound to be a decent tug I'd say!

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Passat estate is a great tow car  -  go for it !

    John.

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I had a previous generation Passat Alltrack with DSG. Ok as a tow car, reliable, reasonably economical. The Volvo V60 that followed was better for towing but unreliable. 

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I should have said in my earlier contribution that you need to take care towing the Seville - as you have probably found. No matter how we have changed the load and/or moved it around we have never been able to exceed about 54Kg on the ball. When we brought it home from the supplying dealer it was only 31Kg! It is because the gas locker and cooker are at the back, the battery and spare wheel are also behind the axle which doesn't help. The mover however is in front of the wheels  - just! 

 

The brake auto-hold makes starting off on any surface - flat or inclined - an absolute dream, solo or hitched.

 

BUT, having said that, the Passat controls it beautifully, never a shudder, never a squiggle, always stops in a straight line (albeit with the familiar caravan brake squeal!), very little pull from overtaking trucks and coaches. What more could you want?

 

I would also add that if you need a towbar fitted go to a good independent. A dealer will charge you something near a grand, our second (2015) at an independent cost £450+VAT, the latest (Sept 2018) cost £500+VAT. The first was fitted as part of the deal with the supply garage and they used a Thule fixed: the other two at my request have been Westfalia detachables. Be aware that all three came without fridge wiring - and the extra cable to pick up the fridge power cost nearly a ton alone! (Write the need for fridge wiring on the order form and sign it, then it becomes part of the contract so you have a good standpoint if they don't fit it.) If the ECU is correctly reprogrammed for towing you should have no issues with the smart alternator. Cars #2 and #3 had/have BMT but it took me about two years or more with #3 to discover that the reprogramming did not override the BMT, albeit the engine rarely stops just the same.

 

*BMT - Blue Motion Technology a.k.a. stop-start running which you can easily override.

 

 

 

 

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