Passat estate

Volkswagen Passat hybrid

On sale now this new plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Passat GTE is another example of remarkable fuel consumption combined with low emissions.

In fact, the only problem I can see with it is its price.

That’s because if you want a car that averages between 176 and 218mpg (WLTP), yet has CO2 emissions of just 34 to 39g/km it’s going to cost from £36,390 – £40,470, depending on whether you want a saloon or an estate.

That’s a whacking amount of money to fork out for helping to save the planet, but I reckon business owners would be stupid not think about it.

That’s because, driven properly, the GTE averages a fantastic 176 – 218mpg and can drive from 33 – 36 miles purely on electric power.

Trouble is, can you see reps with a schedule driving it gently?

No, I can’t either. They’ll probably be too busy tailgating normal drivers out of their way, because the GTE hits 0-62mph in 7.4 to 7.6s. That’s quick for a car with a bus load of space inside it.

So what will the bosses go for when deciding on a car for Roger Rep?

Passat saloon

Well, they have the choice of SE, SEL and R-Line models which start at £25,370 and rise to £35,345.

Result of saving immediate cash is fuel consumption that starts at a wasteful and expensive 43mpg and CO2 emissions from 134-138g/km.

Even the new 2.0-litre TDI only averages 71mpg (WLTP) which, while that would once have sounded terrific, now seems dreadful compared to the GTE’s tightwad fuel efficiency.

GTE standard kit includes 17-inch ‘Nivelle’ alloys, sports suspension, blue brake callipers, distinctive signature ‘C’ shaped front LED running lights, Discover Navigation system with an 8.0-inch colour screen and a charging point in the radiator grille.

The GTE Advance model gets 18-inch ‘Monterrey’ alloys, IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, Discover Navigation Pro with 9.2-inch screen, keyless entry and an easy open boot.

Its 1.5-litre TSI EVO 150hp four-cylinder petrol engine features Active Cylinder Shutdown (EVO in German), which shuts down two of the four cylinders when cruising to save fuel.