Volkswagen Starts 2016 With Awards Success

Passat Estate GTE Showroom

Volkswagen is beginning 2016 with victories in a brace of influential industry honours.

Today (13 January) Volkswagen is receiving two trophies at the renowned What Car? Awards in London with success for both the Passat Estate GTE (Best Electric Car) and new Touran (Best MPV). Meanwhile, the Volkswagen up! takes a ‘price point’ honour in the publication’s Best City Car class.

The class wins in the respected automotive awards – now in their 39th year – continue a positive start to the New Year for the brand in the UK which began with a category victory for the Golf R in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Cars.

Scoring a win in the Electric Car ‘Best Buy £20,000-£40,000’ category, as well as taking overall honours in the Electric Car class, the expert What Car? judges said of the Passat Estate GTE: “This really is the kind of hybrid you could use every day without even thinking of it as an EV.

"The Passat GTE mixes a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and VW’s six-speed DSG automatic gearbox, and it shifts between the two power sources smoothly. The interior quality is every bit as good as on other Passats, there’s enough room for five adults to sit in comfort, and our preferred edition, the Estate, has a boot that’ll take all but the largest loads.

"Best of all, the Passat Estate GTE makes a great potential company car choice thanks to its official CO2 emissions of just 39g/km and a benefit-in-kind tax rate of 5%.  It’s easily the best family hybrid we’ve seen to date.”

Awarding the Passat Estate GTE overall honours in its class, the judges added: “It feels like the sort of executive car that you could drive to and from work on electric power, then turn into a carry-all family car to travel the length of the country at weekends. It has space, a beautifully finished cabin, and succeeds in integrating its technology so well that you needn’t even be aware that it’s there.”

Turning to the hotly-contested MPV class the What Car? judges said of the new seven-seat Touran – winner of the Best Buy £16,000-£26,000 section in 1.6 TDI 110 Bluemotion Tech SE form as well as overall victor in the MPV category: “This new Volkswagen Touran is great to drive, classy-feeling inside and has better safety credentials than most of its rivals.

“It’s also exceptionally practical. It contains more useful space than similarly priced rivals. This roominess extends to the third row of seats, where even taller adults will be comfortable enough. VW’s seven-seater isn’t just about outright roominess, though.  Its five rear seats are easy to erect and stow into the boot floor, and those dimensions make getting in and out easier than it is in the majority of rivals.”

The judges added: “There are cheaper and bigger MPVs, but none that so brilliantly balances all of the things that matter to big families. Crucially, Volkswagen’s latest seven-seater is more practical than all of its similarly priced rivals, is better to drive and beats them all hands-down for interior quality and ease of use.”

Meanwhile, just ten days prior to the What Car? Awards, the high performance Golf R took top spot in the ‘Hot Hatches’ category of The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Cars, with the judges commenting: “Surrounded by solid Golf, cushioned by the surprisingly comfortable suspension and isolated from bumps by the steering wheel you know that you’re in control.”

Discussing the What Car? Awards success Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: “Clearly it is very encouraging to see two of our newest models recognised for their respective strengths against the best cars in their classes.”