What is it?
The most economical family saloon you can buy: the new Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI Bluemotion.
Aerodynamic tweaks, a long-geared five-speed gearbox and automatic stop-start help the 104bhp turbodiesel to achieve 62.8mpg and just 118g/km of CO2.
What’s it like?
It’s just as bland as you would expect, but this is also one of the least compromised and most affordable of the eco-specials in this class.
The biggest sacrifice you make in driving the Bluemotion every day is its five-speed manual gearbox, which requires more work than the six-speed ’boxes usually found in this class of car, particularly for around-town driving. But otherwise the Passat copes well despite its low 104bhp and 184lb ft of torque.
Acceleration is fairly sluggish, but the torque spread offers enough flexibility in the mid-range to make up for a slow 0-60mph time of 12.4sec. The performance on offer is certainly an acceptable compromise for the excellent economy that will be top of a lot of many buyers’ priority lists.
A good-sized 70-litre tank also helps reduce time at the pump, and in varied testing we managed 800 miles to one fill.