Pre-production of the new VW Passat Estate has begun. The countdown to the European launch of the sixth new Volkswagen this year is underway: the first VW Passat Estates will be presented at VW dealerships in Germany, the debut market, on 19 August.

Advance sales start on 3 June. Prices start from 22 900 euros including standard equipment such as air conditioning system (Climatic), roof rails, electronic parking brake and ESP.

The VW Passat Estate is one of the most successful in the world: more than 4.3 million have been produced to date. Professional functionality, one of the key characteristics of the series, has been perfected even further for the new generation and presented in a more fascinating "package" than ever before. And all this in a VW design to whet the appetite for both the new VW Passat Estate and for what exciting things are yet to come in the current VW model offensive.

Passat Estate design in detail

New face: The design of the Passat saloon which was launched at the beginning of the year is unmistakable, stylish and progressive. The best example of this is the chrome shield-shaped radiator grille, the new face of the brand. However similar the saloon and the estate may be in the front section, their differences start from the B-pillar. The side lines and rear section of the new "five-door car" show VW design at its best. A typical VW Passat Estate, yet also quite unusual. The design is clearly that of a Passat, yet it is considerably more powerful and emotional than the timeless elegance of its predecessor.

Strong silhouette: The lower edge of the side windows slopes slightly upwards towards the rear section whilst the top edge slopes downwards - the "window line" gradually narrows from the B to the D-pillar, therefore creating a "lighter", "elongated" and "sportier" feel. The roof line itself may have a more subtle rearward curve, but this makes the roof side members more dominant below the roof rail and all the way back to the D-pillar. A trim strip integrated into the sill panels and the rear bumper element highlights these "tapered" lines. The design gains presence thanks to the dominant LED rear lights with their unmistakable day and night design and the emphasised haunches above the rear wheels.

VW Passat Estate

Volkswagen Passat Estate, 1 of 4
Volkswagen Passat Estate, 2 of 4
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Volkswagen Passat Estate, 4 of 4

Bigger, yet more athletic: Thanks to the unusual silhouette design and the powerful haunches, the new Passat Estate appears very "athletic", yet extremely elegant at the same time. Crucially however, it does not obtain this progressive appearance at the expense of luggage compartment capacity or its suitability for every-day use. On the contrary: although the Estate appears lower and therefore more dynamic than its predecessor, it is in fact 1.9 centimetres taller (1.52 metres in total).

An overview of the dimensions of the new VW Passat Estate

Full loading capacity: The luggage compartment volume is 603 litres when loaded to the luggage compartment cover (lower window edge). The stowage space totals 1 731 litres (including 90 litre spare wheel well) when used fully. The fuel tank volume has also been increased to 70 litres. The new VW Passat Estate can also carry a fair bit of weight: it can be loaded with a maximum of up to 638 kilogrammes.

More outside, more inside: A look at the other dimensions shows that much has been changed in this respect as part of the generation change. The new VW Passat Estate is 4.77 metres long and 1.82 metres wide. This represents an increase of 9.2 centimetres in length and 7.4 in width compared to its predecessor. This increase is not only beneficial in terms of the luggage compartment but also for passengers.

A selection of the standard equipment available in the new VW Passat Estate

Four lines with lots to offer: In keeping with the saloon version, the new VW Passat Estate will be available in the four equipment lines Trendline, Comfortline, Sportline and Highline. The base equipment Trendline includes features such as ESP, air conditioning system, six airbags, 16-inch wheels, electric front windows, central locking with remote control, electronic parking brake, electro-mechanical power steering, the "Press&Drive" comfort starting system which is operated at the push of a button, folding luggage compartment floor, asymmetric split folding rear seat bench (seat surfaces and backrests) and of course a roof rail (black) as standard.

In the Comfortline, Sportline and Highline versions, the VW Passat Estate also has additional chrome details (such as protective side strips and side window frames, depending on the equipment line), an extended centre console with armrest, storage compartment and rear plug socket; electric rear windows and a 6-way electrically-adjustable driver seat. The three equipment lines also have their own individual features, such as the folding passenger seat backrest in the Passat Estate Comfortline, the sports suspension in the Sportline version or the chrome roof rail in the Highline version.

The new optional equipment for the Passat Estate

Clever rear section: The optional equipment range has been extended for the new VW Passat Estate with features such as an automatic and hydropneumatic self-levelling system for the rear suspension, a cargo management system with a rail system in the luggage compartment floor, including an adjustable securing rail and retractable load securing strap and a tailgate which opens and locks electronically at the push of a button. In keeping with the saloon version, the estate can also be ordered with features such as a Dynaudio sound system, DVD radio navigation system, electrically adjustable 12-way seats, Bluetooth telephone interface plus separate keyboard and bi-xenon headlights including dynamic cornering light.

The new VW Passat Estate engines

The Passat Estate will be available with a total of eight different engines: with the exception of the entry-level engine (75kW / 102 PS petrol engine), these are all new to the Passat range.

Petrol engines: The four-cylinder FSI engines with homogeneous direct injection have an output of 85 kW / 115 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. A 3.2 litre V6 FSI with 184 kW / 250 PS (available as standard combined with the 4MOTION four-wheel drive) will top off the range in the final quarter of 2005. The 150 and 200 PS versions of the Passat Estate can be identified by twin tailpipes at the rear left of the vehicle. The 250 PS version can be identified by a large tailpipe on both the left and right-hand side.

Diesel engines: Each of the three TDIs are being used in an estate in this series for the first time. These will be as 77 kW / 105 PS, 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS units. The most powerful TDI is characterised by the highly innovative piezo-operated high pressure fuel injection system and with a diesel particulate filter as standard. The diesel particulate filter will be available as an option for TDI engines with 105 and 140 PS.

Source: Volkswagen