The fifth generation Volkswagen Passat, produced between 1996 and 2005, has been named Large Used Car of the Decade by the used car valuation outfit CAP.
These Passat was recognised with award such as the European Car of the Year on launch in 1996 and 1997.
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Mark Bulmer from CAP Black Book explained: "Never the most stylistically exciting large car, the Volkswagen Passat nonetheless is a byword for quality.
"And the 1996 – 2005 model was a quantum leap forward in every area most important to the trade and the used car buyer.
"Volkswagen’s attention to detail meant that this Passat offered the sense of a prestige vehicle but at a mainstream purchase price.
"Legendary reliability means a deserved reputation as a dependable ‘workhorse’ and robust engineering and build quality means it is a safe bet even with mileage into six figures.
"The new range of diesel engines offered a leap forward in terms of the balance between performance and economy, a combination at the very heart of success in the used car market.
"This quality set the 1996 – 2005 Passat apart from many other cars in its sector which could often prove prohibitively expensive to live with.
"By offering prestige quality at a mainstream price this Passat also influenced other manufacturers to up their game in terms of the quality of their own offerings.
Now in its sixth generation, the Passat was originally launched back in 1973 and, over this 36 year period, has become one of the most successful models for Volkswagen.
To date, more than 16 million Passats have been produced worldwide with over half a million being delivered to customers in the UK.
CAP’s panel judge cars in several areas, including affordability and practicality of ownership
Trusted reputation; sustained popularity; and inspired product improvement across the whole industry.
The qualifying criteria for consideration in the judging process was a used car range that existed as a three-year-old car at any point during the decade from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2009.