The best-selling Passat model, the SE, which accounted for over half of UK sales of the range last year, is set to be replaced by an all-new variant – the Passat Highline.

This new permanent addition to the range features a higher level of standard specification than the SE it supersedes. Replacing the cloth trim is full Vienna leather upholstery complete with heated front seats, a multifunction steering wheel and a set of four carpet mats. This is in addition to the Passat’s already comprehensive range of standard equipment which includes air conditioning, an eight-speaker stereo system and cruise control.

Externally the Passat Highline is distinguished by a set of new 17-inch ‘Macau’ multispoke alloy wheels – an upgrade from the SE’s 16-inch rims. The SE’s chrome window surrounds and body-coloured bumper strips remain.

The combined value of the new equipment totals £2,125 – yet the new Passat Highline costs just £250 more than the SE, with prices starting at £18,890 for the 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS saloon.

The new aesthetic changes are complemented by the introduction of a new 2.0-litre TDI common rail diesel engine to the Passat model range. Linked to a choice of six-speed manual or DSG gearboxes the new engine will be sold alongside the popular 1.9-litre TDI engine as well as the new petrol 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS unit.

The new Passat Highline is on sale now in either saloon or estate bodystyles.

Passat Saloon Highline Prices

1.8-litre TSI 160 PS 6 spd manual: £18,890
1.8-litre TSI 160 PS 6 spd auto tiptronic: £20,225
1.9-litre TDI 105 PS 5 spd manual: £18,075
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS 6 spd manual: £19,720
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS 6 spd DSG: £20,990

Passat Estate Highline Prices

1.8-litre TSI 160 PS 6 spd manual: £20,050
1.8-litre TSI 160 PS 6 spd auto tiptronic: £21,345
1.9-litre TDI 105 PS 5 spd manual: £19,220
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS 6 spd manual: £20,840
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS 6 spd DSG: £22,110