Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s good news in the fact that the latest GTE’s higher-capacity 13kWh battery isn’t any bigger than that of its predecessor, so interior space remains as generous as ever. There’s plenty of room for the driver and a full complement of passengers; in fact, its interior is among the most spacious in this class, ranking just behind that of the commodious Skoda Superb.
There aren’t as many storage cubbies in the front as you might like, but you’ll find two cupholders beneath a sliding cover between the driver and passenger. A wireless charging pad for mobile phones is mounted behind the gear selector, but its compact dimensions mean it might struggle to take some of the latest smartphones. The door bins are each big enough for a 500ml bottle and the glovebox is sufficient to take an ice scraper and the user’s manual.
Compared with a conventionally powered Passat Estate, the GTE’s boot space isn’t heavily compromised; from 650 litres in petrol and diesel models with the rear seats up, the plug-in hybrid only drops to 580 litres. That’s still more than enough for regular family life, and you won’t have any problems loading large items through its wide opening. The only caveat is that you can’t store a spare wheel beneath the boot floor, as you can in standard Passats, because the batteries take up that space. GTE saloon boot capacity has yet to be announced, though.