Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Passat Estate is about the same size as the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant, so it offers more front-seat space than the BMW 3 Series Touring; even very tall drivers will be happy, while tall door opening make for easy access.
There are plenty of useful storage areas, too, including a central cubby that doubles up as a cushioned armrest and will take a small bottle. The glovebox can be cooled to keep your lunch fresh, and you can charge your phone via the USB socket while it's stowed out of sight.
The broad rear door openings afford easy access, and two adults will have loads of space to stretch out and get comfortable in the back seat. However, a relatively chunky central tunnel and protruding centre console make things a bit uncomfortable for a middle passenger.
Map pockets are standard across the range, as is a pair of cupholders in the rear centre armrest.
Seat folding and flexibility
All Estate models have a 40/20/40 split rear seatback and a through-loading hatch in the middle. That gives you the flexibility to carry a long, slim item along the middle of the car while leaving room for passengers either side. There are also levers in the load area that allow you to fold the spring-loaded seatbacks from the rear of the car, without having to open the side doors.
Across the range, manual front passenger seat lumbar adjustment is standard and is easy to use. 14-way electric seat adjustment, meanwhile, is optional on all trims.
The Passat Estate’s boot is massive, usefully shaped and only beaten in size by the Skoda Superb Estate’s, dwarfing those of rivals such as the A4 Avant and 3 Series Touring. The load lip is fairly low, so you don’t have to lift items very far to be able to slide them into the boot, and being able to drop the seats one-handed from the boot opening is a big help.
You even get a variable-height boot floor as standard. The space beneath this forms a separate storage area for delicate items, and its highest setting eliminates the step in the load bay that forms when the seats are folded.
There are also further optional storage packs, including a fairly pricey cargo management system that brings four sliding tie-down rings and straps, adding to the four fixed lashing eyes and two bag hooks that come as standard. An electrically powered bootlid is optional across the range.
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