The Passat Estate is about the same size as the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant, so it offers more space than the BMW 3 Series Touring; even very tall drivers will be happy, and tall door opening make for easy access.
There are plenty of useful storage areas around the cabin, 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, while you can plug your phone into the USB socket and stow it out of sight.
There are two cupholders behind the gearlever, and on all but S trim they can be hidden by a scrolling lid. Deep door pockets will take a 1.0-litre bottle on the driver’s side, and a 1.5-litre bottle on the passenger side.
Volkswagen Passat Estate rear space
Not great for middle passengers, but otherwise extremely spacious
Access through the broad door-openings is good and two adults will have loads of space to stretch out and get comfortable in the back of the Passat Estate. However, a relatively chunky central tunnel and central air vents that protrude from the centre console will make things a bit uncomfortable for a middle passenger.
Map pockets and a central armrest are standard across the range, and SE trim adds two cupholders to the armrest. Deep door pockets will hold a 1.0-litre bottle.
Volkswagen Passat Estate seating flexibility
Automatically folding rear seats
All models get 40/20/40 split rear seat backs with a through-loading hatch in the middle seat back, which leaves room for people either side. All versions also get levers in the loadbay to allow you to fold the spring-loaded seatbacks from the boot opening.
Manual lumbar adjustment is standard for the front passenger across the range, and even the manual seat adjustment is easy to use. Fully electric seat adjustment for the passenger is optional on all but S trim.
Volkswagen Passat Estate boot space
Huge, but variable-height boot floor is optional
The Passat Estate’s boot is huge and well shaped, with a square opening - even in the four-wheel drive models. 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. It’s just a shame that a variable-height boot floor is optional fit, because you need this to iron out the step in the load bay with the seats folded, and it offers convenient hidden storage.
There are also further storage packs, including a fairly pricey cargo management system that brings four sliding tie-down rings and straps, on top of the standard four fixed lashing eyes and two bag hooks. An electrically powered bootlid is optional across the range.