Excellent, thanks to more adjustment than in most rivals
All Passats except entry-level S versions get electrically adjustable lumbar support and seat backrest angle, as well as manual seatbase height, tilt and thigh-support adjustment. You can even tweak the angle of the headrests. This is a greater breadth of adjustment than you’ll get as standard in almost every rival. Together with a good range of reach and height adjustment to the steering wheel, and good pedal placement, this means the Passat has one of the most comfortable driving positions in its class.
The dashboard is simple to navigate, too. The standard touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use, as are the buttons on the centre console. It takes a while to get used to all the controls on the steering wheel, however.
Volkswagen Passat visibility
Better than most, and nearly every version has front and rear parking sensors
The Passat is up there with the class best when it comes to visibility. It’s still a big car with a sloping bonnet and a long boot, so it can be tricky to judge the car’s extremities, but wide windows and fairly upright pillars mean you’ve got good vision all round.
All but entry-level S models come with front and rear parking sensors as standard, while an automatic parking system (which detects if a space is big enough and steers the car into it for you) is a reasonably priced option. Rear-view or 360-degree camera systems, and blindspot warning, are more expensive optional extras.
Volkswagen Passat infotainment
Good touchscreen system; shame sat-nav is expensive on S and SE versions
All models get a digital radio and a 6.5in colour touchscreen system with a USB input and Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming. The system’s straightforward menus are easy to navigate (helped by shortcut buttons at either side of the display), the screen responds quickly to your touch and the graphics quality is good. It can be a bit tricky to hit some of the smaller icons, but this is still one of the most user-friendly touchscreen systems out there, albeit not as easy to use as the rotary dial-controlled systems in Audi and BMW rivals.
An 8.0in touchscreen is optional, and it looks brilliant, although it does cost a fair bit extra, even on top-end models.
Sat-nav is a pricey extra on S and SE versions, although it is standard on the other trim levels. Voice control is a fairly cheap option across the range.
Volkswagen Passat build quality
Not as good as some upmarket rivals, but still impressive by class standards
Compared with slightly cheaper rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, the Passat has a really smart-looking interior. There’s a good variety of dense-feeling materials, and touches such as the chrome edging and the analogue clock make it look upmarket. Granted, low-end models with cloth seats can feel a bit dour, and an Audi A3 Saloon uses better-quality materials, but mid- and high-spec Passats feel genuinely posh.
Regardless of trim level, there’s a reassuring sense of solidity to everything, helped by superb fit and finish and well-damped switches.