Interior layout

Volkswagen Passat review

Manufacturer price from:£22,195
What Car? Target Price:£20,485
Search new deals
Volkswagen Passat
Review continues below...
10 May 2015 22:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:21

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

Volkswagen Passat saloon driving position

Even entry-level S versions get adjustable lumbar support, while SE Business and upwards get electric seat backrest angle adjustment, 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, as well as good pedal placement, the Passat has one of the most comfortable driving positions in its class.

The dashboard is simple to navigate. 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 saloon visibility

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 360deg camera systems, and blindspot warning, are more expensive optional extras.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat saloon infotainment

All models get a digital radio and an 8.0in colour touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a USB input and Bluetooth hands-free 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 9.2in touchscreen is optional and it looks brilliant, although it does cost a fair bit extra, even on top-end models. It’s standard on GTE Advance cars but not available on S or Bluemotion models. Sat-nav is a pricey extra on S and Bluemotion versions, although it is standard on other trim levels. Voice control is a fairly cheap option across the range. You can also get an upgraded Dynaudio stereo, but this is rather pricey.

Volkswagen Passat saloon build quality

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.


open the gallery276 Images
There are 5 trims available for the Passat saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
Entry-level S trim is pretty sparsely equipped. It has air-con, 16in alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system, digital radio and a USB socket, but it’s well worth spending the extra on the m...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
Average Saving £1,710
View Trim
SE Business
We’d recommend upgrading to SE Business over S as you get sat-nav, LED headlights, ErgoComfort seats with greater adjustment, three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control with automatic emer...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
Average Saving £1,853
View Trim
This trim level is reserved solely for the tax-efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine. It gets all the kit of S trim, but with 17in alloy wheels, lowered suspension, unique front and rear bumpers, and B...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
Average Saving £1,938
View Trim
A good option if you want lots of kit, but at this price the Passat is straying into the same territory as some more upmarket (albeit smaller and less well equipped) rivals. It comes with 18in whee...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
Average Saving £2,011
View Trim
R Line
This just brings sportier styling inside and out, along with better LED headlights over GT trim. The most powerful petrol and diesel versions also get adjustable dampers...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
Average Saving £2,106
View Trim