The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All versions of the Volkswagen Passat get an electronically-adjustable driver’s seat, adjustable lumbar support and plenty of reach and height adjustment for the steering wheel. That means you can easily tailor your driving position, making the Passat comfortable on a long trip.
The dashboard buttons are simple to operate and the standard analogue instrument cluster is easy to read. Going for R-Line trim gives you the option of upgrading the display to a 10.3in digital screen that shows more information, including sat-nav mapping. It’s a fairly pricey option, but it’s worth considering.
Sat nav and infotainment
Regardless of trim level, the Passat comes with an 8.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system, which features DAB radio, Bluetooth, built-in sat-nav and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. You won’t find wireless mirroring on most of the Passat’s rivals (the more expensive BMW 3 Series is an exception).
The Passat’s straightforward menus are easy to navigate, the screen responds quickly to your touch and the graphics are high quality. To make life easier, you get shortcut buttons on either side of the display, but the majority of the system is controlled through touch. That can make it distracting to use while you’re on the move, so we prefer the physical iDrive rotary control you get with the 3 Series.