Space & practicality

Volkswagen Passat review

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Volkswagen Passat
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In this review

Space & practicality

How it copes with people and clutter

Volkswagen Passat saloon front space

There's loads of space up front; in fact, because the Passat is similar in size to cars such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, it offers more space than comparably priced executive cars, including BMW's 3 Series. The Passat is slightly larger than the already big Ford Mondeo, too, so even exceptionally tall drivers are easily accommodated. The generous door openings make access easy.

There are plenty of useful storage areas dotted around the interior, including a central cubby that doubles as a cushioned armrest. The glovebox can be cooled to keep your lunch fresh, plus it has a USB connection that makes it easy to hook up your phone and stow it out of sight. Every Passat gets two cupholders behind the gearlever and these are neatly hidden by a sliding lid on all but entry-level S versions. The deep door pocket on the driver’s side will take a 1.0-litre bottle, while the one in the passenger door will hold a 1.5-litre bottle.

Volkswagen Passat saloon rear space

Access to the rear seats is also good, and two adults will have lots of space to stretch out and get comfortable. However, a relatively chunky central tunnel and air vents that protrude slightly from between the front seats will make things a bit uncomfortable for a middle passenger.

Map pockets on the back of the front seats are standard on all but S models, as is a central armrest with a small storage box and cupholder. Both door pockets will hold a 1.0-litre bottle.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat saloon seating flexibility

All Passat models get 60/40-split rear seats, but if you regularly carry bulky stuff, it’s worth opting for SE Business trim or above. These get levers in the boot that allow you to fold the spring-loaded seatbacks easily from the boot opening.

Manual lumbar adjustment for the front passenger seat is standard across the range. Fully electric adjustment of the seat is optional on all but S trim, but even the manual controls are easy to use.

Volkswagen Passat saloon boot space

The boot offers a seriously big floor space – bigger than even that in the sizeable Mondeo – but the shallower saloon boot opening means you're restricted to what you can fit into it.

All models from SE Business upwards get a through-loading hatch that means you can carry long items, such as skis, and still carry two people in the back seats. Folding down the rear seats leaves a step in the elongated load bay floor, and the seatbacks also lie at a slight slope.


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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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