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 the BMW 3 Series. It 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 as well.
There are plenty of useful storage areas dotted around the cabin, including a central cubby that doubles as a cushioned armrest. The glovebox can be cooled to keep your lunch fresh, plus is 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 rear space
Masses of leg- and headroom, but the middle passenger will be squeezed
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 seating flexibility
Split-folding rear seats on all versions, but SE trim and up are the most practical
All Passat models get 60/40 split rear seats, but if you regularly carry bulky stuff, it’s worth opting for SE trim or above. These get levers in the boot which 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 boot space
Big boot, although the saloon opening restricts access
The boot offers a seriously big floor space – bigger even than that in the sizeable Ford Mondeo – but the shallower saloon boot opening means you’re restricted to what you can fit into it.
All models from SE 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.