Seats are very comfy – front and rear – and a soft middle seat makes the Passat great for carrying three abreast. You won’t be left wanting in terms of boot space, either
There’s plenty of room in the Volkswagen Passat Estate’s front seats for you to get comfortable – even if you’re very tall. The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach and (unlike the A4 Avant) all models come with adjustable lumbar support to help prevent you getting back ache on long journeys.
If you do lots of long journeys you’ll want to consider the optional £950 ergoComfort seat upgrade. This adds 14-way electrical adjustment with a massage and memory function – handy if you regularly lend your car to someone else much taller or shorter than you are.
Space in the back is very nearly as generous as in the front. It’s not quite on a par with the vast Skoda Superb Estate but there’s easily enough space for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver and there’s even more headroom than you get in the Audi A4 Avant.
The Volkswagen Passat Estate’s central rear seat is wider and softer than in the Superb Estate which makes it better for carrying three adults side-by-side. Unfortunately, there’s a large lump in the floor that your middle passenger will have to lift their feet over as they climb in but at least there’s plenty of space in the roomy footwells for them to stretch out once they’re on board.
It’s much easier to fit a child seat in the VW than in the Audi. Its back doors are larger and open wider and its taller roof means you don’t have to stoop down quite so far to strap in a child. Unfortunately, the Isofix anchor points for fitting a child seat are hidden behind the some removable (and therefore easy to lose) plastic caps.
The VW Passat Estate’s door bins are huge – all four are large enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle alongside a second 500ml bottle each. The glovebox is just about large enough to hold a one-litre bottle and it’s ventilated to stop your cold drinks heating up on warm days.
There’s more than enough space to tuck some sunglasses in the storage cubby beside the steering wheel and there’s room to hide a camera under the folding central armrest. Annoyingly, the storage tray under the dashboard isn’t quite large enough to hold a large smartphone.
Your passengers in the back get a folding armrest with two built-in cupholders but there aren’t any USB ports for them to charge their phones with like you get in the back of the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.
You might feel like you’re still in the office in the Passat, but at least there’s enough space for a large conference in the rear seats
Without folding the back seats down there’s room in the Volkswagen Passat Estate’s 650-litre boot for a set of golf clubs, a large baby buggy and some soft bags all at once. It’s 145 litres larger than the Audi A4’s 505-litre load bay and only 10-litres down on the capacious Skoda Superb Estate’s boot.
Unlike in the Skoda, there’s space under the VW’s load cover to carry four suitcases and you can fold the back seats down in a three-way (40:20:40) split to carry up to two rear-seat passengers and some long luggage poking through from the boot at the same time.
Need to carry something even larger? Flip all three back seats down using easy-to-reach levers beside the boot opening and the Volkswagen Passat Estate‘s load bay grows to 1,780 litres – that’s more than 250 litres larger than the Audi but still lags behind the vast 1,950-litre Skoda. There’s easily enough space for a bike with its wheels attached and the Passat Estate’s flat floor makes it a doddle to push heavy boxes right up behind the front seats.
With the standard-fit adjustable boot floor in its raised position there’s no annoying boot lip to slide heavy boxes over and there’s enough space under the floor to tuck the load cover if you need to remove it. There are also plenty of tether points and shopping hooks to stop smaller items rolling around and two cubbies on either side of the boot that are big enough to hold a few shopping bags.