New Volkswagen Passat: carwow gets hands on with new estate car

October 12, 2023 by

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This is the new, and the last, Volkswagen Passat. It’s now only available as an estate, and carwow has been able to take a look around it. Read on for all you need to know.

  • New Volkswagen Passat revealed
  • All-new exterior styling
  • Overhauled interior design
  • Updated infotainment technology
  • Longer range for plug-in hybrids
  • On sale in the spring next year

Volkswagen has pulled the covers off the new Passat, and it will be the last iteration of the cavernous estate car. It gets an all-new design, new interior tech and you’ll be able to get a plug-in hybrid with over 62 miles of pure-electric range.

While we’ve not been able to drive this Audi A4 Avant alternative, carwow has been given the opportunity to have a good look around the new Passat. Read on for our initial impressions.

New Volkswagen Passat design

The new Volkswagen Passat has been given a complete makeover, and it certainly looks more modern than the outgoing car.

Up front, you have some slim headlights with an LED strip running across the bonnet, similar to what you get on the Volkswagen ID 7. If you go for the R-Line, you get a deeper front bumper for a more sporty look, while the Elegance model has a more subtle appearance.

Alloy wheels start at 17 inches, however 18- and 19-inch wheels are also available. The new Passat is only available as an estate, and it’s slightly longer than before.

The full-width light bar across the boot looks sleek, and there’s a pretty big roof spoiler on all models. If you go for the R-Line model you get some sporty-looking gloss black trim on the bumper with a honeycomb effect.

New Volkswagen Passat interior and infotainment

While the current Volkswagen Passat has a perfectly pleasant interior, it was starting to look a bit dated. The new model has gone some way to improve on this, as it has a much more interesting design.

The highlight here is the massive new touchscreen infotainment system. As standard you get a 12.9-inch screen, but a 15.0-inch unit is also available as an option. That’s a big upgrade over the 9.0-inch screen you get in the current car.

This screen also features a new operating system, and it’s much easier to use than the one you’ll find in the VW ID4. You still have the same touch sliders for the climate temperature and volume, however they’re now backlit unlike the ones in current models so you can see them at night. You may be pleased to hear that VW has ditched touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel as well, with all cars now getting physical controls.

While the climate control is still operated through the screen, the menu is now permanently at the bottom of the screen, removing the need to press a button to bring it up and making it easier to use on the move.

As for the rest of the screen, it’s bright and responsive, and the menu layout is easy enough to fathom. It’s still not quite as intuitive as the system you get in a Mercedes C-Class, but that won’t really matter if you use the standard-fit wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Moving away from the screen, the rest of the cabin has a much more modern aesthetic than the outgoing Passat. You have plenty of cool-looking ambient lighting throughout the place, including a pattern on the dashboard which really lifts things.

As you’d expect from a Volkswagen, interior quality is very nice throughout. There’s soft-touch plastic on every surface you touch, and you have to start poking around pretty low-down before you find any scratchy materials. This premium feeling extends into the back seats as well, so your rear passengers won’t feel like they’re in the cheap seats.

New Volkswagen Passat space and practicality

Those rear passengers will also be grateful that the new Volkswagen Passat is 50mm longer than the car it replaces, and 20mm wider. This translates into cavernous interior space.

Even the tallest of people will have plenty of legroom in the back, and the boxy shape means that headroom is good even with the panoramic glass roof. The Passat can actually give cars in the class above a run for their money in the space department.

Those in the front will be just as comfortable. There’s loads of adjustment in the driver’s seat and the steering wheel, so you’ll have no problem finding your ideal driving position. A BMW 3 Series Touring feels a bit more sporty behind the wheel with its low-slung driving position, but the Passat is geared more towards comfort, something which is reaffirmed by the fact that you get massaging seats on all but the entry level models.

As well as there being plenty of space for people, there are loads of places to keep your bits and bobs out of the way. The centre console cubby is big enough to fit a laptop, and there’s even a clever strap to keep it in place.

Beyond this, you have a good-sized glove box, decent door bins which will fit a large bottle and a couple of cup holders which are a useful size and will fit most coffee cups.

That aforementioned added length and width has also led to a bigger boot than before, 40-litres bigger to be precise with a capacity of 690-litres. That’s a decent increase when you consider that the outgoing Passat wasn’t exactly pokey. It’s also 190-litres bigger than the BMW 3 Series Touring’s boot, and it trumps the Audi A6 Avant by 125 litres.

If that’s not enough space, you can fold the rear seats down to expand your load area to a whopping 1,920-litres. It’s easy to do as well thanks to the levers in the boot, and the seats lie completely flat with no ridge in the floor, so sliding heavy items to the front should be easy.

You don’t have any load lip to haul stuff over either, and the load cover closes electrically with the boot so you don’t have to worry about your valuables being exposed. Elsewhere you’ll find plenty of tie down hooks to keep things from rolling around, there’s a big storage area under the floor which is ideal for keeping the plug-in hybrid’s charging cables, and there’s even a three-pin socket for charging your devices.

New Volkswagen Passat engines and performance

There are quite a few engine options for the new Passat. You can choose between a mild hybrid petrol, two standard petrols, three diesels and two plug-in hybrids. All versions are only offered with an automatic gearbox.

Check out Mat’s review of the outgoing Volkswagen Passat…

The mild hybrid petrol is new for the Passat. It’s a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 150hp and front-wheel-drive, and the mild hybrid system means you can coast in traffic without the engine running to save a bit of fuel.

You then have a choice of two standard 2.0-litre petrol engines, one with 204hp and front-wheel-drive and one with 265hp and all-wheel-drive. The three diesels are also all 2.0-litre units with either 122hp, 150hp or 193hp. All but the most powerful are front-wheel-drive.

Finally, you have two plug-in hybrid engines to choose from. Both use a new 1.5-litre petrol engine. and you can have either 204hp or 272hp.

This new plug-in hybrid has a 19.7kWh battery, up from 10.6kWh in the outgoing car. As a result Volkswagen expects the new Passat to be capable of up to 62 miles on electric power alone, almost double the range of the previous Passat.

How much will the new Volkswagen Passat cost?

The new Volkswagen Passat will be available to order in Germany from February next year, so expect it to hit our shores in early spring.

UK pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but it’ll start from 39,995 euros in Germany. That’s around £34,000.

Can’t wait for the new Volkswagen Passat? Check out used deals on the outgoing car through carwow, or tap the button below to sell your car the easy way.