$7,508 - $11,803

2013 Volkswagen Passat Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Volkswagen Passat was new.


Interior: 7.9

Most auto critics agree that the 2013 VW Passat has an upscale cabin with high-quality materials and good build quality. The large trunk and seating accommodations earn high praise from reviewers.

  • "In SEL trim, Passat's interior is attractive. It's nicely finished and uses a combination of soft-touch and hard plastics. The simulated-wood trim looks good, and some chrome accents add to the cabin's ambiance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Interior quality is much better than the dumbed down cabin of the Jetta, though we'd still like slightly more refinement, especially considering how good the interiors of $20K competitors are these days." -- Autoblog (2012)
  • "The fit and finish on our test cars were superb, and all the surfaces you touch looked and felt good. There are a few bits of hard plastic in the interior, but most 2012 Passat interior surfaces have a soft-touch feel and a matte finish." -- AutoWeek (2012)
  • "Overall, the Passat is loaded with upscale cues throughout. We liked the feel and thickness of the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the use of soft-touch material in all the right places, something we can’t say about the Passat’s little Jetta brother." -- Left Lane News (2012)


The base Passat has fabric seats, while higher trim levels offer leatherette seating surfaces, leather-trimmed seats with faux suede inserts and heated front seats. Reviewers are unanimous in saying how large the back seat is, especially when it comes to legroom. They also like that the seats are comfortable and offer plenty of thigh support, though one would like more thigh support in the driver’s seat.

  • "Front-seat occupants will find good headroom and legroom on firm, comfortable seats. Some taller drivers might wish the bottom cushion was a little longer to offer better thigh support though. The standard manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel further helps tailor a comfortable driving position. Entry and exit are easy, and visibility is largely unobstructed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The surprising take-away from the Passat was the cavernous rear seating area. We were totally chuffed by how much legroom was really there." -- Left Lane News (2012)
  • "This is the kind of car four tall adults could take on a long road trip and arrive no worse for wear - even those sitting in back." -- Cars.com (2012)

Interior Features

The 2013 Volkswagen Passat comes standard with Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio input and Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System. In an accident, the system automatically shuts off the fuel supply, unlocks the doors and turns the hazard lights on. The Passat can be equipped with features like a sunroof, navigation, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, satellite radio, a touch-screen display, a Fender premium audio system with a subwoofer and iPod integration, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, remote start and push-button start.

Some reviewers note a few low-quality interior features, like the climate control knobs, but overall, they like the minimalistic center stack. One test driver says the optional navigation system doesn't respond when you type data in. Another especially likes the optional Fender audio system’s sound quality.

See 2013 Volkswagen Passat specs »

  • "All Passats we've driven have had the available navigation system. This system uses a combination of buttons and touchscreen controls, and it also absorbs many of the audio system's functions. Most users will need to acclimate to it, and in one test car, the system was slow to react to inputs." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The new, premium Fender audio system has been tuned to the acoustics of the interior and will please even hard-core audiophiles." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "A clinical poke of the dash reveals it's not the squishy-soft rubbery goodness that we've been spoiled with, and the climate-control knobs spin with a grainy, sandy resistance rather than polished-stone fluidity." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "The control layout is admirable for its simplicity, but like the exterior, the shape and style of the dash is a bit dull - it lacks the wow-factor of the Hyundai Sonata or the contemporary hipness of the Kia Optima, and even the unassuming Toyota Camry has more pizzazz than the Passat." -- About.com (2012)


The Passat offers 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than what many midsize cars offer. Reviewers like the liberal cargo space inside the cabin, as well as the Passat’s spacious, deep trunk.

  • "In the cabin, there is generous small-item storage that includes a good-size glovebox, door pockets with bottle holders, and a pair of covered cupholders." -- Consumer Guide
  • "An equally spacious trunk can swallow 15.9 cubic feet of cargo - a number that bests many of the Passat's competitors - and is made more flexible by 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The cavernous passenger area doesn't come at the expense of cargo room, as the trunk measures a competitive 15.9 cubic feet. It's very deep and rectangular, with few intrusions." -- Cars.com (2012)

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