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2017 Volkswagen Passat Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Volkswagen Passat was new.


Interior: 8.1

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat has an attractive interior with a high-class feel. It is designed with excellent materials and has a logical and simple layout. The infotainment system is superb for connecting your smartphone to the Passat’s touch screen with the available upgraded Car-Net system. It is easy to navigate with no-fuss controls, though the base touch screen is a little small.

The Passat also has great trunk space with a rear-seat pass-through that allows for the hauling of longer items. Its back-seat legroom is some of the most spacious in its class. Kids and adults alike will have more than enough room. The cabin is quiet, with little outside noise creeping in.

  • “One of the most inviting parts of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is its reserved yet classy interior. Cabin materials are excellent, and the cabin layout is, as you'd expect from the German automaker, logical and simple. Competition is stiff in the family sedan segment, but the Passat still retains a vibe of simplicity and functionality that borders on luxurious." -- Edmunds
  • “The interior also benefits from last year's upgrades, including a redesigned gauge cluster, enhanced details, improved materials and a much-needed tech upgrade" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “Some trim has been 'dressed up' a bit, but the interior retains the linear, businesslike appearance and fine-quality materials that always made the Passat seem more upscale than its price tag would suggest." -- Consumer Guide (2016)


The 2017 Volkswagen Passat seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. The interior of the Passat is designed with high-quality materials and has a more expensive feel than one would expect from this class.

Heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with power lumbar support and driver-seat memory settings, and wood and textured aluminum accents are available.

The Passat’s back seat is incredibly roomy, with some of the most generous legroom in its class. The seats are comfortable and supportive for both the driver and passengers. There is also plenty of room for child seats, and there are two LATCH systems to safely secure them. These systems are exposed, making them easy to see and use (in some other cars, the lower anchors are often buried deep in the seats).

  • "We like the Passat's front seats, finding them properly bolstered and comfortable for almost any driver. Legroom is generous in the backseat, which means a comfortable fit for most adults and plenty of room for rear-facing child safety seats." -- Edmunds
  • "If you carpool with a large group, be prepared to pull a double shift in the 2017 Passat. The big rear seat is comfortable not just for regular-size adults, but even if your commute occasionally includes an NBA player." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The front seats offer only modest lateral grip, even with the available sport bolstering, but we're OK with that. The new Passat is definitely more about comfortable cruising than canyon carving. A word of advice, however: Make sure the front seats agree with your lower back. Some of us find the lumbar area, and indeed, the general shape of these seats, to be less than ideal. As for the rear compartment, the Passat offers so much space back there that we think it's a viable alternative to large cars such as the Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azera." -- Autotrader (2015)

Interior Features

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes with a long list of features, though you’ll have to upgrade to get access to many of them. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, forward collision warning, emergency brake assist, an Intelligent Crash Response System – after airbags deploy this feature turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights – and the MIB II infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

Available features include keyless entry, remote start, push-button start, heated seats, a sunroof, navigation, power seats, a Fender premium audio sound system, satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, park assist, a hands-free easy-open trunk, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 6.3-inch touch screen, navigation, and VW’s three Car-Net systems. The Car-Net App-Connect includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink to integrate your smartphone into the Passat’s infotainment system. The Car-Net Security and Safety system locates your last parking location, checks if you locked your car doors, provides stolen vehicle location assistance, and calls for help in case of emergency. Lastly, the Car-Net Guide and Inform system provides enhanced navigation with traffic, sports scores, and weather information.

Although the MIB II’s phone-mirroring capabilities are impressive, some competitors have larger and more user-friendly infotainment systems. The standard 5-inch touch screen is small compared to rivals' screens. However, drivers will be pleased with the larger touch screen’s responsiveness, though the optional navigation feature lags a bit.

See 2017 Volkswagen Passat specs »

  • “In contrast to that upscale interior feel, though, are the infotainment screens. Neither the base unit nor the upgraded 6.3-inch screen is very big, and graphics resolution isn't going to wow you. Still, they're easy to operate, and the robust suite of smartphone integration is certainly welcome." -- Edmunds
  • “Volkswagen for years has lagged behind its competitors when it comes to infotainment options. Thankfully, those days appear to be over with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2017 Passat models with VW Car-Net App-Connect, making it easy to integrate your smartphone into your car's infotainment system." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The Passat was way behind in connectivity and entertainment technology, and here VW really stepped it up with the release of in-dash MIB II, the next-generation Modulare Infotainment Baukasten (that's German for modular infotainment platform). There's now a device-agnostic USB port, replacing the Apple-only connector. The color touch-screens have faster processors for quicker response, starting with a 5-inch screen in the S and a 6.3-inch in the SE and higher." -- Cars.com (2016)


With 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat has one of the largest cargo spaces in its class. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat can increase that space for longer items. The Passat also has an available hands-free easy-open trunk. No need to put down everything you’re carrying – with a simple wave of your foot under the rear bumper, the trunk will open when you have the key fob on your person. But the trunk lid hinges may impose on cargo space. The Passat also includes smaller storage spaces within the cabin for personal items.

  • "The Passat is about tied with class leaders for trunk space at 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The trunk opening is large, and the 60/40-split rear seats mean plenty of space for larger items." -- Edmunds
  • "The trunk is also large for the midsize class, and folding down the rear seatbacks leaves a long, flat load floor. The latter in particular is significant, because folding the seatbacks on many rivals leaves them resting a few inches above the load floor, making it difficult to slide long items all the way forward." -- Consumer Guide (2016)
  • “The Passat's trunk volume of 15.9 cubic feet is on the larger side for this class, and both the space and opening indeed seem large. The trunk lid hinges intrude somewhat into the cargo area but are nicely finished." -- Cars.com (2015)

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