2018 Volkswagen Passat

Interior


$22,995 MSRP
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2018 Volkswagen Passat Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.0

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat's cabin looks good and features some quality materials. However, it also has some hard plastics that prevent the cabin from ranking as one of the best in the class. The seats are terrific; the front seats offer all-day support, and the rear seats are extremely spacious. The Passat’s trunk is among the largest in the class. There’s not much to complain about regarding the tech features, but many rivals' offerings feel more modern.

  • The Passat does not boast the standout, best-in-class interior quality of past VWs. Many materials are pleasing to touch and the switchgear is excellent, but there are a lot of hard plastics that make it seem otherwise average." -- Edmunds
  • "Fit/finish is excellent and the sedan's interior has an upscale feel. VW's designers resisted the urge to create a futuristic dash with daring shapes and overwrought digital displays. Instead, the Passat's dashboard is simple if a bit traditional and the controls are well placed. It's conservative, but it won't look dated in just a few years." -- 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)

Seating

The VW Passat seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Leatherette and leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a power-adjustable passenger seat are available.

The Passat’s front seats are comfortable and provide all-day support for most folks. The rear seats stand out for their exceptional roominess. Even extremely tall adults can sit in the back without feeling cramped. There is also plenty of room for child safety seats, and there are two complete sets of LATCH connectors to safely secure them. The LATCH system is easy to use, and there are no issues with the tether or lower anchors.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
  • 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

Standard features in the Passat include a rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, the MIB II infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port, and an Intelligent Crash Response System, which turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights after airbags deploy.

Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, remote start, push-button start, a sunroof, an eight-speaker audio system, a Fender premium audio system, satellite radio, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 6.3-inch touch screen, an additional USB port, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.

Available active safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and park assist.

The Passat has a lot of available tech features, but it doesn’t offer much that you can’t find in rivals. The infotainment system offers plenty of helpful smartphone connectivity options, but overall, it isn’t as modern as many competitors’ systems. Both the 5- and 6.3-inch screens are a bit undersized; many rivals offer 7-inch (or larger) screens. There’s not much reason to complain about usability, but neither is the MIB II system overly user-friendly.

See 2018 Volkswagen Passat specs »

  • The infotainment system isn't exactly class-leading, but it's easy to use and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as standard Bluetooth." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Both the standard 5- and optional 6.3-inch touchscreens are on the small side and positioned too low. Their functionality is just OK — it doesn't confuse or frustrate — but others are better and have sharper and better-looking graphics." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

Cargo

The Passat has 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than you’ll get from most other cars in the class. A 60/40-split-folding rear seat gives you the flexibility to haul larger items, and a hands-free trunk lid is available. The only downside is that the trunk lid hinges may impede cargo space. The cabin has ample small-item storage space.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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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