In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Passat saloon - Practicality & boot space

A longer wheelbase means the Volkswagen Passat offers more passenger space than the old car and has a huge boot

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3.4 out of 5

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Practicality & boot space Rating

4.5 out of 5

Despite being smaller (by 2mm) on the outside than the model that it replaced, this Passat is bigger inside. VW has achieved this by adding 79mm to the car's wheelbase – the space between the front and rear wheels.

Volkswagen Passat interior space & storage

Jump in the back seats of the Passat and you'll find there's plenty of head and legroom – even if the transmission tunnel restricts foot space for the middle-seat passenger.

Up front, there's plenty of passenger room and numerous storage areas including big door pockets and a decent glovebox. You can also specify Ergo Comfort seats for long-distance refinement. All models have a double cup-holder in the transmission tunnel and a central armrest in the back, with a ski hatch giving access to the boot. The boot is also fitted with a 12v socket.

Boot space

Boot capacity has been increased by 21 litres in the saloon, so maximum load capacity is now 586 litres – nearly 100 litres more than you get in the Mazda6 or BMW 3 Series. Folding the rear seats down (by yanking a lever in the boot) reveals even more boot space, although the seats don't lie completely flat when lowered. Every Passat gets a ski hatch for carrying long items. Buyers of the hybrid GTE model will be pleased to hear that the batteries for the electric motor don't encroach on the main boot area like they can in other hybrid models, but they do occupy all the extra space beneath the boot floor – 180 litres in all.

If the regular Passat doesn’t offer enough room, you might want to consider the Passat estate. It has a total boot capacity of 650 litres – which is 17 litres more than you get in the enormous Skoda Superb Estate – and a huge boot opening that means it should swallow large items with ease.

Towing

The Passat is a good towing vehicle, which is popular with caravan owners thanks to its size and clever technology. Choose the optional Trailer Assist with Park Assist pack for around £500 and you can use the central screen to decide where you want to reverse your trailer and then control its trajectory. Clever software means you can take your hands off the steering wheel and use the door mirror adjuster as a ‘joystick’, taking the stress out of it.

Even the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel can tow a braked trailer of 1,500kg, while 2.0-litre engines can tow up to 2,000kg and the range-topping diesel with four-wheel drive can manage 2,200kg.

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