2012 Fisker Karma
2012 Fisker KarmaEnlarge Photo
Now, a few outliers. If you've followed the saga of the Fisker Karma from its conception to its PR nightmares--much of it dismaying curds of government-cheese agitprop--you know it's a big car with not much interior room. How vast is the differential? The Passat's interior dimensions smoke the Karma into a new plane of existence. The Karma rides on a wheelbase of 124.4 inches, almost 15 inches longer than that of the Passat--yet its rear-seat leg room is 8 inches less.
2013 Lexus LS 460 F SportEnlarge Photo
The Lexus LS is by no means the largest luxury sedan, not compared with its German rivals. What's more surprising is that, in short-wheelbase form, it's not even up to the Passat's challenge. The 2013 LS measures in with a wheelbase of 116.9 inches--and nets out with rear-seat leg room of 35.8 inches. (The long-wheelbase edition? It's 121.7 inches of wheelbase, 4.8 inches more, which net an inch plus over the Passat, if you're generous and apply all of it to the rear seat.)
No surprise to anyone who's ever hired a car from the airport, the Lincoln Town Car wins no awards for its space efficiency. When pitted against the Passat, it's no contest. The most recent Town Car offered for sale, the 2011 model, had a wheelbase of 117.7 inches--that before the stretchers get to it--but had just 39.6 inches of rear-seat leg room, bigger than the Passat by just 0.5 inches.