Nearly all reviews mentioned the abundance of space inside the cabin and a good seating position for front occupants. “The ergonomics of this vehicle are simply excellent, providing a good driving point of view, helping to keep fatigue at bay, and creating a comfortable environment that’s perfect for long or short trips,” says Autobytel.
“The Volkswagen human-factors engineers didn’t miss a trick in making the cabin feel as if it has a custom fit,” crows the Detroit News. “Even the front armrest can be adjusted for height.”
“There’s plenty of room in the cabin, the materials mostly look and feel high-quality,” says Motor Trend, while Automobile declares, “The driver environment is one of affordable luxury: materials are as nice to the touch as they are to the eye, standard equipment is comprehensive, and the colors and surfaces are tastefully blended.”
Autobytel describes the leather upholstery in the Passat VR6 as “high-quality cowhide, smooth, soft, and appealing to the eye and nose,” as does Edmunds, saying that the leather seats are “like something you’d find in an Italian furniture store: modern-looking although somewhat uncomfortable.” Edmunds, however, also notes that the seats just don’t offer enough lateral support for corners.
Forbes.com, too, says that backseat headroom and shoulder room are disappointing compared to the Acura TL and Infiniti G35, two vehicles that the top-of-the-line Passat is priced against. “For the money, it’s still not as roomy as other cars in its now-more-expensive class,” the reviewer proclaims. An Autobytel reviewer contends that even people of height or girth can be comfortable in the back, though the Detroit News mentions a lack of headroom.
A stiff ride might not be to everyone’s liking. Automobile refers to a “brittle low-speed ride,” while several other reviewers describe the ride quality as firm but relatively compliant.
Several sources report excessive road noise inside. “Most of the noisiness occurs at interstate clips of 70 mph, when both wind and road buzz echo through the cabin,” according to the Forbes.com reviewer. Edmunds, which drove both versions, says that road noise on the highway is more pronounced in the VR6.
And when some reviewers take a look closer inside, they aren’t all positive. Autobytel finds a host of issues, including “cupholders that feel as though they were purchased at the 99-cent automotive store, the clickety-clack of the center console compartment lid, and the flimsy hooks for the sun screens.”
Although TheCarConnection.com’s editors appreciate the more attractive look and plusher feel inside the top Passat VR6 models, the look and feel of the least expensive four-cylinder models is more impressive for the money, as it has a high-quality European air, yet costs the same as cars with a lot less personality.