The 2009 Volkswagen Passat sedan has an extremely impressive set of features and interior details, but you will pay extra for them. TheCarConnection.com’s editors agree that the Passat trumps most of the competition in terms of standard equipment.
Autobytel praises the generous list of standard equipment in the Passat, including “heated and signaling rearview mirrors, 17-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, an MP3 player, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and a host of power features.” Motor Trend looks at the equipment list and concludes that, at about $26,000, the Passat costs more than some of its competitors but still ranks as a strong value. “Extra money buys a nav system, a Bluetooth phone, adaptive cruise control, a heated windshield, and swiveling bi-xenon headlamps,” says Automobile.
Nearly all reviewers cite the umbrella stowed in the door, a feature that Autobytel muses “owners in Seattle will love,” and the Detroit News mentions “a deep center console that can be heated or cooled with an air outlet.” CNET describes the trunk space as “cavernous,” and Edmunds says, “Storage also benefits from easy-to-operate 60/40-split-folding rear seats with pass-through.” Additionally, Edmunds points out the low and easy access to trunk space and “the cute little insider way of opening the trunk. (Press the VW logo.)”
Several reviews mention the plentiful storage spaces inside the Passat’s cabin, including “two flip-top compartments” that Edmunds remarks “disappear elegantly into the dash and center console.” “The rear seat has excellent amenities," says the Detroit News, “including new air vents with fan control, an ashtray, an armrest with pop-out cupholders and individual, airplane-style reading lights.”
The optional 600-watt, 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system draws comments from all reviewers. “Better than just about anything I’ve ever heard inside an automobile,” says an Autobytel reviewer. TheCarConnection.com’s editors rank the Dynaudio sound system as one of the top-sounding systems in any new car.
CNET gives its bright LCD screen of the Passat’s nav system “high marks for visibility,” and notes it was especially easy to enter locations or get directions to secondary destinations.
One area of criticism is the standard “smart key,” which Motor Trend says “is an obnoxious little rectangle that, instead of being smart enough to talk to the ignition while still in your pocket, requires insertion into a motorized slot that seems to exist only to break one day.”