The 2009 Volkswagen Passat has a high-quality European air, yet costs the same as cars with a lot less personality. Nearly all reviews mention 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.
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.” “There’s plenty of room in the cabin, the materials mostly look and feel high-quality,” says Motor Trend. “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.”
Edmunds notes that the leather seats just don’t offer enough lateral support for corners, comparing them to “something you’d find in an Italian furniture store: modern-looking although somewhat uncomfortable.” Forbes.com says that backseat headroom and shoulder room are disappointing matched against 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.
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. Automobile refers to a “brittle low-speed ride,” while several other reviewers describe the ride quality as firm but relatively compliant.
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.”