Although the 2010 Volkswagen Passat isn't the roomiest vehicle in this mid-size class, it has a high-quality European air, yet costs the same as cars with a lot less personality. Ride quality and interior appointments are top-notch as well.
Automobile Magazine 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.”
“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,” gushes MyRide.com.
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.” A MyRide.com reviewer contends that even people of height or girth can be comfortable in the back, though the Detroit News mentions a lack of headroom.
Reviews are mixed with respect to ride quality. Automobile Magazine refers to a “brittle low-speed ride,” while several other reviewers describe the ride quality as firm but relatively compliant. Edmunds says that though the ride is “well damped and appropriately cushy,” road noise is abundant, especially on L.A. freeways. Kelley Blue Book also observes that “while the Passat Wagon very accurately mimics a premium vehicle on many levels, it often isn’t quite as quiet or smooth,” and Cars.com comments, “The wagon’s body structure doesn’t feel as solid as the sedan’s when driving over rough pavement, and both the sedan and wagon I tested were afflicted with a number of interior rattles.”
Regarding the wagon, reviewers rave about the space available—and the versatility. “The low, wide cargo opening allows fast loading of plenty of cargo,” says MSN Autos. “If more space is needed, the rear seats fold completely forward to provide an impressively large cargo area.” Kelley Blue Book points out, “Fold the rear split bench seat and you’ve got a nearly flat load floor, and the electric tailgate is a big bonus when your hands are full.”
Cars.com observes that flipping down the seats and expanding the cargo floor effectively doubles the cargo space, to 35.8 cubic feet with the backseats up, but folding them down isn’t quite as easy as it should be, because the front seat can’t be in its rearmost position when doing so. “The extra step of flipping up the seat cushion means that tall drivers will have to give up some space in order to make room for the backrest to fold down.” The reviewer warns that most owners may end up folding the backrest without flipping down the lower cushion to “avoid the burdensome part of that dance.” Car and Driver notes that the backseat headrests must be removed. Kelley Blue Book praises the low lift-over height and wide opening of the tailgate and mentions the “storage cubbies on the side of the trunk area and six tie down points."
Edmunds calls the interior “beautifully screwed together and richly appointed.” Cars.com says, “Volkswagen’s attention to detail and high-quality materials give the cabin a rich feel.” With the help of the telescoping steering wheel, MyRide.com has no trouble finding a comfortable driving position and notes, “The bucket seats are well padded but firm enough to be supportive, with a lower section that’s plenty long for thigh support but a little light on bolsters (the seatback bolsters are more substantial).” But when some reviewers take a closer look inside, they aren’t all positive. MyRide.com 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.”