The highly profitable niche that VW has carved for itself between the mainstream and premium markets is based, in part, on a superior – but not overtly luxurious – interior design language.
But VW’s satellite brands will have to hit unprecedented form to match the Passat’s interior. Constructed, aesthetically speaking, on an incredibly confident layering of horizontal lines, the dashboard radiates an imperturbable, white-collar elegance. As an antidote to the workmanlike Mondeo, it is imperious and – dare we say it – studiously European.
Into the new design, VW has slotted its usual ergonomic proficiency. The dials, switchgear and infotainment are all recognisable, both in appearance and positioning. The driving position is elevated, but not upsettingly so, and instrumentation is superbly clear.
As we mentioned before there are five main trims to choose from, while those opting for the hybrid Passat GTE get two trim levels to choose from. The entry-level S comes with 16in alloy wheels, hill hold function, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, electric windows and a post-collision braking system. Inside occupants get air conditioning, cupholders, a cooled glovebox, lumbar support and a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system complete with DAB, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.