Comfortable and practical, with just a little hint of sportiness under the bonnet.
The Passat's interior is pleasant enough, if looking a little dated in places. Its leather seats are comfortable and easily adjustable for drivers, and there's plenty of space available for front passengers. Thanks to its 1731mm wheelbase there shouldn't be complaints from the rear bench about leg or headroom either, even over long distances.
The cabin aesthetics are fine, with plenty of soft-touch furnishings dotted about. It might not feel as special to sit in as it once did, though, and in places the Passat is starting to show its age. The analogue clock in the centre of the fascia and the infotainment screen are just two examples that stand out - although the infotainment unit itself is easy to use on the move.
Our test car was powered by VW's 2.0-litre TDI Bluemotion engine, so came with 175bhp and 280lb ft of torque. It feels fairly rapid to accelerate, reaching 62mph in 8.6 seconds, and is quiet and refined at speed with very little noise intrusion into the cabin. The six-speed DSG works as well as it always has, while wheel-mounted paddles allow you to take over when required.
VW says the Passat can manae 54.3mpg on a combined cycle with accompanying CO2 emissions of 136g/km. That's impressive, and places the Passat in VED tax band E, meaning it'll only cost you £130 to tax per year.
Our only complaint with the Passat's mechanical package comes with its road poise, as the lowered sports suspension has resulted in a firm ride. That might not matter on the motorway, but at urban speeds you pick up a lot of road imperfections and bumps. It's a blight on an otherwise calm and smooth experience.
The Passat remains a practical choice, though. As well as a large central storage compartment up front, topped by a height-adjustable arm-rest, there's also a large boot on offer. In total, the Passat offers 603 litres of storage space with the rear bench in place, rising to 1731 litres with it down.
That's more than the Insignia Sports Tourer and Hyundai i40 estate, which offer 540/1530 litres and 553/1719 litres respectively, but significantly less than the gargantuan Skoda Superb estate, with 633/1865 litres.