Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate interior & comfort

The Volkswagen Passat GTE estate is well equipped, with an interior that just about delivers for the price point

Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate

Passengers will find the Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate to be a perfectly comfortable car, with the ride striking a good balance between handling and comfort. The interior delivers exactly what you’d expect from a car at this price point, without exceeding expectations.

Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate dashboard

Like many other Volkswagen models these days, the GTE Estate gets a modern, functional dashboard that's logically laid-out and easy to operate. A central touchscreen dominates the middle of the dashboard, with physical buttons and dials retained for control of the climate settings. Driving modes – such as ‘E-mode’ – can be engaged using buttons on the centre console, while a shift lever allows you to switch between, drive, reverse and parking modes. The electronic handbrake is here, too, freeing up more interior space.

The vents are designed to look like they run the full length of the dashboard – in similar fashion to the Tesla Model 3 – while the old analogue clock has been replaced with a backlit Passat badge. Overall, the interior feels just about upmarket enough to reflect the price, although it understandably falls short of more premium offerings like the Volvo V60.

Equipment, options & accessories

All GTE Estates get LED lights, alloy wheels, DAB radio, sat nav, leather seats and blue ambient interior lighting as standard. Meanwhile, the GTE Advance upgrades the standard 17-inch alloys to 18-inch units, with LED matrix headlights, voice control, a 3D sat-nav map, keyless entry and a powered tailgate thrown in, too.

Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

The GTE comes with an 11.7-inch digital display and an eight-inch colour touchscreen as standard, although GTE Advance cars get 12.3 and 9.2-inch screens respectively. You can view key information on the Digital Cockpit, with much improved graphics and better responsiveness than the old system could manage. Menus are navigated using buttons on the steering wheel, making it easy to find the information you want without taking your hands off the wheel.

The graphics on the infotainment screen are also an improvement on the old model, although the menus can be a tad confusing (although they're customisable, so you can tailor them as you see fit) and the screen needs a good press of the finger to register a command. BMW’s iDrive system remains the benchmark in this department.

Fortunately, the Passat is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so wireless pairing with a smartphone is very straightforward. The car also comes with its own SIM card, meaning it’s permanently online and can relay real-time traffic updates via the Discover Navigation system.