Move from the least costly Passat, the 132TSI, and pay more for a 132TSI Comfortline and you get leather upholstery, and fully power-adjustable front seats that also hold you in place better around corners. The driver’s seat and exterior mirrors remember your settings (so that it is easy to restore them after a companion has driven the car). There is a bigger, 8.0-inch, touchscreen and a DVD drive. Wagon versions get a power-operated tailgate.
The Comfortline also brings you Driver Profile Selection (with Eco, Normal, Sport and customisable Individual modes). This allows you to adjust, in concert, how several controls feel and operate. For example, switching from Normal to Sport makes the steering weightier, the accelerator pedal more sensitive, and the auto transmission more responsive, among other changes.
And there is some more driver-assistance, namely Adaptive cruise control, Lane Assist, and a rear cross-traffic alert.
Pay more again for a Passat 140TDI Highline and you gain in addition softer Nappa leather upholstery, piano-black and brushed aluminium highlights and trims, and voice control for the navigation and phone. Wheels are an inch bigger in diameter at 18-inches, and they carry tyres of a lower profile (which improves steering response marginally and looks sportier).
You can add to the luxe effect on Comfortline and Highline models by coughing up for a Luxury Package or an R-Line Package.
The Luxury Package includes a glass roof with sunroof, full LED headlights that shine into corners when you turn the wheel, and ambient cabin lighting (which generates a soft glow when driving at night).
The R-Line Package has a sporting focus. There is sports suspension, which lowers the car and firms up the ride, reducing how much the body leans in a corner. And there is Progressive Steering, which speeds up response as you turn the wheel, making it easier to negotiate a series of tight turns (for example).
R-Line brings bigger road wheels again, at 19-inches. Sports front seats are trimmed in Nappa leather with carbon-effect side bolsters, grey R-Line logos and decorative stitching. There is a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles. Cosmetically, R-Line adds a unique front grille, a sports front bumper with bigger air intakes, and side skirts – among other styling tweaks.