We've reviewed a lot of midsize sedans in the past few days, so it only seems appropriate to cover one in our latest luggage test. In this case, the 2020 VW Passat and its 15.9 cubic-foot trunk, which is the largest sedan trunk to pass through the vigorous gantlet that is the luggage test. Admittedly, it's only the second sedan to do so and the first, the Subaru Legacy, is pretty damn close at 15.1 cubic-feet. Anyway, let's see how those on-paper number compare to the real deal.
As always, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife's fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
It sure looks deep and wide, but there are some hangups that prevent the space from being as useful as possible. First, those "egg crusher" hinges. They're pretty close to the trunk walls, which is good, since you can easily gauge where they are laterally ...
So, the four biggest bags fit between the wheel wells, but as you can see, the outboard ones are prevented from slipping all the way back due to elements out of sight near the parcel shelf. You can see below how (clockwise from upper left) the Legacy, Mazda6, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord did with these same bags.
Despite the four bags not fitting as well between the wheels, you can see that the Passat has an advantage over the Camry due to its extra length. The Accord is even deeper and much wider. The Legacy is just a bit better, but more on that in a moment.
Here is the Passat with all the luggage loaded. No problem, nothing creative needed. If you do need to stuff in more, though, those egg-crushers come into play when you start Tetrising bags in (and they give the Legacy an advantage).
With the black bag on the left laid flat, the hinge scrapes it and barely gets by. As such, it's hard to take advantage of those indentations on either side and there's less space than it seems.
I added one more duffel bag, but there's obviously some extra area left beyond that. So, although the Passat's back seat is as big as advertised (see below), the trunk could be better. Still, holds more than several SUVs that have passed through the luggage test.