BRYN MACKINNON: I’m Bryn McKinnon from Edmunds, and this is an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Regardless of how plain it might look from the outside, the Passat is still a strong choice when it comes to mid-size sedans. The current Passat has been around for about five years, and this year’s model hasn’t changed much either, but that isn’t a huge knock for this VW. For years now, the Passat has offered a big, comfy back seat, a big trunk, and excellent interior materials. On the highway, the Passat gets up to speed quickly, thanks to one of two engines, a turbocharged four-cylinder or a non-turbocharged V6. Both are likeable engines with decent acceleration for the segment, but mileage is behind class leaders. Once you’re up to speed, the Passat it is quiet and refined and makes for really easy commutes or road trips.It isn’t as engaging to drive quickly, but all the midsize sedan basics are pretty much covered. Once you hop inside the Passat, you’ll definitely notice how big the back seat is, a plus for Lyft drivers and parents with car seats. But up front, things aren’t very modern. Volkswagen has gone with a function over form set of touchscreens, it seems, and with the Passat, that makes things feel a bit dated. The optional 6.3 inch touchscreen comes with modern stuff, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It just isn’t as visually pleasing as the systems in some rivals. The bottom line, with the 2017 Volkswagen Passat, is that it’s a likeable sedan worth checking out, but you might be happier with a more modern rival. Be sure to check out competitors, like the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, and the Ford Fusion. For more Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe. .