It's cheaper than most of its rivals from Japan and Korea.
The Volkswagen Passat has changed significantly over the past few generations. What used to be marketed as an upscale, premium alternative to the humdrum Asian sedans has now become a budget-conscious player in the mid-size segment. VW still builds a more upmarket Passat, but it is reserved for the European market along with the more practical wagon variant. Instead, the United States receives its own version of the Passat, which debuted at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
This new 2020 Passat may look similar to the model it replaces but this is an all-new model. And with VW announcing that pricing will start at $22,995 ( plus a $920 destination charge), the German sedan undercuts most of its rivals from Japan and Korea. Even factoring in the destination charge, the 2020 Passat undercuts rivals such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and even the new Hyundai Sonata.
All Passat models, including the base S trim, are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder producing 174 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque sending power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. The S trim includes standard features such as 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, DRLs, and taillights, a multi-function steering wheel, cloth seats, and manual climate control. The Passat is also heavy on safety features with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert.
Stepping up to the SE trim costs $25,845 and adds chrome window surrounds, keyless access with push-button start, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver's seat, heated leatherette seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. SE models also get adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, plus an optional sunroof for $995.
The Passat R-Line is the sportiest model for $28,645. Inside, it adds a standard sunroof, alarm system, ambient lighting, steering wheel shift paddles, and stainless-steel pedal caps while also adding exterior touches like 19-inch wheels, black window surrounds, a spoiler, rear diffuser, chrome exhaust pipes, and R-line Flitzer badges.
At the top of the range, the SEL model costs $31,095 and builds on the packaging of the R-Line. The SEL is the most feature-packed Passat with 18-inch wheels, VW's advanced front-lighting system, high beam control, comfort sport seats with leather seating surfaces, driver's seat and mirror memory, power passenger seat, heated rear seats, built-in navigation, Fender audio system, and parking steering assistant with park distance control.
VW says the 2020 Passat will arrive in US dealers by the end of 2019.