Volkswagen isn’t abandoning the sedan segment, unlike certain American automakers.
Unlike Ford and General Motors, Volkswagen is still committed to the struggling sedan segment. Following the popular model’s introduction to the US market eight years ago, the German automaker has lifted the wraps off the new 2020 Passat. Compared to its predecessor, the new Passat features a bolder design, upgraded tech, and more accessible driver assists.
"Passat is the only midsize sedan to offer German driving dynamics at an affordable price and has long resonated with buyers for its combination of comfort, reliability and driving dynamics,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. "With this new model, we’ve stepped up the style factor and upgraded the technology to make it even more attractive. In addition, we’ve made desirable convenience and driver-assistance features more accessible.”
This isn’t an all-new model, however. Unlike its European counterpart that rides on VW's new modular MQB platform, the US-market 2020 Volkswagen Passat retains the same platform as the old model. Despite this, the styling has been radically redesigned. This is a very sleek-looking sedan, thanks to its coupe-style roofline, sharp design lines, and a prominent grille that gives the Passat a bold new look. Other new exterior highlights include standard slim LED headlights and taillights and more prominent Passat badging that runs along the width of the trunk lid, giving the car a more modern appearance. As standard, the new Passat rides on 17-inch aluminium alloys, which can be upgraded with optional 18- and 19-inch wheels.
Like its predecessor, the new Passat is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine that produces 174 horsepower. A new torque converter, combined with new software, boosts the output to 207 lb-ft of torque on most models. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, the spacious cabin has also been redesigned. The cockpit features an elegant horizontal design with air vents that flow across the dashboard along with a new instrument panel and a glass-covered infotainment touchscreen. New colors and premium materials complement the revamped interior.
Three interior designs are available based on the trim, while the standard cloth seats can be upgraded to Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seating with four color options. Available comfort features include heated front and rear seats, a power driver’s seat with memory, and dual-zone climate control, while available convenience features include power-folding, heated side mirrors with memory, an Adaptive Front-lighting System with range control and cornering lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, keyless access and push-button start, Voice Control, and Easy Open trunk.
Volkswagen’s MIB II Composition Media infotainment with SiriusXM radio comes as standard, and Discover Media with navigation is available. Every Passat comes with standard Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect technology compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, making select apps accessible from the infotainment screen. Range-topping models also feature a Fender Premium Audio system catering to audiophiles.
In terms of driver assists, every Passat includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), now with Pedestrian Monitoring, as well as Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert as standard. Available driver-assistance features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Parking Steering Assistant including Park Distance Control. In addition, the Passat offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems including the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
Four regular trims will be available along with a launch-only Limited model. The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is expected to arrive in US showrooms this summer, with pricing to be announced closer to the sale date.