New VW Passat Will Have Golf GTI's Worst Features

Spy Shots / 6 Comments

There's still time to fix this, Volkswagen…

Remember the Volkswagen Passat? The Passat is/was VW's midsize sedan rival to the likes of the Toyota Camry, but it hasn't exactly been a solid seller in recent years. The USDM version of the Passat - which is vastly different from its European counterpart - was recently discontinued with a final send-off special edition. In Europe, production of the sedan has also been discontinued, although the wagon version is still alive and well. But while Volkswagen is pursuing electrification and planning an EV replacement for the Passat called the Aero B, it's also working on a brand new Passat station wagon for Europe.

We've previously spied the new (B9 generation) wagon-only Passat undergoing cold-weather testing, but the latest shots caught by our spies reveal new details about the Passat's interior that many shoppers won't be happy about.

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While the exterior shots reveal no changes from the shots a little more than a month ago - this is in fact the exact same car we spied previously - we now have our first look at the Passat's interior.

It's worth noting this is still a prototype, so the finished product will differ slightly. But, the basic layout will remain more or less the same. The first thing you'll notice is a massive central infotainment screen. Our spies noted its similarities to the screens found in ID models like the VW ID.4, only bigger. Likewise, a digital instrument cluster is similar to what we've seen in VW's electric offerings. Annoyingly, we can see there aren't many physical controls, with the systems relying on touch for most functions. Even the steering wheel has predominantly haptic controls, which means our frustrations with the new Golf GTI will likely carry over to the Passat. An interesting feature here is the column-mounted shifter, moving gear controls off of the center console for more storage space. It also suggests that there won't be a manual option.

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As for the rest of the Passat, we know the next generation will grow longer and vastly more practical, as it's being co-developed with the Skoda Superb - a well-known practical family wagon in Europe trading on massive passenger and cargo space. Combustion engines will feature for the last time in the next-gen Passat. Both gasoline and diesel engines will be available in Europe, as well as plug-in hybrid variants at a later date. There won't be a sedan this time around. However, the wagon will be joined by an Alltrack version - which will be a pseudo-off-roader in the same vein as the Audi A4 allroad and even the Subaru Outback.

Still wearing camo to make it look like the old Passat, the new model will likely be fully revealed in 2023 and arrive in relevant markets as a 2024 model. At this stage, it's unlikely it will be made available in the US.

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