Strangely, the station wagon variant will live on.
On sale since 2014, production of the eighth-generation European Volkswagen Passat sedan has ceased. This is according to Autocar, the UK-based magazine citing a spokesman for the German carmaker, who confirmed production ended before the end of 2021.
The move signifies the second major market in which the Passat nameplate has reached the end of the road, as it will not make it past the 2022 model year in the US market. The Euro-spec models differ from the American-spec Passat, which is based on an older architecture and maintained a larger size to appeal to the US market better. Regardless of platform, however, the Passat is being killed off slowly in all markets. To mark the end of its time in America, VW announced a special edition for the 2022 model year.
Curiously, Volkswagen will continue to sell the Passat station wagon in Europe, although the wagon appears to be a more popular offering. In fact, the wagon body style of the Passat outsold the conventional three-box derivative by a ratio of around 2:1 since the facelifted models were introduced in 2019.
European buyers looking for a midsize sedan can still buy the VW Arteon, which is a four-door coupe-styled offering occupying the same segment. The svelte Arteon, which will also continue in the American market, is underpinned by the same VW MQB platform as the European Passat.
The European market will not be receiving a special send-off for the Passat. In America, however, the final send-off is replete with unique Chattanooga details; a nod to where the Passat was built for a decade. With just 1,973 produced for 2022 - referencing the first year (1973) of production - and a host of distinctive touches (including unique 18-inch alloy wheels and paint finishes) it's a fitting tribute to the iconic model name.
The Passat is reportedly not expected to receive a replacement until 2023, but the Wolfsburg-based brand is busy with an all-electric Aero-B, an emissions-free sedan similar to the Passat in size. Volkswagen is yet to announce when the newcomer will go on sale but expect it to be VW's riposte to the Tesla Model 3. The US will likely not receive another gasoline Passat, and even the electric sedan might not arrive stateside.