2020 Volkswagen Passat Review

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2020 Volkswagen Passat Overview

The Volkswagen Passat nameplate has historically been attached to a comfortably sized sedan that offered entry-level European luxury. In 2012, VW decided to go mainstream with a made-for-America Passat that was larger with more features, but decidedly less luxurious. Since then, the Passat has undergone several rounds of changes, including technology updates, a comprehensive facelift, interior material upgrades, and various new powertrains. 2020 marks an even bigger change as Volkswagen introduces a complete redesign.

Volkswagen makes a distinction here between “redesigned” and “re-engineered,” because while the 2020 Passat rides on the same basic structure as last year’s model, every single body panel was reshaped. The new car’s front end matches that of the recently redesigned Jetta with its large, dominating grille and slim lighting. It also looks more coupe-like in profile. At the rear, it imitates the Atlas and Arteon with Passat badging that runs the width of the trunk lid for an upscale touch. Inside the Passat's redesigned cabin carries a strong horizontal theme. The dashboard is full of redesigned interfaces, like the glass-covered infotainment screen that’s present in the automaker’s other newer models. You also get more choice this time around: Volkswagen offers three interior decor designs, depending on the trim, and new Nappa leather seating surfaces along with its traditional V-Tex leatherette and cloth options.

All 2020 Passats are powered by a carryover turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 174 horsepower; some upgrades boost torque to 207 pound-feet. Power goes to the front wheels courtesy of a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel-economy ratings aren’t yet available, but they’re likely to be even higher than the outgoing model’s 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and 29 combined.

At launch, the Passat will be offered in four trims, plus a launch-only Limited grade. In keeping with modern expectations, the list of standard equipment gets longer on the new model. In every Passat, you’ll find 17-inch wheels, satellite radio, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and LED exterior lighting. Optional features include heated front and rear seats, a power driver’s seat with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding and heated side mirrors, adaptive front lighting with range control and cornering lights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, remote start, keyless access and start, voice control, Fender premium audio, and an easy-open trunk.

The Passat continues to maintain a competitive set of standard and optional safety features. Forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are all included. You can add adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a parking assistant, and front and rear sensors.

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat features sleeker styling and increased levels of technology and luxury, setting it up to compete with premium sport sedans like the Acura TLX. It also maintains the old model’s best-in-class 6-year, 72,000-mile transferable warranty. Volkswagen expects to begin selling the redesigned version in the summer of 2019.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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