• Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face

The car still feels nice and premium overall

The SUV and crossover boom has left sedans in a precarious position. Despite the dwindling sales and their half-dead state, automakers are bound to freshen up their sedan range in their final run before they are retired. Here is Volkswagen’s half-hearted attempt to refresh the Passat and give a quality product to the people who still yearn for a well-packaged, mid-sized sedan.

Does It Remind You Of The Arteon?

Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
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The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is here with a new look and exquisite feature-list to up the ante of the falling sales. The VW sedan sales fell 32-percent in 2018 in the States when compared to the 2017 sales figures.

When viewed upfront, the Passat looks striking with the new front grille and a sloped roof-line to give it a slightly aggressive look.

Volkswagen now offers LED headlight and taillights as standard on the new Passat. The new wide-lettered PASSAT badging between the taillights is a sweet touch.

Extra Torque Is The Only Attraction Under The Hood

Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
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Since the 2020 Passat is not a new car per se, it still continues using the old architecture instead of the MQB platform. The car rides on 17-inch wheels as standard, but can be upgraded to 18-inch or 19-inch set as well.

Talking about the engines, the Passat comes with the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TSI engine that produces 174 ponies.

Thanks to a new torque converter, this has been increased to 207 pound-feet from the previous model’s 184 pound-feet of torque. Power will be sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Interiors – A Class Apart

Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
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I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again – no other automaker pays more attention to the interiors of a facelift more than Volkswagen. Perhaps, this is why so many of their products have been in the market for decades now. This time, the German automaker offers a newly developed glass-covered infotainment touchscreen that supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink. The Passat also comes with features like dual-zone automatic climate control, front and rear heated seats, electrically folding heated mirrors, adaptive headlights with cornering function, automatic wipers, powered driver seat, and a Fender sound system.

While the base trim comes with cloth seats, they can be upgraded to leatherette or Nappa leather for extra moolah.

In terms of Safety, all the Passat trims come with Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert. Features like Cruise Control, Lane Assist, and Park Assist can be added at an extra cost.

Final Thoughts

Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
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The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is speculated to be price in the ballpark of $27,000; marginally higher than the 2019 model. It will go into production at the company’s Chatanooga, Tennessee plant and hit the showrooms in the summer this year. Do you think the 2020 model can make the Passat live a little longer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further reading

Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Passat.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT - Driven
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT.

2016 Volkswagen Passat High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show. Eight years ago, Volkswagen completely overhauled the midsize sedan to cater specifically to American buyers, with more interior space and creature comforts combined with the company’s signature fun-to-drive nature. Building on the success of that model, today’s new Passat offers more of what matters: bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features.

“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.”

While the 2020 Passat retains the underpinnings of the previous model, it has been completely restyled. A dynamic coupe-like roofline, dramatic “tornado” line, and dominant grille give the Passat a bold new look—at once, elegant and sporty. Standard slim LED headlights and taillights, along with more prominent Passat badging that runs the width of the trunklid, give the car a more premium look. Standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels enhance the sophisticated design, and 18- and 19-inch wheels are available.

Inside, the Passat combines a sophisticated new design and upgraded technology with the spacious cabin that made the outgoing model popular. The cockpit features a horizontal design, incorporating air vents that flow across the dash in a style reminiscent of premium models. A new, more contemporary instrument panel has been fitted, along with a new glass-covered infotainment touchscreen. Complementing the new interior design are new colors and premium materials. Three interior décor designs are available, based on trim. Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seating surfaces are available in addition to the standard cloth seats, and offer four color options.

Comfort, for both drivers and passengers, continues to be a key strength for the Passat. To help keep occupants comfortable, Passat offers available heated front and rear seats, power driver’s seat with memory, and dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. Convenience features include available power-folding, heated side mirrors with memory, the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, KESSY® keyless access and push-button start, Voice Control, and Easy Open trunk.

Infotainment technology gets a boost in the 2020 Passat. In addition to a new glass-covered touchscreen, MIB II Composition Media infotainment with SiriusXM® radio comes standard (three-month trial subscription included) and Discover Media with navigation is available. Every Passat comes with standard Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect technology, which integrates compatible smartphones with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®—making select apps accessible from the infotainment screen. For audiophiles, top-of-the-line models feature the Fender® Premium Audio system.

Technology upgrades don’t stop in the cabin—the new Passat offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available driver-assistance technology. Every Passat includes standard Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), now with Pedestrian Monitoring, as well as Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. Available driver-assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping Assist (Lane Assist), which can actively help the driver steer the car back into its lane should the vehicle start drifting into another lane without using the turn signal; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) including Park Distance Control. In addition, Passat offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems including the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

The new Passat continues to be powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 174 horsepower. A new torque converter, combined with new software, boosts output to 207 pound-feet of torque on most models (a launch trim will carry over the previous model’s powertrain). The power is taken to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic®.

Every Passat model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s Best Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration.

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in four regular trim levels and a launch-only Limited model. It is expected to begin arriving at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the Summer of 2019.

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