Refreshed Euro Passat will debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show

Volkswagen has updated the current Euro market Passat and as with all new products from the German giant, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. But it is certainly different if you look at details like the Arteon-infused styling refresh as well as the long list of new tech features added along with the facelift.

On the styling front, at first nothing seems different, but if you notice more and more the more time you take to look at it. I had to compare shots of the before and after facelift versions of the car to make sure I knew where all the changes were, but now that I have, I can certainly state that a lot of the front end has plenty of differences.

First, the headlights which now come as standard with LED technology or as an option you can now specify smarter LED Matrix lights (called IQ.Light) whose automatic high beam function means you don’t have to worry about dazzling oncoming cars any more.

Also new at the front is the reshaped grille and bumper, while at the back there are new 3D effect LED light clusters, along with a new bumper.

Completing the exterior makeover are new alloy rim designs that go up to 19-inch in size, as well as a selection of new color finishes.

Volkswagen gives 2019 Passat for Europe its midlife nip and tuck
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The pre-facelift Passat’s party piece was never its nicely proportioned but really kind of dull exterior - it was always its interior that impressed most. I actually got to drive one back when it first came out (in 2014) and I drove it after a BMW 3-Series and to me the VW’s interior was better in every single way - design, tech, quality, as well as fit and finish.

So the refreshed model can’t disappoint here, and it doesn’t, because nothing major has been changed, while at the same time it features plenty of smaller improvements that do add up.

There’s a revised and improved 11.7-inch digital gauge cluster, a new sporty looking steering wheel, some trim and material changes and an all-new infotainment system.
Volkswagen gives 2019 Passat for Europe its midlife nip and tuck
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VW puts great emphasis on the new infotainment it calls MIB3 (short for Modular Information Matrix 3). It is displayed on 6.5-, 8.0- and 9.2-inch screens and it even comes with voice activation - like you do in Mercedes and BMW’s latest infotainment, all you say is “Hello, Volkswagen” and this will prompt the system to listen to your request.

It also comes with an integrated SIM card so that the car can stay constantly connected to the internet to offer real-time navigation information, as well as music streaming capability without you having to connect your phone. But that is easier now too - MIB3 supports both Android Auto and Apple Car Play, plus you don’t even have to connect your phone with a cable to access either of them; you can now connect your phone wireless and enable either of the two that way.

New and improved semi-autonomous driving functions have been made available for the first time too. VW calls it “Travel Assist” and it basically allows the car to drive itself up to a speed of 210 km/h or 130 mph. VW is keen to emphasize that the system is just semi-autonomous, not fully, but it has a lot more features than the Traffic Jam Assist system it is designed to replace.

Volkswagen gives 2019 Passat for Europe its midlife nip and tuck
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More news comes from under the refreshed Passat’s hood: VW first mentions the Passat GTE (plug-in hybrid model) whose all-electric range has been “considerably extended” to 55 km according to the new WLTP test cycle which corresponds to around 70 km using the old NEDC cycle.

For reference, the pre-facelift Passat GTE had a claimed battery only range of 50 km calculated according to NEDC; the real world gain should be around 20 km which is almost 50 percent more.

The extra electric range comes courtesy of a new and larger (13 kWh) lithium ion battery. The rest of the Passat GTE package remains the same, so it relies on a 1.4-liter TSI and electric motor combo for a combined 215 horsepower output. That’s a pretty good number especially given the GTE is supposed to use just 2 l/100km if you keep the battery topped up constantly.

VW will also add a new 148 horsepower 2.0-liter diesel which it calls TDI Evo alongside existing power plants like the 118 horsepower 1.6-liter diesel in the base Passat or 187 and 236 horsepower versions of the 2.0-liter TDI. The range of gasoline burning engines (all of which are turbocharged) kicks off with a 148 horsepower 1.5-liter TSI, then you move up to a pair of 2.0-liter TSI units with either 187 or 268 horsepower.

Volkswagen gives 2019 Passat for Europe its midlife nip and tuck
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This refreshed 2019 Passat for Europe will make its public debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show in early March before hitting Old Continent showrooms closer to the middle of 2019.

VW will definitely detail it more beforehand, but if you don’t want to miss a single detail and can’t wait until then, you can check out the in-depth (static) review of the car at its official workshop/unveiling event for the motoring press.

Further reading

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

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.

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