Volkswagen’s midsize Passat sedan is the carmaker’s second-best selling sedan after their popular Jetta.
If you’re in the market for a front-drive sedan, Passat is an exceptionally comfortable four-door that boasts a spacious interior and an exceptionally large trunk. In fact, Passat could easily pass for an inexpensive limo that would be ideal for Lyft and Uber drivers.
Passat is offered in S, SE, R-Line and top-shelf SEL we were privileged to test.
For 2020, Passat underwent a makeover of sorts. Its exterior has smooth flowing, rounded body lines with splashes of chrome trim and a sloping, coupe-like roofline. Lock/unlock the doors with the key fob and the outside mirrors automatically fold in/out.
The interior now boasts a more stylish interior with a 6.3-inch touchscreen that serves the rearview camera, navigation, audio, apps and a choice of upholsteries that includes cloth, leatherette or genuine leather seats plus faux wood trim. In the SEL, front and rear leather seats are heated.
Adding a touch of sportiness, VW included a racy, flat-bottomed steering wheel along with brushed aluminum pedals.
Technology wise, Passat came with front/rear Park Assist, electronic stability control, electronic differential lock, blind spot monitoring w/rear traffic alert, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise, remote engine start (nice for winter), App Connect with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirroLink and more.
HVAC controls are large easy to view and use rotary switches. Disappointingly, a bin beneath the climate controls could have served as a wireless phone charger, but there were merely plug-in receptacles for charging wires.
The console houses the 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission shifter and the Park Assist switch that when activated, an instructional message appears on the driver information display.
Perforated leather front seats are sensibly supportive, but a tad on the firm side. A characteristic of BMW and Mercedes vehicles. Guess it’s a European thing.
Passat’s back seat is very spacious for three youngsters or two large adults with gobs of leg (39.1 inches) and headroom. Doors open wide for easy ingress/egress and combined with the great legroom, it qualifies for midsize limo use.
This roominess follows through to the trunk (15.9 cubic feet) that is 46 inches deep that increases when flipping the 60/40 rear seatbacks. And beneath the trunk floor is a recessed bin for the space saver spare tire and jack tools around which some small items can be stowed.
Passat has but one power plant. A 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that generates 174-hp and 206 lb/ft of torque. Coupled to the 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, it earns EPA mileage estimates of 23 city, 34-highway mpg. But these won’t be realized if kicking in the turbo too frequently. Normal acceleration is linear for this 3,325-pound sedan. But once the turbo kicks in – takes about two seconds – there’s an explosive burst of power all the way up to its 6500 rpm redline. Incidentally, the analog speedometer is impressively printed up to 160 mph, but it’s governed for less.
Ride wise, and shod with Giti (made in USA) 18-inch tires, Passat is smooth and quiet. Handling is Autobahn proven. With a turning circle of 36.4 feet, this VW parks easily with good visibility all around. Engage Park Assist and it’s even easier.
With a sunroof and premium Fender audio system, and with no extra cost items as all the amenities and safety features listed, Passat carried a bottom line with delivery of $32,015.
All Passat’s come with 4 year/50K mile new vehicle warranty including powertrain components and a 7/100K perforation warranty. In addition, VW adds 2/20K free scheduled maintenance and 3/36K roadside assistance coverage.
For a spacious, good riding, quality sedan, Passat is worth a serious look. The only way it could be better is if it was offered with AWD.