• VW is upgrading the Passat's cupholders
  • S and SE models also gain rear air vents
  • Pricing will also increase for 2013

Although Volkswagen's latest Passat is still fresh from a recent redesign, the automaker is already making improvements to the midsize sedan for the 2013 model year. According to Volkswagen, the 2013 Passat will feature several upgrades including a new center console with revised cupholders.

While Volkswagen has not yet released photos of the 2013 Passat's updated interior, the automaker says the cupholders are "better integrated" into the center console. In the 2012 Passat, the cupholders were located under a retractable cover next to the parking brake - a design we suspect Volkswagen may have dropped in favor of a location that allows for larger cups. If so, the change was likely prompted by customer feedback and JD Power's recent Initial Quality Study, which surveys owners for their opinions on a wide variety of issues including cupholder size.

The 2013 Passat also offers several other revisions in addition to its improved cupholders. According to Volkswagen, the sedan's redesigned center console now incorporates air vents for rear passengers in its SE and SEL trim levels. The range-topping Passat SEL will also feature a newly standard reversing camera that displays images on its center-mounted touchscreen.

To cover the upgrades - and to account for inflation - Volkswagen is also boosting the Passat's base price for the 2013 model year. Base Passat S models will now start at $20,845 - an $850 increase over last year's model - while the mid-level Passat SE jumps by $220 to $23,725. Meanwhile, the upscale Passat SEL will start at $28,925, an increase of $530 over the base price of the same model last year.

The Passat entered its third generation in the US with a full redesign for the 2012 model year. Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the latest Passat was specifically designed for the US market and offers a larger interior and exterior than its predecessors. Available engines include a standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6. Although Volkswagen has not yet announced whether the Passat will incorporate any other changes for the 2013 model year, the automaker says the sedan will begin arriving in dealers later this month or early in September. 

What it means to you: If you're looking to carry a large drink in your Passat, it might be wise to wait for the 2013 model.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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