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Refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat Officially Unveiled

  • The Volkswagen Passat has been updated for the 2016 model year
  • Changes include minor exterior and interior revisions and lots of new tech
  • The Passat will likely reach dealers later this year

The 2016 Volkswagen Passat has been officially unveiled — and it includes some important updates over the current model. That’s the latest from Volkswagen, which recently showed off the new Passat ahead of its on-sale date later this year.

On the outside, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the 2016 Passat for the current model. While Volkswagen has made some changes to the sedan’s exterior styling, they’re fairly minor, consisting almost entirely of an updated front fascia, new headlights and revised taillights.

Inside, the 2016 Passat boasts a few more changes that distinguish it from the outgoing model. Specifically, there are updated cabin materials, along with a new steering wheel and newly available heated rear seats. New chrome and piano black trim also spruces up the cabin.

Perhaps the biggest changes to the 2016 Passat come to the sedan’s equipment list. Not only does it pick up the latest version of Volkswagen’s infotainment system and available heated rear seats, but the 2016 Passat also adds a wide range of optional safety features, including forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and a parking steering assistant.

Under the hood, the Passat retains last year’s engines: a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6 and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder. Unfortunately for drivers with an especially close eye on fuel economy, Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter diesel engine is currently under scrutiny after revelations that the brand cheated on emissions tests — and that could delay the powertrain’s launch. But we suspect the engine will be ready to go again soon with similar performance and fuel economy numbers to today’s version.

As for the launch date, Volkswagen hasn’t announced an official timeline — but we suspect the 2016 Passat will start reaching dealers some time this fall with only a slight increase in pricing compared to the current model.

What it means to you: The 2016 Volkswagen Passat offers small changes inside and out and big changes to its list of gadgets.

Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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