More than just a facelift
Generous standard equipment
No more 6-year/72,000-mile warranty
It's the same old lumbering Passat underneath
No performance engine option
Unremarkable driving experience
While its underpinnings and powertrain are largely the same, the Passat gets a heavy re-skinning for 2020. Its exterior sheetmetal has been modernized, and it wears a new interpretation of VW's corporate face. Around back, the Passat gets broader taillights, while some new and unique wheel options round out the aesthetic changes. Inside is similar. The Passat gets a redesigned dashboard that now features a horizontal design element spanning its width. While it's more visually compelling than the previous design, the Passat still won't stand out in a crowd.
While last year's model was limited to just two trims, the updated Passat offers a more traditional four-trim lineup for 2020. Additionally, little tweaks here and there will help to keep this vehicle somewhat competitive. Just don't expect any of the massive improvements and all-new features associated with a full redesign. See the 2020 Volkswagen Passat models for sale near you
While its powertrain is fine, offering the fuel economy most buyers should expect from a mainstream midsize sedan, there's really nothing about the 2020 Volksweagen Passat that wows us. Its platform is old, its driving dynamics are still floaty, its tech is dated and overall, it goes against the grain in the midsize sedan segment as more emotionally appealing entrants have emerged in recent years. Frankly, as VW shifts its focus to electric vehicles, the Passat kind of feels like an afterthought at this point. Still, if you can get a decent deal on one, it's certainly worth a look, as it offers the spacious, comfortable driving dynamics that a lot of buyers still crave along with some well-executed features. We think the SE trim is probably sufficient for most buyers' expectations, as it comes at a reasonable price while offering some features that won't go unappreciated like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Find a Volkswagen Passat for sale
The updated 2020 Volkswagen Passat comes in four trim levels. S, SE, R-Line and SEL.
The S ($23,915) comes standard with 17-in wheels, LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights, automatic headlights, a multi-function steering wheel, cloth seats, manual climate control, a 6.3-in touchscreen infotainment system, Sirius XM satellite radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, forward-collision warning and pedestrian detection with automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The SE ($26,765) adds chrome window surrounds, passive keyless entry with push-button start, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver's seat, faux leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, two rear-seat USB ports for charging devices, Wi-Fi capability if you subscribe to a data plan, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. A sunroof can be added to SE models for $995.
The appearance-oriented Passat R-Line ($29,565) gains a standard sunroof, an alarm system, ambient interior lighting, stainless steel pedal caps, 19-in wheels, a unique R-Line front bumper, a unique grille, R-Line badging, black window surrounds, a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, chrome exhaust tips, stainless steel door sills and paddle shifters.
The range-topping SEL model ($32,015) forgoes the R-Line appearance bits, instead adding 18-in wheels, upgraded headlights, automatic high beams, comfort sport seats with leather seating surfaces, memory recall for the driver's seat and side view mirrors, a power passenger seat, heated rear seats, navigation, a Fender-branded premium audio system, an easy-open trunk and a parking assist system.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||7 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/20,000 Miles|
2020 Honda Accord -- A clear class leader thanks to its roomy cabin, excellent reliability and fuel-efficient powertrains. An all-new generation debuted for 2018. Unlike the Passat, the Accord offers buyers both a hybrid and a performance-oriented engine option, the latter coming in the form of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
2020 Toyota Camry -- The other class-leader in the midsize sedan segment, the current-generation Camry wears aggressive new styling and offers an array of active safety features as standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto -- finally -- for 2020. Like the Accord, the Camry offers a more powerful engine option and a hybrid. For the first time in decades, all-wheel drive is optional on the Camry for 2020 as well.
2019 Volkswagen Arteon -- VW's enthusiast-oriented midsize sedan offering is the Arteon. New for 2019, the Arteon replaces the CC and, like the CC, wears an attractive, coupe-like design. As VW has been heavily Americanized over the past decade, the Arteon serves as the most German offering in the automaker's current US lineup, offering a variety of upscale, luxury appointments and the kinds of quirks that VW's products were known for in the past.
Used Volkswagen GTI -- While it isn't as big as the Passat, the GTI's hatchback design will just about make up for its smaller footprint. And beyond that, what it lacks in rear-seat legroom, it certainly makes up for with the smile it'll put on your face every time you sit down behind the wheel. While the Passat is pretty average, the GTI is VW at its best and is arguably one of the most well-rounded vehicles on the market today.