Eight years ago, Volkswagen completely overhauled the midsize sedan to cater specifically to American buyers, with more interior space and creature comforts combined with the company’s signature fun-to-drive nature. Building on the success of that model, Volkswagen of America today unveiled its new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Today’s new Passat offers more of what matters: bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features.
“Passat is the only midsize sedan to offer German driving dynamics at an affordable price and has long resonated with buyers for its combination of comfort, reliability and driving dynamics,” says Scott Keogh, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “With this new model, we’ve stepped up the style factor and upgraded the technology to make it even more attractive. In addition, we’ve made desirable convenience and driver-assistance features more accessible.”
While the 2020 Passat retains the underpinnings of the previous model, it has been completely restyled. A dynamic coupe-like roofline, dramatic “tornado” line, and dominant grille give the Passat a bold new look — at once, elegant and sporty. Standard slim LED headlights and taillights, along with more prominent Passat badging that runs the width of the trunk lid, give the car a more premium look. Standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels enhance the sophisticated design, and 18- and 19-inch wheels are available.
Inside, the Passat combines a sophisticated new design and upgraded technology with the spacious cabin that made the outgoing model popular. The cockpit features a horizontal design, incorporating air vents that flow across the dash in a style reminiscent of premium models. A new, more contemporary instrument panel has been fitted, along with a new glass-covered infotainment touchscreen. Complementing the new interior design are new colors and premium materials. Three interior décor designs are available, based on trim. Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seating surfaces are available in addition to the standard cloth seats and offer four color options.
Comfort, for both drivers and passengers, continues to be a key strength for the Passat. To help keep occupants comfortable, Passat offers available heated front and rear seats, power driver’s seat with memory, and dual-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. Convenience features include available power-folding, heated side mirrors with memory, the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, KESSY keyless access and push-button start, Voice Control, and Easy Open trunk.
Infotainment technology gets a boost in the 2020 Passat. In addition to a new glass-covered touchscreen, MIB II Composition Media infotainment with SiriusXM radio comes standard (three-month trial subscription included) and Discover Media with navigation is available. Every Passat comes with standard Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect technology, which integrates compatible smartphones with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink — making select apps accessible from the infotainment screen. For audiophiles, top-of-the-line models feature the Fender Premium Audio system.
Technology upgrades don’t stop in the cabin—the new Passat offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available driver-assistance technology. Every Passat includes standard Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), now with Pedestrian Monitoring, as well as Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. Available driver-assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping Assist (Lane Assist), which can actively help the driver steer the car back into its lane should the vehicle start drifting into another lane without using the turn signal; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) including Park Distance Control. In addition, Passat offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems including the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
The new Passat continues to be powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine, making 174 horsepower. A new torque converter, combined with new software, boosts output to 207 pound-feet of torque on most models (a launch trim will carry over the previous model’s powertrain). The power is taken to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic.
Every Passat model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s Best Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration.
The 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in four regular trim levels and a launch-only Limited model. It is expected to begin arriving at U.S. Volkswagen dealers this summer.
In addition, Volkswagen AG announced today that Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the company’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles.
Strengthening the company’s commitment to an electric mobility future, this expansion of Volkswagen’s U.S. footprint will include an investment of $800 million into the Chattanooga facility and create 1,000 jobs at the plant, plus additional jobs at suppliers. EV production at the site will begin in 2022.
Chattanooga will be the first dedicated location in North America for production of a vehicle using Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit chassis, or MEB. In addition to Chattanooga, Volkswagen is building the first dedicated EV production facility in Zwickau, Germany, starting MEB production by the end of the year. Volkswagen will also add EV-production at facilities in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020, and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.
“The US is one of the most important locations for us and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America,” says Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.
Volkswagen currently builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan at the Chattanooga factory, which opened in 2011. A five-seat version of the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, will begin production in Chattanooga later this year.