2020 Volkswagen Passat
In a field that was once the hot segment in the automotive business, family mid-sized sedans are still relevant. There are some great choices in this segment, but one remains relevant to consumers – the Volkswagen Passat.
For the 2020 model year, Volkswagen reshaped its mid-sized sedan into something more contemporary. They also added a few more enhancements to keep it relevant against its competitors. We had a couple in for our evaluation and asked whether these changes will make consumers fall in love with this Tennessee-built German offering made for American families.
The biggest visual change is that Volkswagen went with a sleeker and softer profile than the outgoing model. The front end looks like the one seen on the current Jetta with a larger, deeper grille going into the bumper. The roofline has been softened and given a faster profile retaining the three side glass design.
The rear end also looks like the Jetta, with a deeper license plate area and sleeker taillights. Add new wheel designs to the mix and you have a transformed Volkswagen Passat. Overall this design is contemporary without going overboard on the details.
Volkswagen continued its transformation of the Passat inside with a few modifications to the cabin. The vents are now more horizontal and framed with a touch of wood trim on our SEL tester. The analog instrumentation and the center stack remain the same, as does the steering wheel and all controls and switches. Plus, the 6.5-inch touchscreen works equally fine, thanks to smartphone integration through App-Connect.
The Passat offers supportive comfort for five passengers. There are some bolstering on the leather front seats of our SEL tester. Both front seats get power eight-way adjustments, including lumbar support. Rear seat room is absolutely the best in class. Leg room is beyond generous, but the headroom sort of shrunk a tad from previous versions of the Passat.
You also get 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, that expands with the rear seats folded down. The trunk lid is of a good size, but bulk items need to negotiate the “drop down” in the opening off the bumper.
The only engine available on the 2020 Passat is the 174-horsepower 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine has solid cruising performance. It is where you put the pedal down where you feel the difference between the Passat and the rest of its rivals. You have 206 pound-feet of torque at your right foot giving you great acceleration and passing power.
The driveline of the Passat includes a smooth shifting six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, that sends power to the front wheels. Overall, we observed a fuel economy average of 33.4 MPG.
The ride quality is superb. The Passat offers a comfortable highway cruising ride and around town. Overall handling and cornering are also very good, with plenty of control through the maneuvers.
It helps to have a really good steering system with a nice turning radius to help keep the Passat under control. On-center feel is a bit on the soft side and wheel feel is just fine. The brakes are very sold overall with good pedal feel. Stops in both normal and panic situations are shot and linear.
Pricing for the 2020 Passat starts at $22,995. Our SEL tester came with a sticker price of $32,015.
Although the Passat has the edge on a competition in a few areas, there are plenty of competitors that consumers will compare against it. Those competitors include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Chevrolet Malibu, and Ford Fusion.
If you want a family sedan with lots of passenger and trunk space, great fuel economy, and solid performance, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat is a great choice. It a great mid-sized family sedan with a German accent – and a Tennessee twang.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors