2020 Volkswagen Passat For U.S. Market Teased, Doesn't Look Promising

Even though the Chinese version of the all-new Volkswagen Passat looks similar to the design sketches for the American model, the one that will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show isn’t based on the MQB platform. As a matter of fact, the architecture is an evolution of the Passat introduced for the 2011 model year.
2020 Volkswagen Passat for U.S. Market 11 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Passat for U.S. Market2020 Volkswagen Passat for U.S. Market2020 Volkswagen Passat for U.S. Market2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)2019 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese model)
We’re still not sure why Volkswagen took this decision, more so when you remember the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee is tooled up for MQB-based vehicles such as the Atlas mid-size crossover. Adding insult to injury, America also receives the MQB- and European Passat-based Arteon fastback sedan from the Emden plant in Germany.

Larger than the outgoing generation, the 2020 Passat sticks with the old underpinnings because the segment is shrinking according to product manager Kai Oltmanns. If sedan sales are indeed dwindling, why even bother in the first place? Take the Ford Motor Company and General Motors as prime examples of automakers who had the insight and fortitude to discontinue this once-popular body style.

Worse still, the narrow-angle V6 isn’t coming back for the 2020 model year. The 2.0-liter TSI (174 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque) will have to make do, droning at highway speeds as it propels a mid-sized sedan with passengers and their cargo. Also worthy of mention, the Passat soldiers on with a six-speed automatic of the torque-converter type.

The sportiest configuration will come in the guise of the R-Line appearance package, which will feature a firmer ride thanks to 19-inch wheels compared to the standard 17s. Aerodynamic improvements should also help with mileage, besting the 29 miles per gallon on the combined cycle of the current generation.

No less than four trim levels are in the pipeline, coming with 8.0-inch infotainment as standard along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, and automatic emergency braking are also standard. The digital instrument cluster in the European Passat and Arteon won't be offered, and that’s because the American Passat rides on an antiquated platform.

In regard to pricing, Volkswagen has to take Toyota and Honda into consideration before deciding on this matter. The current generation kicks off at $25,295 excluding destination, making the Passat more expensive than the Camry ($23,845) and Accord ($23,720).
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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