2020 VW Passat To Be A Heavily Updated Version Of Current Car Without A V6 Engine

Volkswagen is preparing to introduce the 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show and now we’re learning more details about the model as a handful of publications were recently invited to take a spin in a pre-production prototype.

While Volkswagen has previously billed the car as all-new, that isn’t exactly the case the model is actually a heavily updated version of the current Passat. As Car and Driver notes, “it’s structurally and mechanically the same as before, right down to the 110.4 inch (2,804 mm) wheelbase.”

That’s disappointing as current Passat dates back to 2011. However, the model will feature new styling inside and out.

The exterior is slated to draw some cues from the Jetta and there will be an optional R-Line appearance package which adds 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there will be an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Power will be provided by a familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. While it continues to produce 174 hp (129 kW / 176 PS), it now develops 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque – an increase of 23 lb-ft (31 Nm). The engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission which sends power exclusively to the front wheels.

While the four-cylinder lags behind the competition, Volkswagen has reportedly decided against offering an optional V6. This is a bit disappointing as the 2018 Passat GT featured a 3.6-liter VR6 engine that developed 280 hp (208 kW / 283 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. Fans will certainly miss the optional V6, but its absence shouldn’t be too surprising as the engine was quietly dropped from the 2019 Passat.

Pricing remains unconfirmed, but the 2020 Passat is slated to arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2019.

Note: 2019 VW Passat pictured

  • matrem

    They always release half-assed products and then wonder why sales don’t take off.

  • Jason Panamera

    Just give european passat or china’s version or even Skoda Superb with VW badge. They will be better choices for sure.

  • Shtekeris

    Why? What the f… Why can’t they just relase the european version? It’s like they literally just don’t care. Care a bit for a refresh, but nothing more. Why even bother?

    • Sébastien


    • Rocket

      Because as they’ve shown repeatedly, VW believes us unsophisticated Americans aren’t worthy of the good stuff.

  • erly5

    Surely the European version would be a better bet than an update of a 2011 model?

    • dumblikeyou2

      Why? The European version looks flaccid compared to the NA version. I travel enough to the EU to see it for myself and the more I see the NA (regardless of supposed build quality) the more the NA looks beefier and more stout compared the EU version which looks average at best.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    It’s been years, VW… bless the Passat before it’ll likely pass-at (out) facing many better entries at this moment.


    • Bash

      good point.

    • MarketAndChurch

      they could redesign this car and make it look like a four door aston martin or mercedes and people will still buy the camry or accord over it.

      • Rocket

        Yeah, but those few that do pick the Passat would be less embarrassed by it.

  • no25

    this is not heavily updated when it comes to looks – it still looks pretty much the same.

    • diesel_vdub

      Well, it is the 2019 Passat pictured.

  • SteersUright

    Did VW run out of money to invest in its cars?

    • performante


      Surely you must be joking.

  • enthusia

    They just really don’t care anymore, huh? It’s a miracle we got the Arteon, though I have yet to see one on the road.
    I kinda wish VW would just drop out of the American market, their reputation is shot and they aren’t making much of an effort to change that.

    • atomicbri

      Arteon is not officially on sale yet in the United States. Coming 1st quarter next year.

      • enthusia

        Oh well that explains why, but I could’ve sworn I heard it was coming summer 2018. I’m guessing that was for Europe…

  • performante

    This is a really genius move on their part. Why invest in moving the Passat, a car in a dying segment, onto a new platform (PQ35 to MQB)? When you can just heavily redesign it for a much lower cost.

    It’s a huge gamble to spend money on all the engineering and tooling cost – on a car that may not sell well, due to the current vehicle market.

    • ksegg

      I see it more as desperation, not genius.

      When you’re starving, you repurposing last night’s grilled cheese sandwich instead of going out to buy lunch isn’t genius.

      I’m sure had it not been for Dieselgate and the enormous amount of money lost from it, they would definitely still invest in an all-new design, regardless of the cost.

    • Rocket

      Why? Because the car isn’t very competitive, and without the optional V6 it’ll be even less so. If the goal is to push people toward the more powerful, more sophisticated Arteon, then maybe it’s not a bad strategy. I suspect the price jump will prevent many would-be Passat owners from stepping up into an Arteon, however.

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