|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size car / Large family car (D)|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive|
|Platform||US and China model: Volkswagen Group B platform
European model: Volkswagen Group MQB platform
The Volkswagen Passat ( listen (help·info)) is a large family car produced by the German automaker Volkswagen since 1973, through eight design generations. It is positioned between the Volkswagen Golf (Jetta) and the Volkswagen Phaeton in the current Volkswagen line-up and its derivatives have been badged variously as the Dasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar and Carat. The successive generations of the Passat carry the Volkswagen internal designations B1, B2, etc. which originally ran concurrently with those of the Audi 80 and A4 with which the Passat has shared its engineering platform at certain model generations, although this link has now been severed.
In 2008, Volkswagen extended its range with the launch of the Passat CC, a "four-door coupé" version of the Passat.
Volkswagen currently markets two variants of the Passat globally. In January 2011, Volkswagen announced that the new mid-size sedan (NMS) being built at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant for the North American market would be named the Passat. Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive also manufactures the Passat NMS in its Nanjing factory. The NMS is sold in the North American, South Korean, Chinese, and Middle Eastern markets. The Volkswagen Passat NMS won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year. A new Passat model entered production in Europe in 2014, based on the MQB platform.
- 1 B1 (Typ 32; 1973-1981)
- 2 B2 (Typ 32B; 1981-1988)
- 3 B3 and B4 (Typ 35i; 1988-1996)
- 4 B5 and B5.5 (Typ 3B and 3BG; 1996-2005)
- 5 B6 and B7 (Typ 3C; 2005-2015)
- 6 B8 (Typ 3G; 2015-present)
- 7 North American model (2011–present)
- 8 References
- 9 External links
B1 (Typ 32; 1973-1981)
The original Volkswagen Passat was launched in 1973. The body types offered originally were two- and four-door sedans and similar looking three- and five-door versions. Externally all four shared a modern fastback style design, styled by the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. In essence, the first Passat was a fastback version of the mechanically identical Audi 80 sedan, introduced a year earlier. A five-door station wagon was introduced in 1974, which in North American markets was sold as an Audi Fox. In Europe, the Passat was equipped with two rectangular, two round 7-inch, or four round 5.5-inch headlights depending on specification. The Passat was one of the most modern European family cars at the time, and was intended as a replacement for the ageing Volkswagen Type 3 and Type 4. The only other European cars of its size to feature front-wheel drive and a hatchback were the Renault 16 and Austin Maxi.
The Passat originally used the four-cylinder OHC 1.3-litre (55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp)) and 1.5-litre (75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp)/85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp)) petrol engines also used in the Audi 80—longitudinally mounted with front-wheel drive, in Audi tradition, with either a four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic. It had a MacPherson strut front suspension with a solid axle/coil spring setup at the rear.
The SOHC 1.5-litre was enlarged to 1.6-litre in August 1975 with unchanged power ratings and slightly higher torque ratings. In July 1978 the Passat Diesel became available, equipped with the VW Golf's 1.5-litre diesel (50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp)), followed in February 1979 by the Passat GLI with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6-litre engine.
The whole range received a facelift in 1977 (launched 1978 outside Europe), featuring an interior upgrade and subtly revised styling including repositioned indicators and depending on model, either four round or two rectangular headlights.
In North America, the car was called the Volkswagen Dasher. The three- and five-door hatchback and a station wagon model were launched in North America for and during the 1974 model year. Sole available engine was a carburetted 1.5-litre inline-four developing 75 hp (56 kW) (or 70 hp (52 kW) in 1975), supplanted from model year 1976 by a Bosch fuel-injected 1.6-litre four 78 hp (58 kW). North American cars were equipped with single DOT standard headlights.
In 1978 the Dasher received a facelift along the lines of the European Passat, with quad sealed beam headlights and big polyurethane covered bumpers. The trim was also upgraded and the ride softened. 1979 saw the introduction of the 1.5-litre diesel engine, which produced just 48 PS (35 kW) in the 1,130 kg (2,490 lb) car. 0–100 km/h time for the Diesel was 19.4 seconds, 6.2 seconds slower than the gasoline (petrol) engine. All gasoline engines were dropped for North America in 1981 in preparation for the next generation.
In Brazil, the Passat B1 was produced from June 1974 until 1988. Since the Audi 80 was not marketed in Brazil, the Passat received the Audi's different front-end treatment after a facelift for 1979. Originally with a 1.5-litre engine, during its long life cycle many improvements from the B2 platform were later introduced, like its 1.6 and 1.8-litre engines, a Brazil-specific face-lift in 1985, and a five-speed gearbox. A sports version, named Passat TS 1.6 and later Passat GTS 1.8 Pointer was also introduced.
B2 (Typ 32B; 1981-1988)
The second generation Volkswagen Passat was launched in 1981. The platform, named B2, was once again based on the corresponding version of the Audi 80, which had been launched in 1978. The B2 Passat was slightly longer and the car's updated styling was instantly recognisable as a Passat, with the most obvious difference being the rectangular headlights. By this time, front-wheel drive and a hatchback were becoming commonplace on this size of car – a notable popular example being the Opel Ascona/Vauxhall Cavalier which was launched in the same year.
In addition to the Passat hatchbacks and Variants (estate/wagon), there was also a conventional three-box saloon, which until the 1985 facelift was sold as the Volkswagen Santana in Europe. In North America, the Passat/Santana was sold as the Volkswagen Quantum, available in three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and a wagon model, but the five-door hatchback was never sold there and the three-door hatchback was dropped after less than two years. The four-wheel drive Syncro version was introduced in October 1984, initially only with the more powerful five-cylinder engine.
The Santana was also produced in China, Brazil, Mexico (as the Corsar, from 1984 and 1988) and Argentina (as the Carat between 1987 and 1991). In Brazil, the Santana station wagon was sold as the Quantum. The Passat saloon and estate were produced in South Africa for their local market until 1987.
Like the previous generation, the B2 Passat was mainly sold with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Unlike its predecessor, however, top-of the line versions received five-cylinder Audi or VW engines of 1.9–2.2 litres. The 5-cylinder version was sold in the US as the Quantum GL-5. In addition to four- and five-speed manuals and three-speed automatic gearboxes, the Passat/Santana was also available with the VW concern's interesting 4+E transmission. This, also called the "Formel E" had a particularly high top gear, which combined with a freewheeling mechanism, provided better gas mileage. An automatic stop/start was also available in some markets. The four-wheel-drive system used in the Passat Variant Syncro shared the mechanics of the Audi 80 and not the Volkswagen Golf Syncro. The Syncro's bottom plate was almost entirely different, requiring a transmission tunnel, a relocated gas tank and no spare tire well (to make room for the complex rear axle assembly). Only the more popular estate was reengineered. Syncro was also available in the North American market, only with the five-cylinder engine.
In 1985 the range received a slight facelift, consisting of new, larger bumpers, interior retouches, a new front grille and new taillights on the hatchback versions. The three-door hatchback was discontinued while the Santana nameplate was dropped in Europe. The saloon's front end was now the same as the hatchback and estate. The North American version, still known as the Quantum, gained European-style composite headlamps.
On 31 March 1988 production ended (although Syncro models continued in production until June) with 3,345,248 built in Germany. World production totals amount to at least 4.5 million units.
B3 and B4 (Typ 35i; 1988-1996)
The third generation Passat was introduced in March 1988 in Europe, 1990 in North America, and 1995 in South America. The lack of a grille made the car's front end styling reminiscent of older, rear-engined Volkswagens such as the 411, and also doubled as a modern styling trend. The styling was developed from the 1981 aerodynamic (cd 0.25) Auto 2000 concept car.
At the time it was the first transverse-engine layout Passat to be built on a Volkswagen-designed platform, rather than sharing one with an Audi saloon. The car, although designated B3 in Volkswagen's platform nomenclature, was based largely on the A platform as used for the smaller Golf model, but was stretched in all directions. Many components are shared directly between these vehicles. This generation of Passat was sold as a four-door saloon or a five-door estate, with the Passat not being sold as a hatchback from this point onwards. It was marketed under the Passat name in all markets; in North America, this was a first.
The fuel-injected petrol engines gave better performance and refinement than the carburettor units previously used. They were mounted transversely, and the floorpan was engineered to accept Volkswagen's 'Syncro' four-wheel drive system. Engine options were the 2.0-litre 16-valve engine in the GL model, 1.8-litre engine in the CL model (not available in North America, all CLs, GLs, and GLSs had the 2.0 16v), The 1.8 8v 112 bhp PB engine from the Golf GTi was also used in the Passat GT model. Volkswagen's new 2.8-litre VR6 engine (also used in the Golf and Corrado) in the GLX/GLS model (introduced in 1991 in Europe and 1992 in North America), and the G60 engine (only available on the Syncro model in Canada for the North American market). The VR6 engine gave the top-of-the-range Passat a top speed of 224 kilometres per hour (139 mph). The 1.9-litre and the 1.6-litre diesel engine were also available as options.
1993 facelift (Passat B4)
The B3 Passat was heavily facelifted in 1993 and although it was designated B4, it was not an all-new model. The facelift revised external body panels except for the roof and glasshouse, with most obvious exterior change seeing the re-introduction of a grille to match the style of the other same-generation Volkswagen models of the era, such as the Mk3 Golf and Jetta. The interior was mildly updated and included safety equipment such as dual front airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners, although the basic dashboard design remained unchanged. The grille was introduced to give the front end a more aggressive appearance, as the previous model looked too 'passive'.
The car was available with a Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine – an inline four-cylinder 1.9-litre turbodiesel, generating 210 newton metres (155 lbf·ft) of torque at 1,900 rpm, 66 kilowatts (90 PS; 89 bhp) at 3,750 rpm. It carried a US EPA fuel efficiency rating for the sedan of 45 miles per US gallon (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg‑imp) highway. Combined with a 98 litres (21.6 imp gal; 25.9 US gal) 28 litres (6.2 imp gal; 7.4 US gal) reserve option fuel tank, the B4 TDI wagon had an 1800+ km (1200+ mi) range on a single tank of fuel. The B4 TDI wagon saw less than 1,000 sales in the US during its 1996 to 1997 lifespan.
B5 and B5.5 (Typ 3B and 3BG; 1996-2005)
An all-new Passat, based on the Volkswagen Group B5 platform, was launched in 1996 in Continental Europe, in February 1997 in the United Kingdom, and 1998 in North America. Its PL45 platform was shared with the first-generation "Typ 8D" Audi A4, which was unveiled 2 years earlier, and saw a return to the Passat sharing its longitudinal engine layout platform with Audi's equivalent model for the first time since the second-generation (B2) Passat of 1981, which shared its platform with the second-generation "Typ 81" Audi 80/Audi 90 (the A4 is the successor to the Audi 80 line).
The Passat introduced a new design language, first seen on the Concept 1 concept car, for the latest generation of Volkswagens such as the Mk4 Golf, Bora and Polo Mk4. Aerodynamic work gave the B5 Passat a coefficient of drag of 0.27 (saloon model).
The car featured a fully independent four-link front suspension; and a semi-independent torsion beam for front-wheel-drive models or a fully independent suspension on the 4motion 4WD models. 4WD was introduced in 1997 as an option for the 1.8-litre, 2.8-litre V6, 1.9-litre TDI and 2.5-litre V6 TDI engines, using a second-generation Torsen T-2 based 4WD system to minimise loss of traction. The 1.8-litre petrol engine in the Passat and Audi A4 has a lower oil capacity than transverse applications of the same engine (4.6 quarts in transverse, 4.3 quarts longitudinal), and may suffer from oil sludge problems as a result, if not changed at regular intervals with fully synthetic oils. Four transmission options were available: a 5-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed manual transmission (codename 01E), a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine had been dropped by 1999, leaving the 1.8-litre 20-valve as the entry-level engine.
2000 facelift (Passat B5.5 - Typ 3BG)
B5 Passat models built after late 2000, also known as B5.5 models (3BG in Europe), received minor styling and mechanical revisions including revised projector-optic headlights, bumpers, tail lights, and chrome trim. The non-turbo 1.8 was discontinued, with an eight-valve 1.6-litre now being the least powerful petrol engine.
A 4.0-litre W8 engine producing 275 PS (202 kW) was introduced in 2001 in a luxury version of the car that included standard 4motion all-wheel drive. This engine was intended to be a test bed for Volkswagen Group's new W engine technology, which would later make an appearance on the W12 in the Phaeton, Audi A8, and Bentley Continental GT, and the W16 engine in the Bugatti Veyron. The engine was discontinued in 2004.
In China the Shanghai-Volkswagen Passat B5 LW was introduced in late 1999. Based on the lengthened B5 PL45+ platform, this long-wheelbase version was rebadged and launched in Europe as the Škoda Superb in 2001. Both have a 100 millimetres (3.9 in) longer wheelbase and length than the standard B5 Passat. In 2003, a powerful 2.0 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine producing 136 PS (100 kW) was added. An updated version called the Passat Lingyu was released in 2005. This receives the 2.0 litre, 1.8-litre Turbo, and 2.8-litre V6 petrol engines. At the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show, an updated Passat Lingyu was shown.
B6 and B7 (Typ 3C; 2005-2015)
The B6 Passat was first displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005, and launched in Europe in the summer of 2005. Unlike its predecessor, the B6 Passat no longer shared its platform with Audi's equivalent model (the Audi A4). Based on a modified version of the Mk5 Golf's PQ46 platform, the B6 featured a transverse rather than longitudinal engine layout of its predecessor, like the previous B3 and B4 generations, which were related to the A2 (Golf) platform.
The transverse-engine layout of the four-wheel drive version, marketed as 4motion, dictated a switch from the Torsen centre differential of the B5, to the Haldex Traction multi-plate clutch. The change to the Haldex system also changes the handling closer to a front-wheel drive car. Compared to the Torsen, the Haldex can direct torque more unequally to the front wheels (from 100:0 to 50:50 front-to-rear bias), thus providing a wider bias range than the 75:25 to 25:75 of the B5 Passat. Haldex is a reactive-type system, behaving as a front-wheel-drive vehicle until slippage is detected, at which point up to a maximum of 50% of the torque can be transmitted to the rear axle. See the Audi-related quattro (four-wheel-drive system) article for more information.
Fuel Stratified Injection is used in nearly every petrol engined version of the Passat, ranging from 1.6 to 3.6 litres (the 1.6-litre DOHC can reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 11.5 seconds, and 200 km/h (124.3 mph) for manual transmission versions), but the multi-valve 2.0-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel is the most sought after version in Europe (available in both 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) and 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) variants). In the US market, a 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) 2.0-litre turbocharged I4 is the base engine, or a 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) 3.6-litre VR6 engine as the upgrade, with six-speed manual (only available on the base 2.0-litre turbocharged model) and automatic transmissions. As of the 2009 model year, the VR6 engine and 4motion option were no longer available in the US on the Passat sedan and wagon, but are available on the Passat CC.
In February 2008, the 2.0 FSI was replaced with the new Audi-developed 1.8-litre TSI engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The 1.8-litre T is rated at 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp), 250 newton metres (184 lbf·ft) and reaches 0–100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 220 kilometres per hour (136.7 mph). At the same time the 2.0-litre TDI engine from the Audi range incorporating common rail injection technology superseded the existing 2.0 litre TDI units. The common rail technology uses less fuel and is quieter in operation. This engine is part of the wider Volkswagen Group policy for engine sharing.
The Passat Estate won overall winner of Practical Caravans Towcar of the Year Awards 2008 for its array of towing features such as its Trailer Stability Programme.
In Asia, the PQ46 Passat was released by FAW-VW as the Magotan, after Volkswagen's other joint venture Shanghai Volkswagen had decided to continue using the B5 platform for the Passat and the Passat Lingyu (long-wheelbase Passat). Since August 2010 the wagon version of Passat B6 will be offered in Asia, which is a fully imported model. But this car is simply called Volkswagen Variant in China, in order not to refer the name "Passat" or "Magotan".
Exclusive to Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand was a limited edition Passat R36, which featured a 3.6-litre V6 engine. This version of the Passat put out 300 hp, and featured dual exhaust tips, an aggressive front bonnet, and All Wheel Drive.
The CC ("Comfort Coupé") is a 4-door coupé version of the Passat. It debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Originally aimed at competing with the similarly styled Mercedes CLS, the Passat CC intends to be more stylish and luxurious than the previously released Passat B6. In the US, the name Passat was dropped, and the car is being sold as CC. Some options specific to the CC include hands-free parking, lane-departure prevention, intelligent cruise control, and adaptive suspension. Engines offered in the CC mirror those of the regular Passat, with options of the base 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder, or the optional 3.6-litre VR6, which includes 4-motion all-wheel drive.
The Chinese-made CC was released by FAW-VW on 15 July 2010. Two engine options are provided: 1.8 litre T and 2.0 litre T.
Volkswagen facelifted the Passat CC in late 2011 for the 2012 year with styling updates akin to those of the larger Phaeton. For the updated model, Volkswagen has dropped the Passat name for all markets, now matching the Volkswagen CC branding used since 2008 in North America.
2010 facelift (Passat B7)
The B6 Passat was facelifted by Klaus Bischoff and Walter de Silva and was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2010. Although designated "B7", the car is not an all-new model. The facelift resulted in new external body panels except for the roof and glasshouse, with the prominent changes to the grille and headlights. Overall height and width dimensions are unchanged from the B6 Passat, while length increases by 4 mm. New features include Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC), Dynamic Light Assist glare-free high beams, a fatigue detection system and an automatic "city emergency braking" system. It arrived at dealerships in January 2011.
The interior featured minor detail changes from the B6, although the basic dashboard design remain unchanged.
In India, the B6 version is likely to be replaced with B7 version. Also the FAW-VW-built Magotan will also be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the Passat B7. The new model will be exclusive to the Indian market, and at least 100 mm longer than the European B7. 
In China, the FAW-VW-built Magotan will also be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the Passat B7. The new model will be exclusive to the Chinese market, and at least 100 mm longer than the European B7. Engines available for Magotan B7L are ranging from 1.4-litre T, 1.8-litre T to 2.0-litre T, a special-developed EA390 3.0-litre VR6 FSI engine is opted for the top model.
In Malaysia, Volkswagen Global had authorised DRB-HICOM for assembly in the Pekan facility beginning 2011. The Passat was the best-selling model of Volkswagen Malaysia in 2012 and 2013.
In October 2010 Volkswagen presented at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show the Passat Alltrack. The Passat Alltrack bridges the gap between the passenger VW range and the SUV range comprising the Tiguan and Touareg.The Passat Alltrack was aimed at competing with Subaru Outback which created a new market niche. They (Alltrack & Outback) both bear resemblance in ride height and external body kit.
The Passat Alltrack has raised ground clearance from 135 to 165 mm which improves approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees, departure angle from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees and ramp angle from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees when compared to the standard Passat wagon. Passat Alltrack is the only VW in the passenger range to offer 4Motion with off road driving programme, the off road system works in conjunction with the ABS, electronic differential lock (EDL), DSG & hill descent assist system to control the vehicle in an off road expedition.
The engine range of the Passat Alltrack consists of two 2.0 litre TDI with outputs of 103 kW/140 hp & 125 kW/170 hp and two petrol engines, 1.8-litre producing 118 kW/160 hp and 2.0 litre TSI producing 155 kW/207 hp. The TDI models come standard with BlueMotion Technology packages with Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode for recovering braking energy. The two lesser powered engine variants 2.0 litre TDI and 1.8-litre TSI are only available in front wheel drive format with a manual 6 speed transmission. The rest of the range with 4Motion has a 6 speed DSG automated manual transmission, except the 2.0 litre TDI with 103 kW/140 hp has an option of 6 speed manual.
In 2012 at the New York Auto Show, VW showed a Passat Alltrack with 2.0 litre TDI 125 kW/170 hp under Alltrack Concept nameplate to gauge response for a future market in the offroad wagon segment.
DARPA driverless edition
A driverless version of the Passat Wagon finished second in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. In spring 2015, Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom tested the driverless Volkswagen Passat on the streets of Zurich.
B8 (Typ 3G; 2015-present)
The eighth generation model of the Passat was introduced in November 2014 in Continental Europe and in January 2015 in the United Kingdom as a four-door saloon and estate. Following other Volkswagen Group passenger vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf Mk7, it is based on a stretched variant of the MQB platform, a modular automobile construction platform designed for transverse, front-engined cars. To reduce weight, lightweight materials such as aluminium and vacuum-formed steel have been utilised. According to the chairman of the board of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, the B8 is " [...] a premium car without the premium price", indicating that the Passat nameplate was moved to the compact executive car segment, as opposed to the previous generation models that were conceived as large family cars., although some auto journalists have criticised this strategy since it effectively puts the Passat in competition with the Audi A4 – which is expected to move further upmarket for its B9 generation, due for launch in late 2015.
The Passat was introduced with a great number of advanced driver-assistance systems including an semi-automatic parking system, emergency driver assistant which will automatically take control of the vehicle if the driver has suffered a medical emergency, autonomous cruise control system for highway speeds up to 210 km/h, a collision avoidance system with pedestrian monitoring and variable ratio steering marketed as "progressive steering" which will adjust the steering gear ratios in relation to the current speed.
The engine line-up of the Passat B7 was re-introduced with this generation with slightly increased power outputs, variable displacement for the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and two selective catalytic reduction (SCR) diesel engines, with one being twin-turbocharged. A plug-in hybrid, the Passat GTE, with an updated battery pack from the Golf GTE and Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is scheduled for launch in mid-2015 in the United Kingdom with sales commencing in 2016.
North American model (2011–present)
Known as the New Midsize Sedan (NMS) before its unveiling in January 2011, this unique larger model designed specifically for the North American market replaces the B6 Passat sedan and wagon for the 2012 model year in Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is also sold in China alongside the Passat Lingyu and Magotan. North American and South Korean models will be built at its Chattanooga Assembly Plant, while Chinese market versions are built by Shanghai-VW in 2011.
When the 2012 hit the showrooms in late 2011 there were three engine choices: the base-model 2.5-liter five-cylinder, the 3.6-liter VR6, and the 2.0-liter TDI diesel four-cylinder (which later went on to set a new Guinness World Record.)
The Volkswagen Passat won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year and in 2013 Passat TDI set a new Guinness World Record for fuel economy under the non-hybrid car category. It achieved a fuel consumption of 3.02 L/100 km (78 mpg‑US).
For 2014 Volkswagen decided to part ways with the old and sluggish naturally aspirated 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and replaced it with a 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The turbo-charged four-cylinder made the same 170 hp (130 kW) that the five-cylinder made and saw a bump in torque by 7 lb·ft (9.5 N·m). Additionally, the motor not only helped accelerate the Passat quicker and improve fuel economy by more than 20 percent but later went on to win Wards Auto Top-10 Best Motors of 2014.
Volkswagen's new design language of horizontal lines has found its way to the mid-size, American-market Passat. For 2016, VW gave the mid-size four-door a subtle yet significant aesthetic upgrade, as well as several new features aimed at keeping the family sedan competitive among an ever-improving field.
For 2016, the revamped Passat's doors, roof, and rail stampings are the only pieces shared with the outgoing model. The hood, front fenders, front and rear bumpers, and trunklid are all new, bringing with them a more substantial look that carries on the Passat's tradition of reserved European styling (despite the fact that this car is built in Tennessee).
The Passat now offers optional LED headlights and taillights—a first among VW sedans—and optional R-Line trim brings unique side skirts, a black-accented front bumper, a rear-diffuser-esque piece and special 19-inch wheels.
Inside, the Passat receives many updates for 2016. The dashboard features the company's MIB II system (modular infotainment platform) with two different sizes of touch screens available, depending on option package. VW says most models will use capacitive touch screens, which respond to taps rather than pressure and enable swipe-and-pinch control. These screens also will feature proximity sensors to pop up the relevant controls as your hand gets closer to the screen. The system is set to offer Volkswagen's Car-Net connectivity system, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink compatibility, which allow you to seamlessly connect nearly any smartphone.
The Passat refresh also brings many new high-tech safety features. Automatic post-collision braking, which prevents the car from pinballing away and crashing into other objects after an initial impact, is standard on all models, as is a rearview camera. Adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor with rear traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and parking steering assist are all available depending on trim level.
The 2016 Passat offers the same three engine choices featured in the outgoing car: the base-model 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder, the 3.6-liter VR6, and the 2.0-liter TDI diesel four-cylinder. The 1.8 T will do 38 mpg‑US (6 L/100 km) highway with the automatic transmission. Given that VW halted sales of 2.0-liter TDI-equipped vehicles in the wake of the ongoing drama surrounding the EPA-cheating emissions-control systems the automaker admitted to installing on nearly half a million U.S. TDI vehicles, the 2016 Passat diesel will be delayed.
The American version of the 2013 model year Volkswagen Passat made its way to Middle Eastern markets, namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, by the summer of 2012. The five-seater sedan is available in four trim levels, all with a 170 hp 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission only.
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