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There has been a lull in stylish midsize sedans in recent years. With much of the older audience shifting towards crossovers, automakers have been lagging behind on improving the exterior designs of their four-door cars, other than the luxury brands that are always competing in this category. Volkswagen threw us a subtle yet noticeable change up with the 2020 Passat.
If ever a sedan were built buy a non-luxury brand that will make people believe it’s an Audi or Lexus, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat.
They didn’t get radical with their design changes. In fact, much is the same as the previous model with accents here and minor changes there, but its predecessor wasn’t a bad looking car at all. There was no need to get too aggressive with design changes. All they needed to do was tweak it a bit and suddenly they have something as eye-catching as much more expensive sedans.
The real change was up front. The grill is noticeably larger while the side profile has the aforementioned luxury sedan look and feel.
Under the hood, they didn’t change much. It still has one engine option, a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 174 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission and drivers get a decent burst of speed. But that’s not the picture Volkswagen wants to paint. With more powerful competitors, VW has turned its focus to the holistic package of comfort, reliability, and affordable luxury.
“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,” Volkswagen North America CEO Scott Keogh, said in a statement. “With this new model, we’ve stepped up the style factor and upgraded the technology to make it even more attractive.”
The biggest changes over last year’s model are in the tech arena. It starts with advanced safety features. This is becoming a trend in nearly all new cars as automation is the name of the game. Park assist, lane assist, adaptive cruise and headlights – these are the features safety-minded buyers are demanding.
The touchscreen on the Passat’s infotainment system is one of the best we’ve seen in this price range. MIB II offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as most are offering these days.
Despite the sparse changes, Volkswagen added in just the right spots on the 2020 Passat. It will combine the driving dynamic car shoppers seek while giving it the look of a much more expensive sedan. Expect it to hit showrooms this summer.
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