Ladies and Gentlemen, this is it! The mildly refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat!
However, with the recent issues Volkswagen is facing with the EPA over its diesel engine’s NOx emissions, the launch of the new Passat this week in Downtown Brooklyn, New York was extremely over shadowed.
Compared to the current Passat, the refreshed 2016 looks a lot more attractive and brings the exterior design in-line with the rest of the Volkswagen models.
Outside, the refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat receives a new sculpted hood, front fenders, front and rear bumpers, and decklid, which brings the U.S. Passat styling closer to that of its European cousin. Only the doors, roof, and the side body stamping are carried over from the current model.
For the first time in the Passat’s history, Volkswagen will offer optional LED headlights and taillights. Another new addition to the U.S. Passat is the introduction of the R-Line trim, which includes unique rocker panels, a black accented front bumper, a faux rear diffuser trim piece, and special 19-inch rims, wrapped in 235/40 all-season rubber.
Inside, the dashboard now includes the company’s new MIB II infotainment system with two different sizes of touchscreens, depending on the chosen option packages. VW claims that “most models” will use captive touchscreens, similar to smartphones/tablets, which respond to taps rather than pressure with swipe-and-pinch controls. The touchscreens also feature proximity sensors that pop-up relevant controls as your hand gets closer to the screen.
On higher trim levels, the MIB II system also includes Volkswagen’s Car-Net connectivity system, which features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink. They allow the driver to effortlessly connect their smartphone to the car’s infotainment system.
For 2016, Volkswagen Passat receives a host of new safety features. A rear view camera and Automatic Post-Collision Braking is standard. Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward-Collision Warning w/ Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane-Departure Warning, and Parking Assist are available on higher trims.
The 2016 Volkswagen Passat will carryover its 2015 engine lineup, which includes the 170 horsepower 1.8 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the 280 horsepower 3.6 L VR6, and the 150 horsepower 2.0 L turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine. However, due to the current emissions situation facing VW, it is unclear right now if this engine will be available when the refreshed Passat goes on sale later this year.
Consumers who are looking for a fuel efficient and German engineered mid-size sedan will find a good return on their investment. Volkswagen claims the Passat, equipped with the 1.8 L turbocharged engine and an automatic transmission, returns an estimated 38 miles per gallon on the highway.
Volkswagen officials did not disclose the pricing or the official launch date for the 2016 Passat. However, Volkswagen claims the base 2016 Volkswagen Passat S, with the 1.8 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, will start at $22,400.
Incidentally, that’s the same starting price for the 2015 base model Passat.