2019 GTI Rabbit Edition Medium 9335

2020 VW Lineup: A Quick Look At The Changes & New Features

  • The 2020 VW lineup receives a host of new tech and safety updates. 
  • Wireless charging and on-board Wi-Fi is now available on most models. 
  • The VW Golf remains our top choice in terms of affordability and efficiency. 

For automakers, the 2020 model year is right around the corner. Volkswagen, being one of the largest car manufacturers on the planet, has big plans on how the company will move forward. The quick sketch of what will apply to the 2020 VW lineup breaks down like this. Most vehicles receive the next-gen version of Car-Net and on-board Wi-Fi standard. Wireless charging is available and nearly all 2020 models will include Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Forward Collision Warning, and Rear Traffic Alert standard.

VW also points out how they have simplified the trim levels to “put an emphasis on value.” Read that as “we need to cut costs.” Here’s what we can look forward to, vehicle by vehicle for VW for 2020.


VW’s big SUV crossover will come in seven trim levels: S, SE, SE w/Technology, SE w/ Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. All Atlas models are equipped with the new Car-Net telematics system and have Wi-Fi capability. SE w/ Technology R-Line trims offer standard front and rear Park Distance Control and an Easy Open liftgate feature.

SE w/Technology models and above will get 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels standard, while the SEL Premium rides on 21-inch wheels.


VW’s latest stab at a big luxo-sedan comes in four trims for 2020: SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The Arteon also gets the new Car-Net telematics system along with in-car Wi-Fi. SEL models get 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels while SEL Premium models have 20-inch wheels and R-Line content.

The new Volkswagen Arteon Large 6553
VW Arteon. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.


The evergreen VW Golf will be available in one well-equipped trim level for 2020: the Value Edition. Don’t let the name fool you; the Value Edition is anything but a stripped-down model. Such niceties include the Car-Net telematics system and Wi-Fi capability. Other upscale features include push-button start, leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof, and heated washer nozzles. The latest Golf rides on standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

The e-Golf, VW’s ongoing foray into the growing EV market, comes in two trims for 2020: SE and SEL Premium. The Driver Assistance Package is now standard for both, and includes Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control. VW says the e-Golf will only be available in certain states.

Golf GTI

The Golf GTI (the one us gearheads like most) comes in two trims: S and SE. Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are now standard, plus in-car Wi-Fi and the next gen Car-Net infotainment system. An available Autobahn Package is there for the SE model and gets you a slew of upscale features: a Discover Media infotainment system with nav; automatic dual-zone climate control; Fender Premium Audio system; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Assist, and Light Assist.

2019 Golf Large 8756
The Golf is one of the most efficient and affordable vehicles in the 2020 VW lineup. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.


The Jetta (that’s a Golf with a trunk) comes in five trims for 2020: S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium. Naturally, every Jetta is equipped with the Car-Net telematics system and on-board Wi-Fi. SEL and SEL Premium trims offer wireless charging as standard. SE and SE R-Line get the Cold Weather Package, which is a suite of winter goodies. The package gives you three heated items – steering wheel, rear seats, and washer nozzles – along with a remote start. Both SEL and SEL Premium now sport standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

The Jetta GLI (it’s like a Golf GTI with a trunk) comes in two trim levels: S and Autobahn. The Autobahn model has wireless charging and the DCC adaptive damping system for 2020. Car-Net telematics and Wi-Fi capability? Check and check.


For 2020, the VW Passat is redesigned and has four trim levels: S, SE, R-Line, and SEL. The redesign gives it a more coupe-like profile and actually makes the humble Passat look a bit bolder than in previous years. Upgrades to the 2.0-liter turbo TSI engine include a new torque converter and new software for a boost in torque output to 207 lb-ft. On the inside, the infotainment system is upgraded with a new glass-covered touchscreen.

2020 Passat 9250
2020 VW Passat. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.


This compact SUV is offered in five trims: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line. Front Assist, Side Assist, and Rear Traffic Alert are standard on all models for 2020. On top of these upgrades, wireless charging is available starting on the SE trim level. The Tiguan SE R-Line Black trim, which is new for 2020, features 20-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels; black-accented R-Line bumpers and badging; foglights; a panoramic sunroof; front and rear Park Distance Control; and a black headliner for the interior.

The SEL model adds more upscale features like a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and rain-sensing wipers. The SEL Premium R-Line gets you all of the R-Line’s content, plus 20-inch wheels. Like the others in the 2020 VW lineup, the Tiguan will have the next-gen version of Car-Net and Wi-Fi standard.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle formatFollow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Photos & Source: Volkswagen of America, Inc.