American automakers are pruning sedans from their lineups as fast as possible, but Volkswagen has decided sedans are still worth the investment. The 2020 Passat will have an all-new look atop its old platform and the above drawing is our first semi-official look.
The current Passat platform dates all the way back to 2011, so suffice to say we’re not overly excited to hear the “new” 2020 sedan will mechanically be a carryover. The cheap investment in maintaining the old platform is likely a subtle acknowledgement that the sedan market isn’t exactly the most attractive segment to invest in right now.
Nonetheless, resting atop the old bones will be a new design that appears to be a bigger version of the Jetta. There’s a new, larger grille design similar to the Jetta’s that will rest between two new headlights that are LED as standard equipment. VW claims every body panels outside of the roofline has been modified in some capacity, though the modifications appear to be minor in most cases.
Volkswagen has not released sketches or photos of the interior, but word is that it has been lightly modified as well. The primary update inside is an upgrade to VW’s latest infotainment system and its newer capacitive touch buttons.
Keeping with the theme of upgraded tech, the Passat will finally offer more active safety features. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist will be available on the Passat now.
Volkswagen may be pushing the fact most visual elements of the Passat are new, it cannot say the same for what’s under the hood. The same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is resting beneath the hood with 174 horsepower and slightly more torque at 207 pound-feet. At this time VW isn’t saying if it will ultimately give this Passat a V-6 motor.
Overall, this Passat upgrade is nearly all visual with some more tech features thrown in to keep the car relevant. The lack of mechanical upgrades will likely do little to move the sales meter given the competition still offers more attractive, powerful alternatives.