Breana Noble The Detroit News
Published 11:38 AM EST Jan 14, 2019
Detroit — Volkswagen of America said the car maker is packing its largest sedan with technology, as Americans turn to SUVs and trucks.
The only European automaker to make a showing at this year’s Detroit auto show unveiled its new 2020 Passat on Monday, eight years after a complete overhaul in design. Although the new midsize sedan keeps the same bones, almost everything else is different inside and out.
Read more: Volkswagen to build EV plant in Tennessee
As U.S. automakers leave the sedan market and Asian companies introduce new vehicles, VW is giving the Passat a new feel without shifting it to the modern MQB chassis of the Golf and Jetta.
“As other brands exit this segment, we plan to offer them a very cool new home,” Volkswagen of Ameerica CEO Scott Keough said.
A coupe-like roofline and a “tornado” line give the car a sportier edge. A dominant grille provides a bold face to the new vehicle. It got a new fascia and standard slim LED headlight and taillights, as well. More prominent Passat lettering hangs along the trunk lid. Seventeen-inch wheels come standard, though 18- and 19-inch wheels are also available.
Inside, the cockpit features a horizontal design with a more contemporary instrument panel. Based on the trim, there are four interior design options. Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seats are available in addition to the standard cloth seats with four color options.
A new glass-covered touchscreen features MIB II Composition Media Infotainment with available navigation. Volkswagen Car-Net AppConnect technology comes standard, integrating compatible smartphones with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link to make select apps accessible from the screen. Top-of-the-line models feature the Fender Premium Audio system.
The technology doesn’t end there, though. Coming standard is forward-collision warning, front-assist emergency braking, blind-spot monitor and rear traffic alert. Other available driver-assistance features include lane assist, park assist and a combination of passive and active safety systems including an automatic post-collision braking system.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine continues to put the Passat at 174 horsepower, but a new converter and upgraded software boost output to 207 pound-feet of torque on the four trims except for a limited launch-only model.
Volkswagen will offer a six-year, 72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on the 2020 Passat, which is expected to hit showrooms this summer.
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