Written by Marco Carvajal
2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL
I am test driving the sedan 2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL, the top of the lineup for the 2020 model production. The Passat is a very comfortable mid-size automobile with good interior space, several standard features, a nicer updated interior, and a good engine for a sedan with 174 horsepower.
Starting at 23K for the base S trim model, the Passat is a great value purchase with a very affordable price. Can be a great entry-level automobile into the Volkswagen family, but if you go for the higher top of the line trim SEL, the one I am test driving, priced at $31K, then this Passat gives you much more than an entry level mid-size sedan.
The 2020 Passat offers upgraded technology and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features. The new 2020 exterior design has a dynamic coupe-like design. A dramatic tornado alike line design, and a bolt grille, making the 2020 Passat more attractive than ever. The spacious interior for its mid-size segment features a sophisticated new design and some premium materials creating more appealing and value.
The powerful 2.0-liter TSI engine boosts torque to 206 lb-ft and produces 174 horsepower
Some of the standard features included in the Passat are 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, full LED lighting, App-Connect, and Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring.
Fender Premium Audio system with great clarity and sound quality.
Volkswagen started to produce the Passat since 1973 until the present time. About 50 years of production of one of the best value cars created in Germany. The Passat has evolved through several different design generations until the present time, however it seems that Volkswagen will discontinue production of the Passat in the next 3 years.
The name Passat is derived from the German word for trade winds, reflecting the period in Volkswagen’s history when its vehicles were named after prominent winds and currents.
Evolving previous generations of the Passat carry the internal designations B1, B2, etc. from Volkswagen, which originally matched those of the sister brand Audi 80 and A4 with which the Passat has shared its engineering platform in certain model generations in the past. The new Passat model is based on the automaker’s MQB platform.
Made in Chattanooga, TN. The Passat for sale in North America is assembled at the VW factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The same plant also produces the successful Volkswagen Atlas. During my last visit to this factory, I was impressed with the quality and efficiency. German production technology applied to US production, creating a very smart plant.
This new Passat has a design with a new front line and styling lines that are more aggressive, more evolutionary, and able to compete and fight with its tough competition, such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima, among other cars.
Danger of Extinction
Volkswagen will discontinue the sale of the Passat in the United States, once it completes its current product cycle by 2023. As part of an $ 800 million expansion, Volkswagen will shift production from the Passat to the new Volksawgen ID.4 electric crossover starting in 2022.
The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric production vehicle and the forefront of a portfolio of future electric vehicles coming as gas cars continue to be replaced by electric cars. Once the Chattanooga Plant expansion is completed, production of the ID.4 will move from Germany to the United States and the Passat will be extinct, at least in North America.
The Passat will be remembered as a great sedan that helped millions of drivers with a very good affordable budget for a very good looking car, fun to drive and stylish within its budget and segment.
- Spacious interior with new dash design and premium materials
- 2.0-liter TSI engine boosts torque to 206 lb-ft
- 18-inch five-spoke two-tone wheels and 235/45/R18 rubber
- Available keyless access with push-button start
- Heated front and outboard rear seats with leather seating surfaces
- Power-tilt-and-slide sunroof
- the Adaptive Front-lighting System
- the Discover Media system
- Rain-sensing wipers
- MPG: 23 City / 34 Hwy
- 6.3” touchscreen sound system
- 400-watt Fender Premium Audio system with eight speakers and a separate subwoofer
- Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist)
- Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert
Trims and Pricing for the 2020 Volkswagen Passat
Pricing for the Passat is very affordable but very handsome looking. It won’t stop the traffic but it is a good looking car that anyone can be happy to drive. For the 2020 model year, the redesigned Passat is offered in four trim levels: S, SE, R-Line, and SEL.
It is not easy to find a very nice to drive sedan with this low price, with a bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features.
Starting at $22,995 MSRP
- LED headlights
- Blind Spot Monitor & Front Assist
Starting at $25,845 MSRP
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Dual-zone climate control
- Remote start
Starting at $28,645 MSRP
- 19″ alloy wheels
- Power tilting/sliding sunroof
- R-Line front bumper and badging
Starting at $31,095 MSRP
- Leather seating surfaces
- Fender® Premium Audio System
- Park Distance Control
Engine and Performance
The new Passat is powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI four-cylinder engine, producing a decent 174 horsepower. A new torque converter, combined with new software, boosts output to 206 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic.
The engine and transmission respond without problems, it is fun and easy to drive. Its powerful 174 HP engine should appeal to any midsize sedan buyer looking for a car to provide a good ride for their daily needs.
Design and Style at a Value Price
New for 2020 are higher-quality interior materials, an updated instrument panel and a 6.3-inch touchscreen. New color schemes, and a new range of upholstery options, including fabric and genuine or simulated leather. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all trim levels.
For 2020, the Passat’s sheet metal has been redesigned with a straightened greenhouse and a coupe-like roofline, giving the car a much bolder and stronger look.
Passat SEL, the top of the line model, offers you leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a memory function for the driver’s seat, an integrated navigation system, and a Fender premium nine-speaker system.
The interior of the Passat is essentially a large sedan, which looks medium on the outside, as inside it is very spacious with easy to use controls and good vision of the road.
The 2020 Passat is available in six attractive colors, Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, Deep Black Pearl, Aurora Red Chroma, and Tourmaline Blue.
The new modern cockpit incorporates a horizontal design that emphasizes the interior space. The concept is prominently illustrated by a long horizontal element that stretches the length of the dashboard, incorporating the air vents and framing a new. It looks modernized and young on the dashboard.
Safety features have been updated, including blind-spot monitoring, front parking assist, and new, brighter LED lighting. The Passat features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Passat SEL trims are equipped with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights and a power-tilt-and-slide sunroof.
Blind Spot Monitor to help warn drivers of the presence of other vehicles in adjacent lanes and Rear Traffic Alert to help detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing are standard as well.
- Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert
- Available driver-assistance features: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Park Assist
The Passat includes Volkswagen generous warranty Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, with 6-years/72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) and transferable coverage. This is one of the best warranties you can find in the market, a great incentive to buy a new Passat and have the confidence of 6 years and 72,000 miles covered by Volkswagen.