What’s New for 2020?
Volkswagen has given the 2020 Passat a thorough freshening inside and out that has increased the car’s style quotient and added new features. The lineup has also been expanded with lower models getting a price cut. New LED head- and taillights glow brightly at both ends of the sedan, while more sculpted front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, and bolder Passat badging on the trunk lid visually separate the 2020 models from 2019’s. The Passat can now be equipped with soft Nappa leather upholstery and heated rear seats, but otherwise, its equipment is much the same as last year’s model.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- S: $23,915
- SE: $26,765
- R-Line: $29,565
- SEL: $32,015
We’d recommend the 2020 Jetta SE, which comes standard with plenty of features that family-sedan buyers will appreciate, including touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, lane-keeping assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Passat has a single powertrain option: a 174-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, the engine was smooth and refined throughout its rev range and helped move the sedan with ease; the 2020 Passat makes more torque, but we haven’t tested it. The automatic is mostly a smooth operator, but occasionally it stumbled during our testing when crawling along at low speeds in heavy traffic. Whether eating up highway miles or tooling down back roads, the Passat is up to the challenge. It combines a soft, almost luxurious ride with predictable handling, providing a vehicle that’s as comfortable as it is capable. Steering is accurate and well-weighted, but as with many others in the class, it doesn’t offer as much feedback as we want.
Read David Colman’s review of the 2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL at TheAutoChannel.com.