- Midsize sedan gets a refresh for 2016
- Exterior styling has been updated
- New technology features added, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Volkswagen is debuting a refreshed version of the Passat for 2016, which gets exterior styling updates and new technology inside for the new model year.
Much of the Passat’s exterior is new according to the folks at Volkswagen, but it’s hard to tell at first glance. The sides of the midsize sedan look essentially the same, all of the updates come to the front and back where the tweaks streamline the styling. The front grille has been thinned, as have the headlight clusters; LED headlights and taillights are also available for the first time. It still has the symmetrical look that Audi is fond of, but with less panache and more edges than curves, especially those lines that run from the hood down into the front grille. For 2016, there is also a new R-Line trim level which gets sporty body pieces and a unique 19-inch alloy wheels.
Under the hood, the Passat’s drivetrains carryover. The 170-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder is standard, while for those who want more power, a 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 is optional. Models with the base engine return 24/36 mpg city/highway with the six-speed automatic transmission. A manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic are also offered on select models. (A turbo-diesel was previously offered on the Passat, but it has been discontinued for the time being.)
The Passat is available in S, SE, SEL, and R-Line trims. Inside, the Passat’s design isn’t really changed, minus a new instrument panel. But what you will find is new technology, with the MIB II infotainment system that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring for 2016. The standard touchscreen now supports swiping and zooming motions, like on a smartphone, for a more intuitive user experience. Air conditioning, cruise control, one-touch up/down power windows, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat are standard. Options include dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, push-button start, and Car-Net, which connects the Passat to your smartphone and offers access to services like roadside assistance, crash notifications, stolen vehicle location assistance, and speed/boundary alerts for parents with teens. Leather seating and heated seats (including heated rear seats) are also available for enhanced comfort.
On top of all that, the Passat is also one of the safest cars on the road, earning coveted Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS for acing their latest crash tests. Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and six airbags are standard as federally mandated.