Volkswagen Passat gets classier styling, tech updates for 2016

2016 VW passat front side wide view
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Volkswagen revealed a snazzier-looking, better-equipped version of the Passat Monday evening, which will start at $23,260 when it goes on sale as a 2016 model late this fall.

The refresh updates VW's midsize sedan, though the changes are mostly evolutionary, and they come as Volkswagen is mired in scandal following charges it cheated on EPA tests.

The design features a new hood, grille, rear bumpers, and front fenders. It's also the first VW sedan to offer LED head- and taillights as an option, and the 2016 version is the first Passat to get an R-Line package, which includes black accents, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and a custom front bumper.

"We applied a progressive design strategy with the new Passat, giving the car a dynamic presence and a more sophisticated look," Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen head of design, said in a statement. "We have integrated several new design elements, including a sculpted, domed hood that significantly sets the car apart from its predecessor."

Inside, the cabin gets nicer materials, including chrome and piano-black trim, a new steering wheel, and available heated rear seats. VW's second-generation modular infotainment platform is standard, and it offers swiping and pinch-to-zoom features on most models. Volkswagen's Car-Net system is also available, which allows for smoother smartphone integration.

The powertrain lineup carries over and is made up of the 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbo diesel, and a 3.6-liter V6. It's unclear if the TDI model will be offered at launch in light of VW's recent diesel scandal.
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The Chattanooga-built Passat raises the bar in the midsize segment, offering new styling inside and out as well as a host of new connectivity and driver assistance features
• Striking new front and rear design
• New interior with updated instrument panel and center stack for a more premium feel
• Standard MIB II infotainment system includes USB connectivity
• Available VW Car-Net® App-Connect supports smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®
• Energy-efficient LED headlights and taillights available for the first time on a VW sedan
• New driver assistance systems are standard features on select trim levels
• First-ever R-Line® trim for U.S. Passat offers sportier styling
• Three engine options: 1.8-liter TSI® gasoline, TDI®, and powerful VR6®
• Revised trim lineup provides enhanced value throughout the Passat range
• Pricing starts at $22,440 for the 1.8T S model with automatic transmission

• Built in America, at the world's only LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing facility
New York, N.Y. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce the debut of the new 2016 Volkswagen Passat, a midsize sedan that is designed for the American lifestyle and built in Volkswagen's state-of-the-art factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. The 2016 Passat features a winning combination of design, interior and cargo space, class-leading technology, available driver assistance systems, and powerful, yet frugal, engines. In addition, a revised trim structure will enhance the Passat's value story.

The 2016 Passat features more aggressive styling than its predecessor, with a new hood, front fenders, grille, front and rear bumpers, trunklid and available LED headlights and taillights. In short, the only sheetmetal that remains unchanged is the roof, the doors, and the body side stamping.
"We applied a progressive design strategy with the new Passat, giving the car a dynamic presence and a more sophisticated look," said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design, Volkswagen. "We have integrated several new design elements, including a sculpted, domed hood that significantly sets the car apart from its predecessor."

Slimmer headlights, a more substantial four-bar grille, and the muscular, domed hood all work together to give the Passat a wider, more planted stance from the front. At the back, the new car has a premium European-style flush rear license plate area. Additionally, a new chrome strip on the trunk makes the rear lights appear lower, enhancing the grounded appearance, while chrome on the window surrounds, bumpers, and door trim adds to the premium nature of the design. Available on all trim lines, dramatic LED headlights and taillights provide better lighting performance with reduced energy consumption.

For the first time, Volkswagen is offering an R-Line® version of the Passat. This sporty model features unique rocker panels, a stylized front bumper with contrasting black accents, a modified rear diffuser, and 19" anthracite Salvador aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 ZR rated tires.
Inside, the 2016 Passat gets an extensively upgraded interior, for a more sophisticated look and feel. A new instrument panel features two large gauges and the center stack incorporates VW's latest MIB II infotainment system. The interior also features upgraded materials, a new steering wheel and column stalk design, two-tone décor panels, and refined chrome and piano black trim. Heatable rear seats are a new available feature, along with Easy-Open keyless access that opens the trunk via moving a foot near the rear of the vehicle.

The 2016 Passat features Volkswagen's second-generation "modular infotainment platform", also known as MIB II. The system features touchscreens as standard equipment on all models. On most models, the display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) enabling gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming rather than the resistive touchscreens that require pressure and have slightly longer response times. Most MIB II units also feature a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth® connectivity are standard on all 2016 Passat models.

The MIB II system also serves as the foundation for the available Volkswagen Car-Net® system, one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today. VW Car-Net includes App-Connect technology, featuring the three major smartphone integration platforms—Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. This allows seamless integration with the vast majority of smartphones available today.

Volkswagen also offers a combination of new safety and driver assistance systems in the 2016 Passat. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, standard on all 2016 Passat models, builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—which can cause additional collisions. The system helps address this by applying the brakes after a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping to reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, reduce the chance of additional damage.

Depending on trim level, Passat models come equipped with the following advanced driver assistance systems: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), which actively steers the car back into its lane; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist). All 2016 Passat models have rearview cameras as standard equipment.

The 2016 Passat is available in the United States with three powertrains: the 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four cylinder; 2.0-liter TDI®; and the 3.6-liter VR6® engine, which makes 280 horsepower—one of the highest outputs in the midsize sedan class. The 2016 Passat 1.8T has an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 38 mpg with the automatic transmission.
Full pricing for the new 2016 Passat will be available closer to launch later this year, but the 1.8T S model starts at $22,440, which is the same price as the previous base model when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Passat is produced at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the only automotive manufacturing facility in the world to receive Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA), an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.
This press release and images of the 2016 Passat will be available at
"TDI", "TSI", "VR6", "VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. "Car-Net" is a registered trademark of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "Android Auto" is a trademark of Google Inc. "CarPlay", is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. "Bluetooth" is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. "MirrorLink" is a registered trademark of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.
All prices listed are the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price and exclude transportation, taxes, title, options, and dealer charges.
Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted.

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