2016 Volkswagen Passat – First Look and Review

By Jesse Sokolow on 22 January 2016
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While Volkswagen is embroiled in the Dieselgate scandal, it is still introducing new vehicles, albeit ones not powered by diesel engines. One new model is the refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat four-door sedan.

The Passat first came to the United States in 1974, as the Dasher, to good reviews. In 2011, Volkswagen introduced an American Passat to help it better compete in the midsized sedan market against the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. In contrast to the Passat it was selling in other markets, the American Passat was bigger and bolder. But that may not have been enough so, halfway through its lifecycle, Volkswagen’s engineers imposed on it an extensive mid-life refresh that further sharpened its clean lines.

Everything from the A-pillar forward is completely new. This includes slimmer headlights (LEDs are optional), light-alloy wheels, side mirrors, bumpers, fascia, and grille, which now exhibits more depth. The all-new hood has a powerdome that catches the eye, although there is no longer a TDI (i.e. diesel) option available under it.

What the Passat does have is a 1.8-liter turbocharged four banger that develops 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque while achieving 25 mpg

The new 2016 Passat is arriving at Volkswagen dealerships now and we took one to Vermont to see how it performs.


One of the major changes from previous models is what Volkswagen calls “slimmer headlights.” While the detail is not immediately noticeable, upon closer inspection the difference is readily apparent.

Additionally, LED headlights are available for the first time on a Volkswagen sedan in the American market.

A new sculpted, domed hood is an obvious departure form previous models’ styles, and is intended to “significantly set the car apart from its predecessor,” explained Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s head of design, in a briefing on the new Passat.

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 2016 Passat

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