The second-generation model, which is mostly unrelated to the European Passat in terms of mechanicals, is due to arrive at dealerships in the summer. It’s said to have been redesigned “to cater specifically to American buyers, with more interior space and creature comforts” as well as what Volkswagen describes as a “fun-to-drive nature”.
The exterior, in particular the front end, takes design inspiration from the recently released new Touareg SUV. Inside, it’s typical Volkswagen fare, with a standard glass infotainment screen, although there's no mention of the Active Info Display digital instruments available on the European model. A significantly more advanced suite of driver assistance functions has been included, too.
A 172bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine sends power to the front wheels through a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. New software in the gearbox allows an increased torque output to 207lb ft. Some launch variants continue with the old powertrain, however.
New available kit includes heated rear seats, adaptive front lighting and a Fender premium audio system. Every Passat comes with Volkswagen’s Car-Net App Connect features, bringing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, while a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio is included.