Volkswagen Introduces New 2016 Passat With Revised Design, Trim Structure
By Joseph Dobrian, September 22, 2015
Volkswagen has rolled out the 2016 Passat, revealing noteworthy changes to the exterior and interior. Most remarkable are changes to the design of the front and rear; more connectivity and driver-assistance features; and a re-stacking of the trim levels.
“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 at Volkswagen.
Passat is Volkswagen’s midsize sedan and it’s largest car offering. The 2016 model will feature a sculpted, domed hood, as well as sportier front fenders, grille, front and rear bumpers, and trunk lid. The available LED headlights and taillights feature a slimmer design than on previous models. The rear of the vehicle sports a European-style flush license plate area. A new chrome strip on the trunk makes the rear lights appear lower, enhancing the vehicle’s grounded appearance, and extra chrome appears on the window surrounds, bumpers, and door trim.
The revised interior will include an updated instrument panel and center stack and a standard MIB II infotainment system with USB connectivity. 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. Heated rear seats are available. Also optional is VW Car-Net App-Connect, which supports smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.
The 2016 Passat is available in the United States with one of three powertrains: a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection 4-cylinder; a 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel; and a 3.6-liter VR6 engine, which generates 280 horsepower. The 2016 Passat 1.8T has an EPA estimated highway fuel-economy rating of 38 mpg with the automatic transmission.
For 2016, Volkswagen is offering an R-Line trim for the Passat. This is a sportier version that features identifiable rocker panels, stylized front bumper with contrasting black accents, modified rear diffuser, and 19-in. anthracite Salvador aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/40 ZR-rated tires.
The 2016 Passat features Volkswagen’s second-generation MIB II infotainment platform, which features touch screens as standard equipment on all trim levels. On most versions, the display employs a capacitive-touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming. 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. The available Volkswagen Car-Net system includes App-Connect technology, which allows seamless integration with the vast majority of today’s smartphones.
New safety and driver-assistance systems on the 2016 Passat include Volkswagen’s proprietary Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which applies the brakes after a primary collision, helping to reduce the chance of additional damage. Depending on trim level, other high-tech safety features are included.
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 6-speed automatic transmission.