Amid the diesel debacle, many forget that Volkswagen still does build some very desirable vehicles. One of those is the Passat. And the 2016 model year brings a mild refresh that should keep it selling strong.

Styling sees the usual freshened grille, fascia, and lighting updates, and new wheel designs are peppered through the trim levels.

Inside, the Passat gets much of what we love in the Golf: new gauges and steering wheel, and the easier to use infotainment and center stack tech.

Trim details inside also takes a nice premium tick up, and enhances what used to be a fairly bland look.

VW’s R-Line add ons can be tacked onto the base S trim level, and adds unique bumpers, vents, exhaust tips, and other goodies.

Nothing in the power department is addressed, however, as the same 1.8 liter turbo 4, and 3.6 liter VR6 engines are offered. They produce the 170 and 280 horsepower, respectively.

So to drive, we found little has changed behind the wheel. If you’re a fan of what the Passat is all about, then you won’t be let down here. Handling, ride quality, and the like also remain largely unchanged, though the additions to driver comfort and ease of use make the experience noticeably better.

Volkswagen has also thrown their whole suite of safety technologies at the Passat, from Emergency Braking and active lane keeping, to blind spot monitors and parking assist.

On sale now, the 2016 Volkswagen Passat starts around $23,000.     


  • Engine: 1.8 liter turbo 4 / 3.6 liter VR6
  • Horsepower: 170 / 280
  • Price: Starts around $23,000