{"Volkswagen Golf":"Volkswagen Golf|Volkswagen Jetta|Volkswagen Dealer|Volkswagen Passat","Pickup Truck":"Pickup Truck|Ford F150|Chevy Trucks|Nissan Titan","Honda Civic":"Honda Civic|Used Honda|Honda Dealership|Honda Accord","Luxury SUV":"Porsche Cayenne|Audi Q7|Lexus RX 350|Maserati Levante","Luxury Sedan":"Cadillac CT6|Genesis G70|BMW 7 Series|Mercedes-Benz E-Class","Infotainment":"Infotainment System|Apple Car Play|Android Auto|Car Stereos","maintenance":"Car Shop|Oil Change|Wheel Alignment|Car parts","driver-assist":"Apple Car Play|Android Auto|Car Stereos|Infotainment System","midsize sedan":"Family Cars|Nissan Maxima|Ford Fusion|Chevy Malibu","CUV":"Jeep Compass|Mazda CX-5|Honda CR-V|GMC Terrain","hatchback":"Toyota Prius|Hyundai Veloster|Mini Cooper|Fiat 500","EV":"Tesla Model 3|Nissan Leaf|BMW i3|Hybrid vehicles","Electric":"Electric Cars|Tesla Models|Hybrid Lease|Hybrid vehicles","Toyota Camry":"Toyota Camry|Used Toyota|Toyota Dealerships|Toyota Prius","Honda Accord":"Honda Accord|Used Honda|Honda Dealership|Honda Clarity","trims":"luxury Trims|Car Accessories|Trim Packages|Used Cars","Eco":"Hybrid cars|Eco car|EV car|Eco-friendly car","Hybrid":"Eco Drive|Toyota Prius|hyundai ioniq|Electric Cars","Crossover SUV":"Honda Pilot|Ford Escape|Toyota C-HR|Volkswagen Tiguan","Large SUV":"Chevrolet Tahoe|Ford Expedition|Cadillac Escalade|Range Rover Evoque","Small SUV":"Nissan Pathfinder|Toyota RAV4|Kia Sorento|Ford Escape","utility vehicle":"Hyundai Kona|Kia Niro|Ford EcoSport|Chevrolet Trax","Fuel economy":"Fuel-Efficient Cars|Kia Forte FE|Hyundai Elantra Eco|Toyota Yaris","Commuter":"Volkswagen Jetta|Subaru Impreza|Kia Optima|Honda Accord","Dodge Charger":"Dodge Charger|Buick LaCrosse|Cadillac ATS|Chrysler 300","Ford F-150":"F-150|Ram 1500|Ram 1500|Ram 1500","Chevy Silverado":"Ford F-150|Ram 1500|Ram 1500|Ram 1500","Mini Cooper":"Mini Cooper Sport|Mini Clubman|Mini Countryman|Mini Cooper All4","Hyundai Sonata":"Hyundai Sonata|Kia Optima|Honda Civic|Ford Fiesta","Beetle":"Volkswagen Beetle|Volkswagen Dealership|Volkswagen Beetle Sale|Volkswagen Beetle Deal","Porsche":"Audi R8|BMW M4|Chevrolet Corvette|Jaguar F-Type","Ferrari":"Bentley|Porsche|Jaguar|Lamborghini","Maserati":"Maserati Quattroporte|Maserati Levante|Maserati Ghibli|Maserati GranTurismo","Mazda":"Mazda 3|Mazda Miata|Mazda CX3|Mazda Dealership","Lincoln":"Lincoln Navigator|Lincoln Continental|Lincoln MKZ|Lincoln MKC","Muscle car":"Muscle car|Ford Mustang|Dodge Charger|Chevrolet Camaro","Nissan Altima":"Nissan Armada|Nissan Maxima|Nissan Sentra|Kia Optima","Volvo":"Volvo V90|Volvo V60|Volvo XC40|Volvo XC90","Honda Pilot":"Honda Pilot RX|Honda CR-V|Honda Fit|Honda Odyssey","Motor Show":"Collectible Cars|Vintage Cars|Geneva Motor Show|Detroit Auto Show","Bentley":"Rolls Royce|BMW|Mercedes Benz|Jaguar","Buick Cascada":"Buick Lacrosse|Buick Encore|Buick Cascada|Buick Envision","Buick Lacrosse":"Buick Cascada|Buick Envision|Buick Enclave|Buick Enclave","Buick Envision":"Buick Lacrosse|Buick Encore|Buick Cascada|Buick Envision","Buick Encore":"Buick Encore|Buick Cascada|Buick Envision|Buick Enclave","Mercedes-Benz":"Mercedes-Benz C-Class|Mercedes-Benz E-Class|Mercedes-Benz A-Class|Mercedes-Benz GLE","BMW X5":"BMW X5|Acura MDX|Cadillac XT5|Infiniti QX60","Aston Martin":"Mercedes Benz|Jaguar|Porsche|Bentley","Chevrolet Equinox":"GMC Terrain|Mazda CX-5|Honda CR-V|Hyundai Tucson","Lexus":"Lexus LC 500|Lexus ES 350|Lexus IS 350|Lexus GS F","GMC Sierra":"GMC Sierra|Chevrolet Silverado |Nissan Titan|Toyota Tundra","Genesis":"Genesis G80|Audi A6|BMW 5-Series|Cadillac CTS","Toyota Tacoma":"Ford F-150|Chevrolet Silverado |Ram 1500|Honda Ridgeline","GMC Yukon":"Ford F-150|GMC Yukon|Chevrolet Silverado |Honda Ridgeline","Cadillac ATS":"Audi A4|Inifinti Q60|Jaguar XE|Mercedes-Benz C Class","Cadillac ":"Cadillac CT6|Cadillac ATS|Cadillac Dealer|Cadillac CTS","Ford Ecosport":"Chevrolet Trax|Honda HR-V|Mazda CX3|Fiat 500","Audi":"Audi A4|Audi A3|Audi Q3|Audi TT","minivan":"Chrysler Pacifica |Kia Sedona|Toyota Sienna|Honda Odyssey","luxury minivan":"Kia Sedona|Honda Odyssey|Toyota Sienna|Chrysler Pacifica","Subaru Outback":"Subaru Forester| Toyota RAV4|Mazda CX-5|Mitsubishi Outlander","Bugatti":"Aston-Martin|Koenigsegg |Ford GT|Cadillac ATS","Subaru Impreza":"Subaru Legacy|Subaru Forester|Subaru Outback|Subaru WRX STI","Chevrolet Tahoe":"Chevrolet sonic|Chevrolet Camaro|Chevrolet Corvette|Chevrolet Traverse","Chevrolet Traverse":"Chevrolet Camaro|Chevrolet Corvette|Chevrolet Traverse|Chevrolet sonic","Chevrolet Corvette":"Chevrolet Camaro|Chevrolet sonic|Chevrolet Traverse|Chevy Malibu","Ford Mustang":"Ford Fusion|Ford Fiesta|Used Mustangs|Ford Focus","Ford Focus":"Ford Fiesta|Ford C-Max|Ford Fusion|Ford Mustangs","Chevy Cruze":"Chevrolet Camaro|Chevy Spark|Chevrolet Malibu|Toyota Camry","Toyota Sienna":"Toyota Highlander|Toyota Corolla|Toyota RAV4|Toyota Tundra","Honda CR-V":"Subaru Outback|Toyota RAV4|Ford Escape|Mazda CX-5","Ford Edge":"Honda Passport|Mazda CX-9|Hyundai Santa Fe|Jeep Grand Cherokee","BMW Z4":"Audi TT Roadster|BMW Z4|Nissan 370z Roadster|BMW Dealers","Dodge Challenger":"Audi S5|BMW M4|Chevrolet Camaro|Ford Mustang","Chevy Malibu":"Kia Optima|Honda Accord|Toyota Camry|Buick LaCrosse","Buick Regal":"Acura TLX|Ford Fusion|Nissan Maxima|Volvo V60","Compact SUV":"Nissan Pathfinder|Toyota RAV4|Honda CR-V|Chevrolet Equinox","Toyota Corolla":"Honda Civic|Mazda3|Chevrolet Cruze|Kia Forte","Jeep":"Jeep Wrangler|Jeep Compass|Jeep Dealership|Jeep Renegade","Land Rover":"Land Rover Range Rover|Land Rover Discovery|Land Rover Range Rover Evoque|Land Rover Discovery Sport","Nissan Frontier":"Nissan Titan|Nissan Pathfinder|Ford Ranger|Toyota Tacoma","sports car":"Chevrolet Camaro|BMW M3|Nissan 370Z|Volkswagen GTI","Kia Sorento":"Kia Sorento|Toyota Rav4|Kia Optima|Chevy Equinox","tires":"Windshield Wipers|Used Car Dealerships|Car Detailing|Winter Tires","oil change":"Oil Change|Car Accessories|Windshield Wipers|Car Detailing","used car":"Used Cars|Used Car Dealer|Car Detailing|Windshield Wipers","retro":"Vintage Cars|Collectible Cars|Car Detailing|Windshield Wipers","volkswagen jetta":"Honda Civic|Toyota Corolla|Nissan Sentra|Hyundai Elantra","Lamborghini":"Used Ferrari|Porsche Dealers|Jaguar Lease|Mercedes Benz","Chevrolet Colorado":"GMC Canyon|Honda Ridgeline|Jeep Wrangler|Nissan Frontier","Ford Explorer":"Chevrolet Traverse|Dodge Durango|Honda Pilot|Hyundai Santa Fe","convertible":"Ford Mustang|Chevrolet Camaro|Mercedes-Benz AMG GT|BMW M4","GPS":"Garmin GPS|TomTom GPS|Pioneer GPS|JRCX Navigation System","Chrysler":"BMW|Volkswagen|Used Toyota|Ford Dealers","Ram 1500":"Ford F-150|Toyota Tundra|Nissan Titan|Chevy Silverado","Coupe":"Jaguar F-Type|Honda Civic|Chevrolet Camaro|Porche 911","Acura":"Acura Dealers|Acura MDX|Acura NSX|Acura Lease","engine":"Timing Belt|Car Parts|Carburetor|Spark Plugs","models":"Audi RS2|BMW X5|Ford GT|Mercedes-Benz CLK","touchscreen":"Tesla Model S|BMW 5 Series|Chevrolet Bolt|Chrysler 300"}
The Not So New 2019 Volkswagen Passat

The Not So New 2019 Volkswagen Passat

January 7, 2019

The 2019 VW Passat for U.S. buyers is apparently just a 2018 Passat fresh from the paint booth and with more options standard in the consolidated trim levels. That’s not a terrible thing since it is a solid, enjoyable car and worth buying on its own merits. The industry, however, has seen something entirely different at European Auto Shows and wants to know why we’re not getting it. Most car manufacturers aren’t spending much time or money on their car lines in the USA, instead focusing on SUVs and crossovers, so it’s not surprising from that point of view. What’s even more likely, though, is that we’re simply seeing the process of rolling out VW’s MQB platform and the Passat will make the jump to it soon enough, as the U.S. Jetta has.


What’s the interior of the Passat like, and are there any updates for 2019?


The 2019 Passat will continue to be roomy, including in the back seat, with space for five adults on comfortable leatherette which is now standard for all trim levels. The driver’s seat has an 8-way adjustment, and both front seats are heated. The SE R-Line trim level now adds ambient interior lighting.


What is the suspension/handling experience like? Who is it targeted to?


Words to describe the Passat’s ride and handling include “stable” and “accurate,” meaning that commuters and those on mountain roads will have the same general experience. The Passat gives a quality ride even at high speeds but doesn’t add character to its performance. The target audience of families, executives and perhaps others such as seniors will appreciate the consistency of driving an American (non-MQB) Passat.


What about the powertrain, are there any changes there? Is it good for daily traffic, highway cruising, back roads and mountain curves?


The 2019 Passat is being limited to two trim levels from seven in 2018, keeping things simple. That means no GT/VR6 — the 280-hp V-6 engine is unavailable. The existing 174-hp turbo four engine continues. It’s enough for satisfying driving, but perhaps not the exuberant performance that many drivers hope for on weekend trips.


How is it overall for family or friends on a long trip?


This is where the American Passat shines, and one of the reasons VW North America has given for keeping this model active. There’s room, plenty of room in both the back seat and the trunk. That means everyone is comfortable and gets to bring their gear without squabbles. The stable, isolated ride also lets people relax and not count the bumps until arrival.


About the Passat's electronics, did that get upgraded from 2018? What’s included?


The good news is that the electronics and other tech does get some bumps from the previous year. The bad news, once again, is that without the MQB platform of the Euro version, the latest VW technology is unavailable for now. There is an 8-inch display with Apple Play and Android Auto, and a Fender premium sound system is available to those who choose the SE-R Line trim level over the Wolfsburg level. Wolfsburg gets a 6.3-inch display. Adaptive cruise control, navigation and lane-keeping assist also come with the higher trim level.


Does the 2019 Passat have active safety technology? Driving assist features?


The SE R-Line trim level, one of two available for 2019, includes adaptive cruise control, navigation, and lane keeping assist. Everybody wins due to the consolidation of trim levels, and both SE R-Line and Wolfsburg buyers get automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. This should also eliminate these features as a decision driver when buyers are comparing with other manufacturers’ vehicles.


What kinds of features might it inherit from the Euro version in the next year or two?


As the American Passat line, forked off in 2012, merges with the rest of the company’s MQB-based models, there will be much more opportunity to transfer features and design elements from those models. The electronics, especially the infotainment system, are a good bet for the first MQB Passat in the U.S., and more sporty models are likely. Observers are looking to the Jetta, suspecting that the new generation of Passat will be the Jetta’s big brother style- and feature-wise. The 2019 Jetta shown in Detroit is stretched and restyled, the interior has 10-color ambient lighting, and new soft-touch materials and drivers will now enjoy a fully digital cockpit experience, for starters.


Do you think that the U.S. model will transition to Euro style and equipment in the next few years?


Absolutely. It almost looks like VW “switched horses in mid-stream” as the recently introduced GT model for U.S. buyers is headed out just as quickly. In addition to the transition from a unique U.S. Passat platform to the company-standard MQB, signs are everywhere that VW is getting ambitious about new models and vehicles in markets around the globe. There is even talk of a VW pickup truck possibly becoming available in the U.S., based on clues such as government paperwork. One interesting consideration: the roomier U.S. model is also sold in the Middle East and South Korea, so those markets will presumably see a change as well.


So, is this a typical case of most buyers waiting for the 2020 model, hoping for all the new stuff?


Maybe not. The 2019 Passat will be another year of a solid, successful vehicle which buyers have enjoyed driving, and will have more features available in the two trim levels. Plenty of buyers will surely want to buy this known quantity and drive it while VW fires up the new line of Passats in the coming years. Of course, that’s if they are brand-loyal. While domestic car companies generally have moved away from producing cars to compete on the SUV/crossover field, Japanese and Korean car companies have chosen to increase the competition in this area.


What about Continental using the Passat as their autonomous driving technology car in Europe? What’s going on there?


The Passat was one of Google’s autonomous driving development cars in the past, and Continental, a German vehicle equipment company best known for their tires, put a 2012 Passat on the road in Nevada as a semi-autonomous vehicle. The company is using “highly automated” driving technology in the testing process for their tire products and developing sensors and systems for commercialization of autonomous driving. They’ve been active on the Autobahn now and looking forward to making cars like the Passat available with highly automated technology as soon as 2020 or 2025.

Get the latest vehicle news, advice & deals.

Join The Community