The Passat has been a mainstay of the Volkswagen lineup in North America for nearly 30 years, but that run comes to an end after 2019. VW is winding down production of this family sedan to make room both for the upsized Jetta and a new upscale sedan called the Arteon, both of which made their debuts as 2019 models.
To see it out, Volkswagen is offering the Passat in a single Wolfsburg trim, based on last year's mid-range Comfortline model but with the addition of R-Line bumpers, leather seats, power-adjustable front sport seats, a Fender sound system, colour multi-function display, paddle shifters, adaptive cruise control and 19-inch wheels.
Passat's paring down also means the disappearance of VW's powerful 3.6L V6 engine from the option sheet, which was only available with last year's Highline trim. That leaves the 2019 Wolfsburg to be powered by a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder that makes 177 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. If that horsepower figure sounds modest compared to some of VW's competitors, keep in mind all that torque comes on at just 1,500 rpm, so this car feels stronger than it is, especially in city driving.
A six-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment, putting power to the front wheels.
The Passat was the first VW to wear the brand's latest styling cues, which later showed up on the Atlas and Tiguan crossovers and, most recently, on the new Jetta. While that gave this car a bolder face, it couldn't fix the fact that this was one of the most forgettable-looking cars in the mid-size class. Playing in Passat's favour was a roomy cabin and big trunk.
Many of the Wolfsburg's standard appearance items come from the now-defunct Highline model, but this trim naturally also adopts items from the Trendline variant, like heated front seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, while the old Comfortline contributes its LED headlights and taillights and heated rear seats.
Options include a driver assistance package of park distance control, park assist and lane assist, and you can also add a sunroof and navigation package bundle whose content speaks for itself.
Fuel consumption estimates are 9.3/6.5 L/100 km (city/highway).
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed