The new 2016 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan that is designed for the American lifestyle and built in Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For 2016, the Passat combines striking new interior and exterior design elements with a greater variety of available driver assistance, connectivity, and convenience features than ever before. Overall, the 2016 Passat features a winning combination of interior and exterior design, class-leading technology, available driver assistance systems, and a powerful and highly efficient base engine.
Pricing for the 2016 Volkswagen Passat starts at $22,440—the same as the outgoing base model when equipped with an automatic transmission. When new content is factored in, this represents a $1,315 value enhancement over the base 2015 Passat. The revised trim structure offers a similar story throughout the model lineup.
Styling updates at both the front and rear end give the 2016 Passat a more dramatic, refined appearance. “We applied a progressive design strategy with the new Passat, giving the car a dynamic presence and more sophisticated look,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design, Volkswagen. ”We have integrated several new design elements, including a sculpted, domed hood that significantly sets the car apart from its predecessor.”
Slimmer headlights, a more substantial fully chromed four-bar grille, and the muscular hood all work together to give the Passat a wider, more planted stance from the front. Newly standard chrome window surrounds and trim on the doors add to the premium nature of the design, as do available LED headlights and taillights. This is the first time that LED headlights have been offered on a VW sedan in the U.S. market. Available on every trim level, the LEDs help provide better lighting performance with reduced energy consumption.
At the rear, a new bumper and trunk lid help to shape the 2016 Passat’s new look. The new car has a premium European-style flush rear license plate area and a new chrome strip on the trunk connects the trunk lid to the taillights, making the rear lights appear lower and enhancing the grounded appearance.
For the first time, Volkswagen is offering an R-Line® version of the Passat. This sporty model features unique rocker panels, a stylized front bumper with contrasting black accents, a modified rear diffuser, and anthracite-color Salvador aluminum-alloy 19-inch wheels shod with 235/40 all-season tires.
The 2016 Passat remains a generously-proportioned four-door sedan. Nose to tail it measures 191.9 inches and features a stretched 110.4-inch wheelbase and 72.2-inch width, which allows for exceptional rear seat space, with 39.1 inches of rear-seat legroom.
With the arrival of the 2016 Passat, two new exterior colors are available across the model lineup: Pure White and Reef Blue Metallic. Urano Gray is available exclusively with the 2016 Passat R-Line Package.
Designed and specifically tailored for the U.S. market, the Passat delivers plenty of space for five adults. Ingress and egress is effortless with large, wide-opening doors, and the large trunk can accommodate 15.9 cubic feet of luggage.
Inside the new 2016 Passat, the changes are immediately noticeable. A new dashboard and center console, along with integrated two-tone decor panels, are first to catch the eye. The top of the dashboard is structured with sharper contours and a sculpture line, acting to frame the elements underneath. The instrument cluster is similar to that of the current Golf, with two large dial faces and a display screen set between them. A new steering wheel design, similar to the one seen in the 2015 Golf and Golf SportWagen on the MQB platform, is now available in the 2016 Passat, while a new frameless rearview mirror is an understated touch of elegance. New chrome trim pieces—including the bezels around the air vents, upper door trim, cupholders, and shift lever—help add to the premium feel of the interior.
The seats are exceptionally comfortable: even in the base version, the driver’s seat adjusts eight ways, including lumbar, and eight-way power adjustable seats are available for R-Line models and up. Cloth trim is standard on the base S model and the R-Line, while the SE trim features Volkswagen’s perforated V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces as standard, now with contrast piping on Cornsilk Beige and Moonrock Grey interiors. SEL models receive Vienna leather seating surfaces. New to select 2016 Passat models is an Easy Open trunk, which allows the driver to use their feet to activate a sensor near the rear of the vehicle, opening the trunk hands-free. The driver’s key must be within three feet of the trunk to use the Easy Open feature.
The 2016 Passat features MIB II, the new generation of Volkswagen infotainment systems. With touchscreens as standard equipment on all models, MIB II is available with either a 5- or 6.3-inch display across three trim head units (Composition Color, Composition Media, and Discover Media), all offering an impressive range of features. On most models, the display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming, as opposed to resistive touchscreens that require pressure and have slightly longer response times. MIB II also features a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices are standard on all 2016 Passat models. Drivers who have two phones can connect them at the same time and are able to make and receive calls on each.
The MIB II system also serves as the foundation for Volkswagen’s available Car-Net®, one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry. Car-Net features include App-Connect technology which allows integration with three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®—allowing seamless integration for compatible smartphones.
With Car-Net Security & Service features, you can use your laptop or smartphone to locate your parked car, access a vehicle health report, make service appointments, load destination information before leaving the house (or get information while on the go), and much more. Security & Service also has Family Guardian capabilities: owners can set boundary or speed alerts for their VW models, and receive a text or email message if their set speed limit or approved area is exceeded. Automatic crash notification, manual emergency calling, and Roadside Assistance features are also included. For 2016 models, remote door locks are now accessible through the Car-Net Security & Service mobile app.
Car-Net Guide & Inform features include a 3-month trial of SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (available on SE models and above), with a 4-year trial of real-time traffic updates with Sirius XM Traffic. A 3-month trial of SiriusXM Travel Link, which provides weather, sports, news, ski resort and movie information, and gas prices, is available as well.
The built-in navigation system (standard on SE w/ Tech models and above) can learn your most frequent destinations so you can quickly choose a location rather than enter the same details over and over. A new destination interface predicts and auto-completes search requests as you enter a location.
At launch, the 2016 Passat lineup features two engine options: the 1.8-liter TSI® turbocharged four cylinder or a powerful 3.6-liter VR6®.
The 2016 Passat features an EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine that is made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine produces 170 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 rpm on regular gasoline. The EPA estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, an improvement of 2 mpg over the 2015 Passat 1.8T. This has been achieved through the use of aerodynamic underbody components that reduce the coefficient of drag from 0.293 to 0.285; an HVAC compressor that can be de-coupled; and a MOSFET rectifier in the alternator that reduces losses by 85 percent. Passat models equipped with the 1.8-liter engine are offered with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.6-liter VR6 makes the 2016 Passat a top-flight sport sedan. Producing an impressive 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm on premium fuel, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort with surprising fuel economy—EPA-estimated highway mileage is 28 mpg. New for 2016, the VR6 is now capable of running on regular gasoline. Shifting on the Passat VR6 is handled by a standard six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission which features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The Passat has been designed to feature the kind of dynamic handling and precise steering that drivers have come to expect of a Volkswagen. Its front suspension features damper struts with robust lower control arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. At the rear, there’s a sophisticated four-link independent layout with telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar.
The electro-mechanical power steering is weighted to provide a balance between precision at highway speeds and lower steering weight at parking speeds. Swinging into a tight parking spot is easy, thanks to the Passat’s 36.4-foot turning radius and just three turns from lock-to-lock.
With a combination of structural and technological advancements, the new 2016 Passat sets a high bar for midsize sedans in terms of safety. The car has been engineered to meet or exceed all existing safety standards, and additional structure was added in order to meet the strictures of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap test. Additional sheetmetal has been added to the sills, crash rail, and footwell, featuring high-strength steel for extra rigidity without adding weight.
Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, first launched on the 2015 Golf, comes standard on every Passat for 2016. The system builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this by applying the brakes after a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping to reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, reduce the chance of additional damage.
Every 2016 Passat model is equipped with a standard rearview camera, to aid drivers while in reverse. The camera image is projected on the touchscreen in the center stack and the new MIB II units allow the brightness of the camera image to be adjusted independently of the rest of the display.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can use the accelerator, brake pedal, or a steering wheel button to cancel or override the ACC function. All system messages appear in the central multifunction display.
When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is empty, the system maintains the driver’s set speed. ACC can match a vehicle’s speed in front down to 12 mph, as well as resume ACC control after the driver presses the “resume” button on the steering wheel when the speed is above 16 mph. ACC is standard on SE models and up.
Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) uses the same radar as ACC to help warn the driver of critical front-end collision situations, visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster and acoustically above 19 mph. If the driver fails to brake, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to slow the vehicle. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support). Front Assist is standard on SE models and up.
Blind Spot Monitor uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and help warn drivers of vehicles in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, or a vehicle is approaching in the adjacent lane, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors. Blind Spot Monitor is standard on SE w/ Technology models and up.
The Rear Traffic Alert system not only helps alert the driver to stationary and moving vehicles directly behind, but also helps to detect vehicles approaching from the side (above 3 mph) that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. It offers a sizable range of about 65 feet, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, before applying the brakes if a potential impending collision is detected. The system is activated by selecting reverse gear. Rear Traffic Alert with braking is standard on SE w/ Technology models and up.
If the vehicle does not detect steering wheel input for a defined period of time, the Lane Departure Warning system (Lane Assist) actively counter steers to keep the vehicle in the lane when above 40 mph and lane markings are visible. The system’s camera recognizes visible lane markings and, using a special algorithm, determines the vehicle position in the lane. If the vehicle crosses a lane marking without the driver using a turn signal, the system provides a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over. Lane Assist is standard on SEL Premium models, which are also equipped with the Active Blind Spot Monitor system with corrective steering. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change or if the front facing camera senses a lane change, the driver will not only be warned through the flashing LED symbol, but the car will also try to actively keep the car in its lane within the limits of Lane Assist.
Park Distance Control (Park Pilot) uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to five feet in front of or behind the vehicle. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged or below a speed of 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight situations. The system provides static and dynamic guidance lines in the camera screen when reversing to assist the driver in assessing distances for parallel and perpendicular parking. It also presents optical and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects from the front or rear, unless turned off. Park Pilot is standard on SEL Premium models.
The Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) automatically steers the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces in reverse. After pressing the Park Assist button—once for parallel and twice for perpendicular—the driver only needs to actively control the accelerator and brake and gear selection, as Park Assist automatically steers the vehicle into the parking space. The driver can override or deactivate the steering assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the system button. Below 25 mph, the system scans both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the road, for example in a one-way street, for any parking spaces as it drives past. By activating the turn signal, the driver stipulates which side of the road they wish to park on. Park Assist is standard on SEL Premium models.
Pricing starts at $22,440, with new features representing a $1,315 value compared to the 2015 Passat 1.8T S. The 1.8T S has a standard six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting. Key features include: 16-inch Carolina aluminum-alloy wheels; chrome package (window, bumper and door trim); Climatronic® dual-zone climate control; multifunction MQB steering wheel with audio and phone controls; automatic headlights with “coming home” function and Daytime Running Lights; MIB II Composition Color with 5-inch color display , CD player, aux-in, and Bluetooth®; front console USB port; six-speaker sound system; rearview camera; two-piece dashboard and door panel décor with laser etching details; cloth seating surfaces; lumbar for driver seat; 60/40 split rear seat; and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), LED taillights, and front foglights is available for $1,245.
Pricing starts at $23,975 and the 1.8T R-Line adds the following to the 1.8T S features: 19-inch Salvador aluminum-alloy wheels; R-Line bumpers, rear diffuser, air intakes, scuff plates, and dash decor; chromed oval exhaust tip; leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shifter, and brake handle. The R-Line Comfort Package, which adds V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, power driver seat, heatable front seats with seat-back map pockets, heatable exterior mirrors and heated washer nozzles, is available for $775. The R-Line Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED taillights is available for $1,095.
Starting at $26,280, the SE adds the following to the 1.8T S: 17-inch Knoxville aluminum-alloy wheels; tilt-and-slide power sunroof with sunshade; chrome exhaust tip; center console with rear air vents; leather-wrapped steering wheel; illuminated glovebox; heated exterior mirrors; heated washer nozzles; leatherette door and side trim; covered front and rear cupholders; sliding sunshades with illuminated vanity mirrors; leather-wrapped brake handle and gear shifter; dual rear reading lights; SiriusXM® Satellite Radio; second USB port in rear of center console; MIB II Composition Media with 6.3-inch color display, voice control, and VW Car-Net App-Connect and Security & Service features; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; power driver seat; heatable front seats; map pockets on front seat backs; and adjustable front armrest. The Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), LED taillights, and front foglights is available for $1,245. The new features and equipment in the 2016 Passat 1.8T SE represent a $1,575 value advantage over the 2015 model.
1.8T SE w/ Technology
Priced from $28,410, the SE w/Technology includes the 1.8T SE features, plus: foglights (including cornering light); Homelink® remote garage door opener; “Passat” scuff plates; KESSY® keyless entry with push-button start; Easy Open hands-free trunk; frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror; footwell lights; rain-sensing wipers; ambient front lighting; MIB II Discover Media with 6.3-inch color display, navigation and SD card; eight-speaker sound system; Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Traffic Alert with braking; heatable rear seats. The Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED taillights is available for $1,095.
Starting at $30,495, the SEL builds on the 1.8T SE w/ Technology features with: 18-inch Chattanooga aluminum-alloy wheels; stainless steel pedal cluster; Fender® Premium Audio system; Vienna leather seating surfaces; power front seats with power lumbar and memory settings for driver’s side; comfort-sport seats; rear seat pass through; and rear center armrest with storage. The Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED taillights is available for $1,095.
1.8T SEL Premium
With a starting price of $34,270, the 1.8T SEL Premium adds to the 1.8T SEL features with: standard LED headlights with LED DRLs and LED taillights; power folding side mirrors; remote start; color driver information display; carpeted floor mats; front door entry lights; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist) with active steering; Active Blind Spot Monitor; front and rear Park Distance Control (Park Pilot); and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist). The 1.8T SEL Premium adds an impressive $1,520 worth of features over the 2015 version.
V6 SEL Premium
This flagship model starts at $36,835 and adds to the 1.8T SEL Premium equipment: a 3.6L VR6 engine with six-speed DSG automatic transmission; dual trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips; Hill Hold Control; and paddle shifters.