Volkswagen was founded to produce some of the most economical cars in the world. In fact, the company often joked about its lack of luxury in its advertising back in the 1960s. Today Volkswagen offers a very advanced set of features, but still delivers a great value on an economical family car.
The 2020 VW Passat is a perfect example. Volkswagen stripped the old Passat down to the chassis and engine and built a whole new car for this model year. The bodywork and interior are all fresh and attractive, but VW also put a tremendous amount of performance and safety technology into the new Passat, and made it roomy and comfortable.
The Passat comes with just one drivetrain option, but it's a good one. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 174 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. That's less than many other two-liter turbo engines, but it means the VW is not stressed in any way, and should last a long time. Paired with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive, the Passat offers strong acceleration and comfortable cruising.
Inside, the Passat is spacious and comfortable. The driver and front passenger seats are supportive and firm without being hard. The rear seat offers plenty of room for adults, and is similarly comfortable. The interior design is basic, no-nonsense, and functional. If you buy the most basic Passat S at $22,995, you'll get a 6.3-inch touchscreen and cloth seats inside, along with LED headlights and blind spot monitoring outside. If you want a great-looking affordable sedan, that's a good choice.
Moving up the trim walk gets you many more features. The SE package at $25,845 adds adaptive cruise control and remote start. The sporty R-Line that we tested gets 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and heated leatherette seats. The top SEL trim sells for $31,095 and includes leather seats, a Fender premium audio system, and parking distance control. Even if you add a whole bunch of accessories, you can drive the absolute top Passat for about $33,000. But you don't have to spend nearly that much to get a well-equipped Passat. The R-Line we tested had all the important features for a year-round car in Portland.
On the road, the 2020 Passat is well-mannered. The ride is tight and the steering is precise. There's plenty of power under your foot and you'll feel confident on the road. Visibility in all directions is excellent. The bottom line on the 2020 VW Passat is simple: this is a great value on a comfortable well-equipped sedan. Whether you need a car for family use or commuting, the Passat is a solid choice.
2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T R-Line
Base price: $28,645
Price as tested: $29,960
Type: Midsize sedan
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (174 hp, 206 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 23/34
Overall length: 192 inches
Curb weight: 3,325 pounds
Final assembly: Chattanooga, Tennessee
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