After a 2019 model year with just two trim levels, the refreshed 2020 Volkswagen Passat brings back a full range of choices, including a base S model that will start at $23,915, including a $920 destination charge — less than a comparable Passat S in 2018.
Along with the mildly refreshed styling, interior and technology, the 2020 base model adds essential standard safety features including forward collision warning with automatic braking, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. Those were in a $495 option package for 2018, and a comparable 2018 Passat S with those features started at $24,385 with destination. One thing the 2020 does not have, however, is the six-year warranty VW gave 2018 and 2019 models; for 2020, the warranty is cut to four years but adds two years of free scheduled maintenance.
The 2020 again will offer S, SE, R-Line and SEL trim levels, and also an entry price that is substantially less than the 2019 Passat, which offered just a Wolfsburg value edition with added features starting at $26,190, and an SE R-Line that started at $30,890 (all prices include destination).
Not returning for 2020 is the V-6 engine option last seen on the 2018 Passat GT trim level. All trim levels will use a the 174-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. The powertrain has been retuned for 206 pounds-feet of torque, however, up from 184 for 2019.
Moving up the trim levels, the 2020 SE will start at $26,765 (including the $920 destination fee) and adds a number of features including keyless access, imitation leather seats, power driver’s seat, heated front seats, more USB ports and dual-zone climate control, plus adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. A moonroof is a $995 option.
The R-Line will start at $29,565 and adds mostly sportier exterior and interior trim, 19-inch wheels and a standard moonroof, plus some convenience items.
The top-of-the-line SEL will start at $32,015 and adds leather seating, upgraded media and audio systems, and more convenience features, including a parking assist system.
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The 2020 Passat is freshened while keeping pricing competitive to take on recently fully redesigned mid-size sedans including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy. But it retains many of the assets, such as space and comfort, that helped it finish on top against eight challengers in Cars.com’s 2016 Mid-Size Sedan Challenge.
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