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2021 Volkswagen Passat Preview : Expected Prices, Release Date, MPG, and Performance.

Bhavik Sreenath's image
Bhavik Sreenath

Automotive Journalist

August 14, 2020 at 09:37 AM

The 2021 Volkswagen Passat is the German automaker’s popular midsize family sedan, and over the years, it has become a benchmark for practicality, efficiency, and quality. While it might be running in its fourth-generation since 2012, it received several upgrades in 2020 which would also be followed in its upcoming model year. However, the 2021 Passat does get a simplified trim and some feature upgrades.

The perfectly crafted Volkswagen Passat is the combination of elegance and divinity and is engraved in the souls of the customers since 1972. Last updated in 2020, the current 2020 Volkswagen Passat is still in its fourth-gen launched back in 2012. However, the recent upgrades are strong enough to keep it fresh and strong in its segment. The upcoming 2021 Volkswagen Passat sedan is expected to hit the markets by the end of 2020, without significant changes from the previous model. 

With a base price of less than $25K and mostly the same as its predecessor, the 2021 Passat will get some minor cosmetic tweaks to ensure a larger pie of its segment. A classy stance, upscale interiors, comfortable ride quality, and plenty of advanced features would still form the essence of the Premium Volkswagen Sedan though. Having said that, we dig a bit deeper here at the 2021 Volkswagen Passat.

What's new?

  • No more SEL trim
  • Updated tech and feature suite
  • Sunroof and 18-inch wheels now standard

Expected release dates and price

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 Volkswagen Passat is expected to hit the stores somewhere around late 2020. However, since there are no great additions that follow, prices should be identical to that of its current 2020 model. Expect the 2021 Volkswagen Passat to start around a familiar tag of $23,000.

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Volkswagen Passat? 

The 2021 Volkswagen Passat is expected to continue with the existing engine of 2.0L turbo with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is good enough for 174 hp and a torque of 206 lb-ft. Volkswagen hasn't announced the official details about the 2021 Passat yet, and there is a vague buzz that the 2021 model will not have extra add-ons in the engine department. 

The 2.0-liter turbo pot sends power to the front wheels and the Passat feels adequately powered for daily duties. The engine feels refined, smooth, and is more tuned for relaxed driving. However, the 6-speed transmission is not as smooth as something in a Toyota Camry and feels a bit disrupted in the lower rpm range. 

Models

2021 Volkswagen Passat (expected)

2020 Toyota Camry 

2020 Chevy Malibu 

2020 Honda Accord 

Base MSRP

$23,000

$24,295

$22,090

$23,720

Engine 

2.0L Inline 4 turbo 

2.5L Inline 4

1.5L turbo inline4

1.5L Inline 4

Transmission 

6-speed automatic 

8-speed automatic 

CVT

CVT

Power (hp@rpm)

174 @ 5200

203 @ 6600

160 @ 5700

192 @ 5500

Torque (lb-ft@rpm)

206 @ 1700

184 @ 5000

184 @ 2500

192 @ 1600

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.4

7.6

8.5

7.3

Quarter-mile (sec)

16.4

15.7

16.0

15.5

*2020 figures used for reference

The sedans mentioned above differ in every aspect and have different power and torque. Toyota Camry delivers the highest power, and Volkswagen Passat delivers the highest torque. Talk about performance and you must know that this segment is not the very right place to look for it. Talking numbers, a 2020 Volkswagen Passat does 0-60 mile in 8.4 seconds which is not very surprising for its class. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord though turn out to be the swiftest among the lot with the Accord taking the lead with its 7.3 seconds 0-60 run.

How will the 2021 Volkswagen Passat handle?

Built on the latest iteration of VW groups tried and tested the MQB platform that also underpins cars like the Audi A3 and VW Tiguan. The 2021 version of the Volkswagen Passat will be powered by the punchy yet frugal 2.0L turbocharged TSI motor. It will also receive an updated suspension setup, which should offer an ideal balance of sportiness and comfort. On the move, the Passat does unravel its sporty intent but is more on the relaxed and comfortable side. The ride is very compliant and the balanced suspension soaks up bumps pretty well. 

Calm and composed on the move, a 2020 Passat also keeps road noise peeping inside the cabin under check. Even the body movement around corners is fairly low for a car this size. The steering wheel might not be very talkative and is on the lighter side but is very precise in its business. Maneuvering the Passat on highway passings or flicking around tight streets shouldn’t be a gruesome task. Since the 2021 Volkswagen is not likely to get any update in its componentry, it's on-road behavior should be identical to its current 2020 model. 

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Volkswagen Passat deliver?

Efficiency is something that you would certainly look around for in the segment and the Passat doesn't disappoint at all. A 2020 Volkswagen Passat offers an acceptable fuel economy of 23/34/27 for city/highway/combined, respectively. It also has a respectable fuel tank capacity of 18.5 gallons, which is the best amidst the notable rivals. 2021 Passat will have similar fuel efficiency figures and driving range as it remains mechanically unchanged.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Passat (expected)

2020 Toyota Camry 

2020 Chevy Malibu 

2020 Honda Accord 

MPG city

23

29

29

30

MPG highway

34

41

36

38

MPG combined

27

34

32

33

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

18.5

14.5

15.8

14.8

Range (city/highway in miles)

425.5/629

421/595

458/569

444/562

*2020 figures used for reference

Although the MPG figures of the Volkswagen Passat are not as good as others in the line-up. It does have the biggest fuel tank to compensate for that for sure. It can contain fuel of 18.5 gallons, which is the best among the lot here. However, in terms of efficiency, the Toyota Camry delivers the maximum combined MPG of 34. It is followed by the Honda Accord with a combined MPG of 33.

What to expect from the 2021 Volkswagen Passat’s interior?

On the inside of a 2020 Volkswagen Passat, you are greeted by an ambiance that very well resonates with its exterior stature. Clean, classy, premium, and comfortable. The spacious cabin, simplistic dashboard design and soft-touch plastic surfaces speak for themselves. The available two-tone interiors further elevate the sense of sumptuousness inside. For 2021 though, the Passat gets sunroof as standard on all trims for better airiness inside the cabin.

While the lower trims get cloth upholstery, the leather surfaces in the higher trims do feel soft and smooth to the touch. Not as good as the one in a Honda Accord though. You can also grab power-adjustable front seats with heated functionality. Speaking of the seats, they are nicely bolstered with good padding for optimal support of long distances. Even the rear seats have a very comfortable recline angle to make things a bit easier for rear occupants.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Passat (expected)

2020 Toyota Camry 

2020 Chevy Malibu 

2020 Honda Accord 

Seating capacity 

5

5

5

5

Front row (headroom/shoulder room /legroom, in inches)

38.3/56.9/42.4

38.3/57.7/42.1

40.1/58.5/45.3

39.5/58.3/42.3

Rear row (headroom /shoulder room/legroom, in inches) 

37.8/57.0/39.1

38.0/55.7/38.0

37.557.1/38.1

37.3/56.5/40.4

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

15.9

15.1

15.8

16.7

*2020 figures used for reference 

Not as spacious as the Chevy Malibu or Toyota Camry at the front and rear respectively, the Passat offers ample passenger room at both the rows. Taller occupants would not have many complaints stretching themselves in either row of the Passat. Even in terms of cargo capacity, the Passat does offer a handsome 15.9 cu ft of storage area at its back. The trunk is surely not as large as an Accord but is certainly above its class average. 

Does it come loaded with tech inside? 

Apart from concentrating on the interior and fuel economy features, Volkswagen Passat hasn't forgotten to give its attention to the infotainment department. However, according to the current market standards, the infotainment system in the current Passat does feel left behind. Courtesy of its small 6.3-inch touchscreen display. 

Though the system is minimalistic with clutter-free responses and easy-to-use, it is the smallest display in its segment. No dearth of connectivity features though and you do get an 8-speaker sound system, Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Not yet sure but we will be very thankful to Volkswagen if they update the 2021 Passat with a bigger infotainment screen when it finally arrives at dealerships.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Volkswagen Passat?

Since the Passat has had recent exterior updates in its 2020 model, it is very unlikely to bear any design changes. However, the present 2020 Volkswagen Passat does look quite fresh and appealing to the eyes. This is even though it is still in its fourth-gen launch back in 2012. 

While the overall form and shape remained the same, the 2020 updates made some styling changes to the Passat. Highlights include a larger chrome grille, redesigned headlamps, and tail lamps along with revised bumpers. The distinctively European silhouette which speaks premium-ness though remains the same. For its 2021 model though, the Passat would flaunt new 18-inch standard rims adding to its strong road appeal.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Passat (expected)

2020 Toyota Camry 

2020 Chevy Malibu 

2020 Honda Accord 

Curb weight (lbs) 

3325

3241

3126

3131

Length (inches) 

193.6

192.1

193.8

192.2

Width (inches)

72.2

72.4

73

73.3

Height (inches)

58

56.9

57.6

57.1

Ground clearance (inches)

5.4

5.7

-

5.7

Wheelbase (inches)

110.4

111.2

111.4

111.4

Track width front and rear (inches)

62.1/ 61

63 / 63.2

62.6 / 62.5

63/ 63.4

*2020 figures used for reference

In terms of design and physical aesthetics, each of the rivals here is very distinctive. While the Camry and Accord follow the “slopy” roadway, the Passat and Malibu beautiful hold on to their traditional definitions of a sedan. The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is longer than the Accord and Camry and is also the heaviest among the lot. While its extra length does not translate into a generous cabin, it does accentuate its “classy” road presence. However, despite a modern approach, we feel that the Toyota Camry leads the pack in terms of solid premium styling beautifully maintaining its traditionally at the same time. Interior styling is a matter of subjectivity for sure.

Will the 2021 Volkswagen Passat be worth my money and time? 

Sure. Volkswagen Passat is the right choice when it comes to selecting the best budget-friendly and performing sedans. Starting with a base price of 22995 dollars, it is undoubtedly a worthy one. It beats the notable rivals in the line up in terms of the fuel tank capacity, which provides a reasonable fuel economy with a base price of less than $25K. But the only problem is that there are better ones in the rivals line like the Honda Accord, which provides more features and performance at almost the same price. But the 2021 Volkswagen Passat is sure worth the wait if you aspire for a budget and traditional European sedan.

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