2020 Volkswagen Passat

#16
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$22,995 - $31,095
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7.2

Overall Rating

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2020 Volkswagen Passat Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: February 20, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

The midsize-sedan segment is dominated by such competitive players as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. However, if you desire a more understated means of transportation, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat is worth a look. It exudes understated German charm, has an expansive rear seat and comes with a starting price of $22,995.

While the interior trims are well fitted, the material quality is compromised against rivals. Also, Japanese rivals have better resale value and reliability history. Still, Volkswagen has tried to address the reliability concern by upgrading the warranty to an impressive 6-years and 72,000 miles.

See detailed review »

Pros

N/A

Impressive styling

Great cabin space

Comfortable ride

Cons

N/A

Not so inspiring interior

What's New?

N/A

Restyled exterior and interior

Resculpted interior


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22995

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

174 hp

torque

206 lbs.-ft.

transmission

6 speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

193.6 in.

capacity

cargo volume

15.9 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

23/27/34 mpg


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

 2020 Volkswagen Passat in Deep Black Pearl color  2020 Volkswagen Passat in Fortana Red Metallic color  2020 Volkswagen Passat in Platinum Gray Metallic color  2020 Volkswagen Passat in Pure White color  2020 Volkswagen Passat in Terra Brown Metallic color
Deep Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

8.0

Safety

6.5

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Volkswagen Passat S

S

power
174 hp @ 5,200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$22,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $22,995 MSRP (23/27/34) 174 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 2L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Volkswagen Passat SE

SE

power
174 hp @ 5,200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$25,845


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $25,845 MSRP (23/27/34) 174 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 2L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

R-Line

power
174 hp @ 5,200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$28,645


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
R-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $28,645 MSRP (23/27/34) 174 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 2L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL

SEL

power
174 hp @ 5,200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$31,095


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $31,095 MSRP (23/27/34) 174 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 2L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


The 2020 Volkswagen Passat now gets a larger 2.0L engine and a longer 6-year warranty too. Is this enough to give it a chance against more accomplished rivals like the 2020 Honda Accord and 2020 Toyota Camry? We don't think so. It does have an understated charm though. Now with a refreshed new face, upgraded interior, and technology upgrades finishing off with coupe-style roofline. 

Playing its car in the large sedan segment, VW showcased the new 2020 Passat that as been on the stands for quite a while now. Although, the Passat is not going strong in recent years, there are high expectations from the 2020 version. The 2020 Passat features a 2L Inline-4 engine that generates 174 hp and 206 lb.-ft. Of torque. Along with these, a large number of styling updates took place inside-out for 2020. 

With a starting price of $22,995, making it directly competing with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. let's find out which of these are a better pick.

 


8.0/10
Features

 
 

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 

6.5/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Features

8.0/10

The 2020  Volkswagen Passat has a starting price of $22,995 and it goes all the way to $34,650 for the range-topping Passat SEL Premium trim. It is offered in 4 trims namely: S, SE, R-Line, and SEL. You have a standard engine to choose which is a 2.0L TSI I4 capable of producing 174 hp and 206 lb.-ft. Of torque. However, it only has front-wheel drive and there is no hybrid powertrain option either.

Trim

S

SE

R-Line

SEL

MSRP

$22,995

$25,845

$28,645

$31,095

Key features

LED Headlights

Adds to S Features:

Adds to SE Features:

Adds to R Line Features:

 

Blind Spot monitor

Adaptive cruise control

19-inch alloy wheels

Leather seats

 

Front assist

Dual-Zone climate control

Power tilting/sliding sunroof

Fender premium audio system

 

App-Connect

Remote start

R-Line front bumper and badging

Park distance control

We recommend

We think the Passat SE equipped with the SE technology package delivers the best value for your money. The feature list includes a power-adjustable driver seat, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless ignition, and heated seats among others.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Engine and Performance

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat now comes with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as standard across all trims instead of the more powerful 3.6L in the higher trims. This engine now produces the same 174 hp which kicks in at 5000 rpm and with a little bump in torque figures, this engine now produces 206 lb.-ft. Of torque with the peak torque kicking in at 4250 rpm. This engine has a smooth throttle response despite being turbocharged. 

 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan has 2.0L i4 Intercooled Turbo Engine

Handling the transmission duties is a 6-speed automatic transmission in the 2020 Passat. The gearbox works smoothly but stumbles a bit on lower rpm digits.

Models

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

MSRP

$22,995

$24,295

$22,090

$23,720

Engine

2.0L i4 Intercooled Turbo

2.5-liter I-4

1.5L I-4 Turbocharged

1.5L Inline-4

Transmission

6 Speed automatic

8-speed automatic

CVT

CVT

Horsepower

174 hp @ 5000 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

163hp @ 5700 rpm

192hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque

206 lb.-ft. @ 4250 rpm

184 lb.ft. @ 4700 rpm

184 lb.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

192 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

featuring the biggest engine, the Toyota Camry manages to put out the highest output figures as well. followed by the Honda Accord, raking in the second spot with 192 hp, then followed by the Passat, and finally in the last place comes the Malibu.

Acceleration

The 2.0L Passat can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. Featuring the highest in the segment torque figures kicking at 4250 rpm, which makes it the fastest sprinting ride. The Volkswagen Passat’s off-the-line capabilities are impeccable when seen with the segment standards. Moreover, after continuing the run, the Volkswagen Passat hits the quarter-mile distance mark within 14.3 seconds, at a speed of 98 mph.

 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan accelerate 0-60 sprint in just 5.7 seconds

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

0-60 MPH

5.7 seconds

5.8 seconds

8.5 seconds

7.6 seconds

Quarter Mile

14.3 seconds

14.3 seconds

16.0 seconds

15.9 seconds

Engine

2.0L I4

2.5L I4

1.5L I4

1.5L I4

Braking 

The Passat gets 12.3-inch brake rotors up front and 10.7-inch brake rotors at the back. Some reviewers noted that the brake pedal does not offer the desired linear and firm feel. In a panic braking situation, the Passat takes 127 feet to stop from 60 mph. That’s not bad but all the competitors here perform better.

 2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan has Front Brake of 12.3in and Rear Brake 10.7in

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Brake front

(in.)

12.3

12

11.8

11.5

Brake Rear

(in.)

10.7

11.1

11.3

11.1

Curb Weight

(lbs.)

3325

3241

3159

3131

60-0 MPH (ft.)

127

123

109

124

Even though the Passat features the biggest front brakes, it still loses to its competitors in terms of braking distance. As the Chevrolet Mailbu showcases the best in class stopping distance of 109ft. followed by Toyota Camry and Honda Accord with a minimal difference.

Ride and Handling 

The Passat gets fully independent front and rear suspension as is the norm with modern mid-size sedans. Suspension tuning prioritizes ride comfort over excitement and the Passat easily filters road imperfections and expansion joints. However, the quick and precise steering also makes handling the Passat down a curvy road a pleasant encounter.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Rear View

The front-wheel drivetrain allows the Passat to behave very well in terms of throttle response. The chassis of the 2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan is sturdy and thus enables the car to have ample stability even when cruising at high speeds on the highways

2020 Volkswagen Passat Fuel Economy

6.5/10

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat with the standard 2.0L TSI engine gets a higher EPA mpg rating. It delivers 25 mpg in city and 36 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 29 mpg. Also, the Passat gets the biggest fuel-tank in the class.

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

MPG (city)

25

29

29

30

MPG (highway)

36

41

36

38

MPG (combined)

29

34

32

33

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

18.5

14.5

15.8

14.8

While it’s sufficiently frugal, the competitors like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry post considerably better figures despite being more powerful. The more powerful and more expensive 3.6L V6 is also considerably thirstier with EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Interior

8.0/10

The Passat rear-seat legroom is second only to the immensely roomy rear seats of the Honda Accord. While three people in the rear seat will be slightly tight, two passengers will be happy at the rear even after a long transcontinental trip. Upfront, standard power-adjustable driver seat makes finding perfect driving position easy and outside visibility is good too. 

The base Passat S gets fabric interior but the higher trims upgrade to the synthetic leather interior. If you desire real leather, upgrade to the Passat SEL premium package. While the interior has well-fitted trim pieces, there is an overabundance of hard plastic. Rivals like the Accord and Camry are considerably more upscale.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Seating Layout

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.3/56.9/42.4

38.3/57.7/42.1

40.1/58.5/45.3

39.5/58.3/42.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

37.8/57.0/39.1

38.0/55.7/38.0

37.5/57.1/38.1

37.3/56.5/40.4

The 2020 Passat offers synthetic leather upholstery interiors that provide the cabin a decently plush and positive vibe. The seats are highly supportive and offer a number of adjustment options as well.

Infotainment

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat gets a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the base Passat S – only. All other trims get the larger 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. A Fender premium audio system is also available in the Passat SEL premium.

Some of the main infotainment features of the 2020 Volkswagen Passat are:

  • App-Connect
  • Bluetooth technology with audio streaming for compatible devices
  • Rear View Camera System
  • Front USB data port
  • Proximity sensor, MP3/WMA/FLAC-compatible CD player, AM/FM/HD Radio, and SD memory card reader
  • SiriusXM All Access with a 3-month trial subscription
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
2020  Volkswagen Passat Sedan has 6.3-inch touchscreen panel

Interior Features

The Passat is a top-level offering from the brand and focusing on a luxurious and comfortable ride. There are a number of creatures comfort available such as:

  • Power cargo access remote release
  • Keyfob trunk/hatch/door release
  • Driver and passenger-side visor mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry
  • 1-touch down
  • Rear cupholders
  • Retained accessory power
  • Day-night rearview mirror
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Valet function
  • Cruise control with steering wheel controls

Cargo Capacity

With 15.9 cubic feet of luggage capacity, the Passat trunk can pack enough for a weekend getaway. The wide opening makes loading easier and the rear seats can be folded for added flexibility. However, rear seats do not fold as flat as some of the rivals. If you wish to carry a large number of bags, folding the rear seats might help you a lot as then you can fit almost 16 carry-on sized suitcases, which is a great number for any sedan.

 

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

15.9

14.1

15.8

16.7

 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Exterior

The Volkswagen Passat is one of the most distinctive-looking midsize sedans in the market. While its rivals exhibit busy styling details, the Passat has a very conservative design with oodles of German presence. The LED lights on higher trims give this Passat an Audi like glare from a distance. Except for the base Passat S, all trims can be equipped with LED lights.

 

2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Side View

Model

Volkswagen Passat

Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3325

3241

3126

3131

Length (in.)

193.6

192.1

193.8

192.2

Width (in.)

72.2

72.4

73

73.3

Height (in.)

58.0

56.9

57.6

57.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.4

5.7

N/A

5.7

Wheelbase (in.)

110.4

111.2

111.4

111.4

The Passat comes out to be the heaviest car of the lot. While all the rivals showcase similar length figures. even though Passat has the shortest wheelbase of them all. 

Exterior Features

Carrying the big-sedan profile factor, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat is a handsome looking car. Listed below are some of the most talked-about features you would notice on the exterior are:

  • Chrome rear bumper insert
  • Chrome grille
  • Body-colored door handles
  • Turn signal indicator mirrors
  • Fully galvanized steel body material
  • Power heated door mirrors
  • Power remote heated manual folding side-view door mirrors with turn signal indicator

2020 Volkswagen Passat Safety

6.5/10

For assuring the safety of passengers and avoiding accidents, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat Sedan integrates numerous safety features in it. Some of the most prominent safety features of Passat include a 3-point safety belt at rear center, child safety locks at rear doors, engine immobilizer, dusk sensing headlamps, traction control system, tire pressure monitoring, 4-wheel ABS, automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning.

The safety features of the 2020 Passat are effective and this is backed by the impressive ratings scored by the sedan in both the IIHS and NHTSA safety tests. In the IIHS safety test, the Passat has scored good rating in most of the individual parameters. Similarly, the NHTSA has approved the safety of 2020 Volkswagen Passat with an overall safety rating of 5-star.

Other Safety features available in the 2020 Passat are:

  • Remote activated perimeter/approach lights
  • Manual adjustable front head restraints
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Side-impact bars
  • Electronic stability
  • Front Assist w/Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Four-wheel ABS brakes
  • Traction control
  • Daytime running lights
  • Panic alarm
  • Brake assist
  • 6 airbags

2020 Volkswagen Passat Competition

Volkswagen Passat vs. Toyota Camry

The all-new 2020 Toyota Camry has daring styling never seen on its predecessors. However, inside its still that safe, roomy and cushy family hauler, millions of Americans have trusted. The Passat has a roomier back seat and slightly better handling but the Camry is better on all other grounds. The 2020 Toyota Camry features a 2.5L Inline-4 engine which is a bigger engine compared to Passat's 2.0L inline 4 engine. 

2020 Toyota Camry

Volkswagen Passat vs. Honda Accord

The new 10th generation Accord is one of the most acclaimed mid-size cars around combining exceptionally well-built feature-loaded interior, tremendously roomy rear seats, intuitive but modern infotainment and a capable chassis motivated by a strong but frugal engine. The 1.5L Inline 4 engine putting out 192hp and 192lb.ft. of torque, has the ability to put up combined mpg figures of 33.

2020 Honda Accord

Add the availability of manual transmission for enthusiasts and hybrid for environmentalists to the list and you get an unbeatable package. The Passat is actually compromised against the Accord. But, if you don’t need all Accord has to offer and fall for the subtle German flair of the Passat, get the Passat.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Final Verdict

The Volkswagen Passat is no doubt overwhelmed by the presence of competitors like the new Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Passat interior is not as upscale as these rivals and it gets fewer features too. Those looking for a comprehensively modern car will find the Passat unappealing.

However, Passat is not bad and has extremely spacious seats, a pliant ride, capacious boot, impressive powertrain and comes with plenty of features too. It’s just not as competitive as the rivals. So who should buy the Passat? Probably those who can happily ignore its minor shortcomings and are attracted to its understated German charm.