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Volkswagen has outlined its 2021 Passat range, with a new engine and new technology to headline the sedan and wagon family.
Like most 2021 VW models, the entire Passat family will welcome new technology, including Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (on cars with Navigation), and new USB-C ports.
On the safety front, all Passat models will get 'Front Assist', which delivers both low (City EB) and high-speed AEB which is said to work at a "minimum of 150km/h."
Perhaps the biggest news, though, is the introduction of a new 162TSI engine that will be introduced to the Passat along with the return of the 2016 TSI R-Line, with punchy 2.0-litre turbo petrol-powered outputs that near-match those of the Golf R.
The Passat will be offered in Sedan, Wagon and Alltrack guise, with the range commencing with the $46,590 (all prices MSRP) 140TSI Business Sedan.
That money buys you LED headlights, tail lights and fog lights, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, with a full-size spare, no less. Inside, you’ll find an 8.0-inch media screen with navigation - and thus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - as well leather-appointed seats that are heated in the front, as well as offer a massage function for the driver, and three-zone climate control.
Safety is covered off by VW’s IQ Drive suite of active safety systems, including the aforementioned Front Assist, as well as Lane Assist with adaptive guidance, adaptive cruise, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and Park Assist.
The range then steps up to the 162TSI Elegance, available as a Sedan ($51,790) or a Wagon ($53,790), or with the R-Line style package for an extra $3k.
That model adds a new design for the 18-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, an electric boot that opens by itself (in the Sedan) and also closes in the Wagon, as well as VW’s IQ. Light matrix LED headlights and dynamic rear indicators. Inside, there’s ambient interior lighting, a bigger 9.2-inch central screen that pairs with VW’s Digital Cockpit instrument cluster, Nappa leather on the seats - now also ventilated in the front - and and a Harman Kardon stereo, while the safety kit adds a 360-degree camera.
Next up is the 206TSI R-Line Wagon, yours for $63,790. That model gets a performance-themed makeover, with that punchy engine, 19-inch alloys, a roof spoiler, R-Line bumpers front and rear, new scuff plates and a tinted rear windows. Inside, there’s R-Line-branded Nappa leather seats, a sportier cabin design theme with brushed silver inserts, stainless steel pedals and a sportier steering wheel and shift paddles.
VW’s two Passat Alltrack variants stand slightly apart from the rest of the range, and that story begins with the $46,990 162TSI, which largely mirrors the 140TSI Business specification (save the engine, obviously), including the IQ Drive safety suite, but adds 4MOTION with Adaptive Chassis Control, and an electronically controlled tailgate.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Alltrack Premium - $58,790 - which adds 19-inch alloys wheels, a panoramic sunroof, the brand's signature Matrix LED headlights from the larger Touareg, and LED tail lights with dynamic indicators. Inside, there’s ambient interior lighting, the bigger 9.2-inch screen and Digital Cockpit, the better Harman Kardon stereo and Vienna leather trim with seats that are both heated and ventilated up front, as well as the 360-degree safety camera.
The Passat range is expected to hit dealers in April, with only the 206TSI R-Line to arrive later in Q2 next year.
In responding to the recent news that the Passat and Arteon would be axed in North America, the brand's representatives said the news didn't affect local plans, and the facelifted cars outlined here would continue through to at least the end of 2022. What happens after that (and potentially a new-generation car is due) the brand’s local managing director, Michael Bartsch said he "honestly didn't know."