VW rolls out 2016 Passat
New York — Volkswagen AG unveiled its 2016 Passat sedan Monday.
At a Brooklyn event featuring singer Lenny Kravitz, the German automaker introduced the new midsize car built in Chattanooga, Tenn., despite a mounting crisis over rigged emissions tests on diesel vehicles.
The remade American-made Passat comes as consumers have been shifting away from cars toward more crossovers and SUVs, and as VW continues to struggle in the U.S. market. Passat sales fell 12 percent last year to 96,649 but still accounted for about a quarter of the VW brand’s U.S. sales. Passat is down another 16 percent this year through August.
The new vehicle has an updated front and rear design, new interior with advanced instrument panel and energy-efficient LED headlights. It will also have a diesel version, but VW is barred by the Environmental Protection Agency from selling it until it demonstrates compliance with pollution emission standards.
“In short, the only sheetmetal that remains unchanged is the roof, the doors, and the body side stamping,” VW said in a statement Tuesday.
VW will for the first offer a souped up version, the R-Line. “This sporty model features unique rocker panels, a stylized front bumper with contrasting black accents, a modified rear diffuser, and 19” anthracite Salvador aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 ZR rated tires,” VW said.
Depending on trim level, Passat models come equipped with the following advanced driver assistance systems: adaptive cruise control; forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking; blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert; lane departure warning, which actively steers the car back into its lane; and parking assist. Rearview cameras are standard on all 2016 Passats.
The 2016 Passat will be sold in three U.S. powertrains — the 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI four-cylinder; 2.0-liter TDI; and the 3.6-liter VR6 engine, which has 280 horsepower, one of the highest outputs in the midsize sedan class. The 2016 Passat 1.8T has an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 38 mpg with the automatic transmission.
Full pricing for the new 2016 Passat will be available closer to launch later this year, but the 1.8T S model starts at $22,440, which is the same price as the previous base model when equipped with a six-speed automatic.