by Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
It's not easy being a new sedan these days, but the 2020 Passat continues to be an outstanding alternative to low-slung sedans and costly mid-sized SUVs.
Sumptuous. Upgraded 18-inch five-spoke two-tone wheels, dual chrome rear exhausts (faux), leather interior with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, and an 8-way power adjustable drivers seat, all with a refined look. The horizontal dash yields some increased legroom, and the windshield and windows provide very good visibility. The Tourmaline Blue Metallic exterior paint got rave reviews from onlookers. (Light to dark blue to blue-green tourmaline is also known as Indicolite. Indicolite tourmalines exhibit a wide range of vivid blue and blue-green shades. Its typical color is a deep almost neon blue-green).
In the heated rear seats you find a drop down console, A/C vents, reading lights and two USBs. The passengers felt quite comfortable, although literally everyone I drove had their heads buried in their phones.
Spacious. The cavernous trunk is wide and deep and can easily swallow up suitcases and bags. That said, the interior somehow still gives great headroom and legroom for passengers.
Power. The Passat trims all use a 2.0L Turbo engine to create 174-horsepower and 206 lb.-ft of torque. The mpg is 27 combined (something to work on for next year) but unlike most turbo 4's this one does not require premium fuel. The 6-speed automatic transmission has a Sport mode for smooth quick moves. Steering is so enjoyable that you will feel good about making extra spontaneous trips. The suspension flattened curves, and the breaks can be feathered for jerkless stops.
Safety. The Passat was top rated in crash tests, and is equipped with Forward Collision Warning, automatic emergency braking, Blind Spot Monitoring, and rear cross-traffic warning. The automatic post-collision braking systemwill bring the car to a stop just as soon as possible following a collision limiting the effects of secondary impacts. There is also my favorite highway system: adaptive cruise control with multiple distance maintenance settings. There are also parking assist sensors and adaptive headlights that can help you see around a corner.
Passat ices its cake with competitive purchase and lease deals, and get this, includes the first two maintenance visits for free in addition to a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that covers the entire car. Bravo.