Photo of 2016 Passat courtesy of Volkswagen.

Photo of 2016 Passat courtesy of Volkswagen. 

Volkswagen is giving its 2016 Passat mid-size sedan a mid-cycle update that includes a new sportier trim level, upgraded technology and driver assistance systems, and other design updates.

Volkswagen will offer a sportier R-Line trim model with unique rocker panels, a stylized front bumper with contrasting black accents, a modified rear diffuser and 19-inch anthracite Salvador aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/40 ZR-rated tires.

Volkswagen's second-generation infotainment system (MIB II) arrives across the lineup paired with touchscreens, as well as USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Rear-view cameras also come standard, two years ahead of a federal mandate for the 2018 model year.

Volkswagen is also offering the automatic post-collision braking system that applies the brakes after a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors to help reduce damage.

Options on select trim levels include 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 steering assistant.

The 2016 Passat offers a keyless feature that opens the trunk when someone moves a foot near the rear of the vehicle.

The 2016 Passat is available in three powertrains, including the 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI four cylinder; 2.0-liter TDI; and the 3.6-liter VR6 engine, which makes 280 hp. The 2016 Passat 1.8T offers an EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 38 mpg with the automatic transmission, according to Volkswagen.

Pricing for the 2016 1.8T S model starts at $22,440, which mirrors the 2015 model-year vehicle cost when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Full pricing for Passat models will be available later this year, according to Volkswagen.

The Passat is Volkswagen's top fleet seller. In 2013, fleets registered 4,126 Passat sedans, including diesel-powered models.