Volkswagen's 2016-MY Passat arrives with a passel of updates that may remind you of that dependable relative that shows up for the holidays with an attractive makeover.
The Passat, Volkswagen's top fleet seller, enters the 2016-MY with plenty of new safety and connectivity features, sportier styling, and LED lighting that annihilates dark corners around a driveway. The heavy update adds to the existing generation that began when the 2012-MY Passat replaced the B6 Passat sedan and wagon.
The external styling updates may seem subtle — a more muscular hood, added chrome to the grille, and a more angular taillight — but the cumulative effect makes for a sportier vehicle.
The Passat again delivers a smooth ride that's a match for rough patches of roadway, and the vehicle's electro-mechanical steering provides a responsive feel. Volkswagen has even redesigned the wheel with a flat bottom that aids quicker turning.
The 2016 Passat is powered by a turbocharged 1.8L TSI four-cylinder engine that delivers 170 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy comes in at an EPA-rated 38 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. An optional 3.6L V-6 has been rated at 28 mpg highway and 20 mpg city.
Technology updates make a splashy impression, as the 2016 Passat adds Apple CarPlay and Android auto functionality, a next-generation infotainment system (MIB II) and driver-assistance systems such as forward-collision, blind-spot and land-departure alerts. An automatic post-collision braking system is available.
Fleet drivers will find the first iteration of Apple CarPlay a refreshing and easy-to-use system that simplifies connectivity tasks. Text messages can be easily read aloud when they come in, and dictated messages allow for timely responses while your eyes remain on the road. Apple CarPlay also eases functions such as navigation and music selection for longer trips.