2020 Volkswagen Passat Review

The Volkswagen Passat is refreshed for 2020.  So, it maintains the generational status it entered back in 2012.

And while that has some of the automotive journalists finding some fault with the spruced up midsize sedan… I totally disagree.

Because the 2020 Passat delivers exactly what it’s supposed to, and then some.  It’s a stylish and super-roomy sedan at a great value.

Add-in Volkswagen’s precise fit and finish.  Plus its reliable sure-footed-fun-to-drive-ness (yes, I made up that phrase) and you have an extremely affordable complete package.

In fact, it’s one that smart shoppers will have a hard time passing up.  I recently picked one up from my friends at Ontario Volkswagen and enjoyed a day of cruising Southern California’s IE.

–>Continue reading or click play below to listen.<–

2020 VW Passat driver profile

2020 VW Passat Courtesy of Ontario Volkswagen

Here are the Top-3 Things I like about 2020 Volkswagen Passat.

2020 VW Passat Top-3:

  1. Value
  2. Styling
  3. Spaciousness

Continue reading and I’m sure you’ll agree.  And email me with questions or thoughts: Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

2020 VW Passat Prices & Trims

Volkswagen has adjusted the available trim configurations for the Passat over the recent years.  And here are the trims and their corresponding starting manufacturers suggested retail prices.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Trims & Prices:

  • S $22,995
  • SE $25,845
  • R-Line $28,645
  • SEL $31,095

As always, I share MSRPs for reference.  You need to get your Passat equipped to your liking and that will impact the price.

But if you’re angling for a Passat or any Volkswagen then just go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Because you’ll get no pressure honesty, best prices, and great selection.

Tom and Randy podcasting

Me and Randy Podcasting

Randy Halcomb is our go-to there.  His cell is 909-772-1728 and email is RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com.

Engine, Transmission & MPG

Volkswagen is keeping it easy for the 2020 Passat going with the same engine and transmission across all trims.

So, no matter which configuration you go with you get a spirted 2.0 turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.  And that produces 174 horsepower with 206 pound-feet of torque.

19-inch split spoke wheels

Available 19″ split-spoke alloy wheels

Add the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and you wind up with a midsize sedan that delivers great gas mileage.

So, the Passat’s fuel economy rating is also identical across the board with a combined 27 mpg.  And broken down that’s 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

What Does the 2020 Volkswagen Passat Look Like?

The refreshed 2020 Volkswagen Passat looks like a European midsize sedan.  And at the entry-level price point of $23,000, you are not going to find a better looking midsize Euro.

2020 VW Passat passenger rear

Midsize non-luxury Euro sedan

Not even close, because there isn’t one.  Because remember, when it comes to non-luxury European cars Volkswagen is the only name in the game.  (Okay maybe you could say Mini is a non-luxury Euro but there’s really no comparison.)

2020 VW Passat front

Bold exterior design

But I’d also call the exterior design far bolder than the previous Passat.  Additionally, and especially with the R-Line trim that I test drove.  I see styling cues that Volkswagen incorporated into its brand new Arteon sedan.

Standard LED Headlights

Standard LED headlights

Exterior Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase 110.4
  • Length 193.6
  • Width 72.2
  • Height 58.0

*all in inches 

2020 Volkswagen Passat LED taillight

Standard LED taillights

Additionally, the all-new designed 2020 Passat comes with standard LED headlights, daytime running lights (DRLs) and LED taillights.

2020 VW Passat Interior

Inside the 2020 Volkswagen Passat is where everyone can agree.  It’s huge.  And it’s comfortable.

2020 Volkswagen Passat front seats and dash from back

56.9-inches of front seat shoulder room

There’s ample space in both the front seats and the backseats.  In fact, I’m 5’10”. And while the front seat is adjusted for my driving comfort I can sit in the backseat with ample room between my knees and the back of the driver seat.

2020 Volkswagen Passat backseat w. armrest down

57-inches of backseat shoulder room

And depending on which trim you go with there are both leatherette and leather seats available.

2020 Volkswagen Passat cargo area w. backseat partial down

15.9 cu-ft of cargo space

And there’s plenty of cargo space.  Even without putting the backseats down you have 15.9 cubic-feet of trunk storage to work with.

Volkswagen Infotainment

Also, through VW’s App-Connect you interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to run navigation and stay caught up with the iDriveSoCal podcast. :0)

2020 Volkswagen Passat Infotainment touchscreen

6.3″ touchscreen

And the infotainment system overall offers a great user-interface.  The combination of intuitive on-screen buttons and navigation along with physical dials makes acclimation a breeze.

Driver Assistance & Safety Tech

And when it comes to driver assistance and safety technology the 2020 Volkswagen Passat stacks up as expected.  It has a great base of standard features with the rest available as add-ons.

 2020 VW Passat Driver Assistance Tech:


  • Rear traffic alert
  • Rearview camera
  • Blindspot monitor
  • Front assist w/ pedestrian monitoring
  • Automatic post-collision braking system


  • Park assist
  • High beam control
  • Lane keep system
  • Park distance control
  • Adaptive cruise control

Plus the 2020 Passat includes VW’s Intelligent Crash Response System.

I like this system because it takes post-collision actions.  And these include turning off the fuel pump and unlocking the vehicle’s doors.  Additionally, the ICRS will activate the hazard lights.

2020 Volkswagen Passat cockpit

Turbocharged engine, trans w/ sport mode, and paddle shifters

Now, all of that is pretty impressive safety technology for a car that starts at $23-grand.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Top-3

So, here’s my Top-3 again with details:

  1. Value – It’s a European midsize sedan fully loaded for around $32,000.  Nothing compares.
  2. Styling – See ‘European’ above.  Factor-in new styling with cues from VW’s brand new Arteon.  Good. Looker.
  3. Spaciousness – It’s super-roomie inside.  Big even by recent midsize standards.  You could nearly argue full-size.

And one final note.  Specifically regarding the 2020 VW Passat badging.  I love new lettering positioned right below the VW emblem across the middle of the trunk.  Looks clean – don’t you think?

rear badging and plate

New 2020 VW Passat badging