2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium

A premium upgrade with this solid update to an already solid mid-size sedan.

The 2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium is one of GAYOT's Top 10 Family Sedans and GAYOT's Top 10 Fuel-Efficient Cars

VW has updated its mid-sized Passat sedan for the 2016 model year bringing with it some meaningful enhancements on an already solid, if conservative, segment entry.

The updated 2016 Passat features all-new body panels forward of the a-pillar including a new “muscle-car-inspired” power dome on its hood, though the average consumer may be hard-pressed to spot the differences. Around back, the Passat gains newly-available LED tail lights and a horizontal piece of chrome trim connecting the tail lights to make the car appear wider and more substantial. Overall, these subtle updates serve to make the vehicle appear more polished than before.

The interior has also seen its share of upgrades including a more detailed dash design, updated materials including laser-etched metal trim, a more sculpted gauge cluster, a new steering wheel, and available heated rear seats to keep your company warm and toasty regardless which seat they may find themselves in. Rear seat legroom remains exceptional for this class at (39.1 inches). Opt for the middle-of-the-line SE trim and you’re now treated to an upgraded infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as standard.

Joining the previous S, SE, and SEL trims is the R-Line trim which brings sport-themed styling changes to both the exterior and interior including unique 19” alloy wheels, R-Line specific bumpers, and oval exhaust tips. The new R-Line trim is only available on the 1.8T and starts at $23,975 slotting it between the S and SE in terms of price, making it a bargain for those looking for more dynamic looks without breaking the bank.

The 2016 Passat notably gains a raft of safety features, added by Volkswagen in direct response to customer feedback. Newly standard safety features include a rear-view camera and automatic post-collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes after a collision is detected to mitigate further damage. Newly available active safety features for upper trim lines include adaptive cruise control, front assist (automatic emergency braking), blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, lane departure warning, and park assist.

Drivetrains carry over from the pre-facelift version. Three options will be available, a 1.8T 4-cylinder, a TDI (with late availability), with the VR6 topping out the range. I was able to sample the 1.8T 4-cylinder which delivered smooth, refined power for a 4-cylinder engine while returning a very respectable 38 mpg on the highway.

The Passat remains smooth, roomy, and livable. With upgraded interior materials, sorely-needed technology updates, and more standard equipment, the 2016 VW Passat remains a solid, conservatively competent choice in the hotly contested mid-size sedan segment.

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000 mile new vehicle and roadside assistance warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and 12-year/120,000 mile limited warranty against corrosion perforation

Visit the Volkswagen website

Specs

Base Price: $26,915

  • 24 / 36 mpg
  • EPA
  • 170 hp
  • Horsepower
  • Engine: 1.8-liter inline four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged and intercooled
  • Horsepower: 170 hp
  • Torque: 184 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode
  • Curb Weight: 3,230 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 110.4 in
  • Length: 191.6 in
  • Width: 72.2 in
  • Height: 58.5 in
  • Turning circle: 36.4 ft
  • Brakes: Power assisted, dual circuit, 12.3 x 1.0-in vented front discs and 10.7 x 0.4-insolid rear discs
  • Suspension: Front Suspension: Strut-type with lower control arms, coilsprings, telescopic dampers, anti-rollbar. Rear Suspension: Multilink with coil springs, telescopicdampers, anti-roll bar
  • Traction: Standard Electronic Stability Control
  • EPA City: 24 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 36 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Safety: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), including Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Driver and front passenger, front and side thorax airbag supplemental restraint system

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