2020 Volkswagen Passat review: Perfect for ride-hailing

The Passat R-Line will get these sporty-seeking 19-inch wheels.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

In a entire world whole of spiffy new Honda Accords, Hyundai Sonatas and Toyota Camrys, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat variety of would seem like a dud. It truly is received super old bones and that will come by means of in every element of the knowledge. But spin it an additional way and you can find 1 way in which the Passat seriously, actually excels.


  • Plenty of place for travellers
  • Outstanding general driving variety
  • Reasonably priced beginning cost

Never Like

  • Type of a dud to generate
  • Interior materials are lousy
  • Most driver-support tech is optional

The 2020 Passat is the ideal automobile for ride-hailing drivers. It truly is received tons of place for travellers and a significant trunk for airport runs. It has really hard-sporting leatherette seats and not particularly lavish carpets, so it’s going to be uncomplicated to maintain clean up. It will get decent gas mileage and also has a big gasoline tank, so its cruising variety is epic. Imagine for a minute you’re a driver for Uber or Lyft — all of these characteristics are fascinating, appropriate?

Let us crack these characteristics down in a little bit far more detail, starting with the drivetrain. The 2020 Passat is only accessible with a 2.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor, which is very good for 174 horsepower and 206 pound-ft of torque. You happen to be not going to blow anyone’s doorways off with individuals numbers, but they transfer the midsize sedan close to with adequate confidence. The 2.0T is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which will work perfectly adequate, while it really is a very little jerky at slow speeds.

With each other, the motor and transmission enable the Passat return 23 miles per gallon in the town and 34 mpg on the highway. The 34-mpg figure isn’t really all that remarkable on its have, but mix it with an 18.5-gallon gasoline tank and you can journey far more than 600 miles among fill-ups even factoring in some town driving, 500 miles per tank isn’t really also negative.

On the highway, the Passat is variety of bouncy and not exceptionally forgiving of highway bumps, while I’ll chalk some of that up to the relatively massive 19-inch wheels of this R-Line tester and the lowish profile 235/forty-series tires. Over-all, this isn’t really just a sporty automobile, but it really is uncomplicated to generate, with uncomplicated-to-modulate brakes and light-weight steering.

The infotainment tech will work perfectly adequate, but the 6.three-inch monitor is puny.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Within, the Passat borders on significant. The back seats have 39.1 inches of legroom and 37.8 inches of headroom. The rear seats also have twin USB charging ports, which increase to that ride-hailing charm. Sadly, the interior isn’t really exceptionally peaceful and there are a large amount of low-cost-emotion plastics utilized during the cabin. But once again, at least it’s going to be uncomplicated to clean up.

The leatherette seats in my tester are heated but not cooled and although they’re snug adequate on quick drives, the deficiency of help would not seriously make me want to pile on the miles. I am an outlier when it will come to sizing — I am 6-ft, 4-inches tall — so your mileage may perhaps fluctuate. Weirdly, while, on my R-Line tester, only the driver’s seat is operated by energy.

From an infotainment standpoint, the 2020 Passat isn’t really awful. It truly is received a small, 6.three-inch monitor and contains typical Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle compatibility. My R-Line tester lacks the usually wonderful Fender audio procedure identified in other Passat types, but the base stereo will possible be great for most potential buyers.

The instrument cluster isn’t really extravagant and unfortunately lacks VW’s digital cockpit technologies, identified in the Atlas, Jetta and Tiguan. There is a actively playing card-sized multifunction show among the analog gauges, which presents basic details like tire pressures, mileage, a digital speedometer and so on.

The Passat’s roster of safety tech is competitive, but only on better trims. The base automobile will come typical with forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind-place monitoring and rear cross-site visitors warn, but if you want adaptive cruise manage, lane-maintaining guide, parking guide, park length manage or automatic superior-beams, you have to stage up to better trims. In truth, individuals very last a few are only accessible on the variety-topping SEL.

The 2020 Passat is relatively reasonably priced at $23,915 to commence, including $920 for location. All loaded up, an SEL will established you back $32,015, which undercuts the cost of other, similarly equipped sedans. But individuals other sedans provide better interiors, better driving dynamics and better typical safety tech, earning them a far better value, even if they’re far more expensive.

If you want a automobile with wonderful cruising variety and a major back seat for your ride-hailing get the job done, the 2020 Passat is for you. But if you’re seeking for a perfectly-rounded midsize sedan with comfort, style and wonderful on-highway manners, you can expect to be significantly better served by 1 of this VW’s fresher rivals.

Maria J. Danford

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