Volkswagen has had a hard enough time consistently selling cars in the U.S. over the last decade, and neither its ugly emissions scandal nor this moderately refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat revealed at New York, are going to do much to turn the tide. However this new VN model deserves to be taken into consideration.
While European markets get an all-new Passat that rides on Volkswagen's MQB platform, the U.S.-spec 2016 Volkswagen Passat receives lots of non-mechanical upgrades to the existing model. The changes start with almost all-new sheetmetal, save for the roof and doors. The Passat's front and rear ends, fenders, headlights and taillights, and hood all get a clean new treatment for 2016. More sculpted touches on areas like the hood make for a sportier look, while chrome trim on the window surrounds, doors, and trunk speak to premium aspirations. LED front and rear lighting is available on all trim levels.
Changes to the interior of the 2016 Volkswagen Passat include a new gauge cluster, center stack, standard MIB II touchscreen infotainment, and VW Car-Net. Car-Net offers compatibility with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink so customers can easily project their phone's content onto the car's display. Premium content like wood-grain detailing as well as heated rear seats are offered to tempt buyers with something a little finer than you'd find in a Jetta.
VW has said TDI models make up a large chunk of its overall sales. In August 2015 for example, VW noted that 22.9 percent of its volume were diesel-powered. VW had a chance to distinguish itself and the Passat as the only midsize sedan offering a diesel, but now the company's emissions deception will indeed have long-reaching consequences that put a lot of doubt into Volkswagen's future plans for the U.S. market.