2016 Volkswagen Passat

​Volkswagen debuts 2016 US-market Passat, remains committed to diesel option

Volkswagen has officially pulled the wraps off of the 2016 model year technology and styling refresh of its full-size, North American market Volkswagen Passat sedan at an event tonight in New York City. This being a midcycle refresh, the Passat hasn't changed too dramatically, but tweaks to the sedan's styling and trim lineup, as well as the addition of a new R-Line trim package, indicates that VW wants to inject some sportiness into the bland sedan.

VW states that, "in short, the only sheetmetal that remains unchanged is the roof, the doors, and the body side stamping," which, when you really think about it, is most of the Passat's sheetmetal. For 2016, the most easily removable bits -- the front and rear bumper, hood, grille, trunk lid and lights -- get tweaked, leaving most of the design intact and largely indistinguishable from the previous model from 100 paces. In its defense, the Passat was never an unattractive sedan, so keeping close to the established and handsome, if understated, style isn't a bad thing.

The new model's "more aggressive styling" consists of slimmer headlamps that can be outfitted with optional LED illumination, a slightly enlarged upper grille, resculpted front and rear bumpers, and a new bulge sculpted into the hood. Passat drivers who really want to amp up the sporty looks will have to option of a new new R-Line trim that features an even more aggressive front and rear bumpers with gloss black accents, unique rocker panels, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 ZR rated tires.

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