The facelifted Volkswagen Passat has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, with the Euro-spec model gaining all sorts of added technology.

The unveiling of this refreshed model (which runs on the VW Group’s familiar MQB platform) comes after VW whipped the covers off the US-spec version (still on the older PQ46 architecture) in January 2019. The model sold in South Africa, of course, lines up with the former.

Styling changes include new front and rear bumpers, a fresh grille and the repositioning of the “Passat” lettering centrally across the tailgate. Furthermore, new LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED foglamps and LED taillamp clusters have been added, along with fresh exterior colours and updated 17-, 18-, and 19-inch alloy wheel designs. As before, a R-Line package will be available (as applied to the blue wagon variant pictured below).

Billed as a “major technical update”, the facelift includes the debut of the Wolfsburg-based firm’s so-called “IQ.drive” system, a new umbrella term for VW’s various driver assistance functions. For instance, the updated Passat will be offered with a new Travel Assist function, which allows for “partially automated driving across practically the whole speed range up to 210 km/h”.

Emergency steering assist is also new to the Passat, with Volkswagen claiming the system “improves safety during sudden evasive manoeuvres via braking intervention”. In addition, VW says the lane assist function has been optimised thanks to a new multifunction camera. The Passat will furthermore be the first Volkswagen featuring a capacitive steering wheel that “detects touch by the driver”.

The latest version of VW’s digital cockpit (essentially replacing the active info display) will be offered in the updated Passat, complete with an “enhanced high-contrast graphics display” and a variety of new functions. Three display configurations can now be customised via the new multifunction steering wheel.

The powertrain line-up (for Europe, at least) again features a plug-in hybrid set-up in the Passat GTE, which is capable of covering “approximately 55 km” on electricity alone in the new WLTP cycle. Then there’s the newly developed 2,0 TDI Evo, a turbodiesel engine with an output of 110 kW that VW says produces 10 g/km less CO₂ compared with the equivalent engine in the predecessor.

The engine range furthermore includes three TSI petrol units (with outputs of 110 kW, 140 kW and 200 kW) as well as three TDI diesel mills (delivering 88 kW, 140 kW and 176 kW, respectively).
Volkswagen Passat