The Volkswagen Passat will receive mild updates for the 2018 model year. Although its exterior appearance will largely remain unchanged, the car will be getting some notable powertrain updates to help support better fuel economy. The other key addition worth looking forward to will be a new variant called the Passat GT boasting styling akin to the GTI.
Roominess and a high quality interior continue to be major selling points for the Passat and we expect this to continue. Last year, the car gained Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support when equipped with the automaker's Car-Net system. With the exception of the entry-level S, all 2018 Passats will come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter and parking brake, heated front seats, leatherette seats (except for SEL versions, which get leather), dual-zone climate control and autonomous emergency braking.
For 2018, the Passat will gain a new variant called the GT. Styling will be influenced by the popular Golf GTI and Jetta GLI with a distinctive red line across the front grille and an aggressively-styled front. Other notable features will include a black roof, unique 19" Tornado wheels, black side mirror caps and matching side moldings, window trim and rear lip spoiler.
Under the hood, the Passat will now feature a 2.0T base engine rated at 174 hp with 184 lb-ft of torque, replacing the current 1.8T mill. While those are nearly the same numbers as the 1.8T, it represents a gain of 4 hp. The 2.0T "EA888" engine will offer greater efficiency, with an EPA-rated 29 mpg combined based on 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. That's a 2 mpg improvement for each metric compared to the 1.8T.
For a more potent alternative, the Passat will continue to offer a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 280 hp with 258 lb-ft of torque. However, order guides indicate VW will only build it in limited numbers with a delayed introduction date. Along with the range-topping SEL Premium, the engine will be offered in the new Passat GT with the same output.
Safety features will be subject to some small tweaks in terms of packaging. Although the 2017 Passat has offered standard emergency braking across all styles, the S will lose this for 2018. Instead, it will be available with a $495 Driver Assistance Package along with a blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert and heated side mirrors.
Similarly, adaptive cruise control will no longer come standard in the Passat S. That said, automatic headlights are standard across the board and SEL Premium models come with lane departure warning. Park distance control also comes standard in the SEL Premium styles as well as the SE Technology model.
Expect a full overview closer to launch.