New 2020 Volkswagen Passat – what’s new?

Jerrica · Jan 15, 2020 08:02 PM

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift comparison

The new 2020 Volkswagen Passat facelift (B8 generation) made its local debut last week with less power but with an even more affordable price tag. But what else is new on the Passat? Here’s a quick comparison.

The biggest change with the new Passat's line-up is that it has only one variant on sale, the 2.0 TSI Elegance, the 1.8 TSI is now discontinued.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift 1.8 TSI

Volkswagen has discontinued the Passat 1.8 TSI variant.

Thus, our comparison is only between the high-spec pre-facelift, Passat 2.0 TSI Highline, to the current 2.0 TSI Elegance.

Up front, the new Passat Elegance gains a redesigned bumper with less chrome strips and a more stylish fog lamp housing.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift front end

The grille has gained a few millilitres between the chrome strips for a more aggressive look.

At the back, the Passat now sports a slightly sharper bumper with a black trim at the lower bumper section. There's also no more exhaust tip housing, with the space now blanked out by a plastic trim.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift rear end

The word Passat is also no longer located on the bottom left side, but stretch across the boot lid instead for a classier look. The previous car's 380 TSI designation has also been dropped. 

Of course, the Passat in its Elegance line also wears different wheels. VW knows the new wheels as “Liverpool” alloys while the size remained at 18-inch. It's a sophisticated looking pattern than the previous model's "Dartford" wheels. 

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift wheels

The biggest change on the new Passat's exterior is the adaptive LED headlamps and LED tail lamps, both with animated turn signals. The headlamps light pattern is also different.

The tail lights have been completely redesigned to feature a stylish three-wing light design. The back also gets animated turn signals. Think new Audi A6!

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift tail lamp

On the inside, the new 2.0 TSI Elegance welcomes you with leather upholstery like the pre-facelift 2.0 Highline.

But the wood trim running across the dashboard has been replaced with brush aluminium strip, no more uncle-feel!

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift analogue clock comparison

One item that Volkswagen has done away with but, in our opinion, feels like a downgrade instead, is the removal of the signature analogue clock in the centre dashboard. In its place is a plastic trim with the word Passat.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift interior

Other new touch-ups for the interior includes a new multi-function leather steering wheel and a new map light housing in the front cabin.

The driver also faces a brand new 11.7-inch digital display that Volkswagen calls Digital Cockpit.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift instrument cluster comparison

To be sure, it is smaller than the pre-facelift's Active Info Display but the new display offers crisper colours and provides more information than ever.

A much larger 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment unit replaces the outgoing 6.5-inch touchscreen unit.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift touchscreen comparison

But the headlining system in the infotainment is the car’s ability to connect to Apple CarPlay without wires, thanks to Wireless AppConnect. Android Auto is still available, but you will need a different USB cable - one with Type C connectors at both ends - because the new Passat's USB ports are all in Type C.

In terms of safety system, the Passat's equipment list remains largely the same, though Volkswagen did remove Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) and Electric Differential Lock (XDS) from the list. 

2020 new Volkswagen Passat facelift

Under the hood, although it is an EA888 engine, it is not the same 2.0-litre heart that powered the pre-facelift’s 2.0-litre variant.

The current engine is less powerful by 30 PS and 30 Nm, dispensing only 190 PS and 320 Nm compared to the previous engine’s 220 PS and 350 Nm.

Volkswagen Passat prefacelift vs facelift side profile comparison

The reason the engine has been detuned is due to compliance with stricter Euro 6 emission standards. Even in Germany, the 220 PS tune 2.0 TSI engine is no longer offered.

Another mechanical change in the Passat is the new 7-speed wet clutch DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, code named DQ380. It's similar to the one used in the Golf R, except that this has been adapted for front wheel drive applications.

Volkswagen Passat gearshift

The previous Passat 2.0 TSI had a 6-speed unit, also a wet clutch DSG (DQ250).

These are the changes that Volkswagen has made to the new Passat facelift. Do you like the new changes? Or would you prefer the outgoing model?



There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.


Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

2018 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI Trendline


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