2020 Volkswagen Passat review: Perfect for ride-hailing

The Passat R-Line gets these sporty-on the lookout 19-inch wheels.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

In a globe entire of spiffy new Honda Accords, Hyundai Sonatas and Toyota Camrys, the 2020 Volkswagen Passat type of would seem like a dud. It really is bought tremendous aged bones and that will come by means of in every component of the knowledge. But spin it an additional way and there’s one way in which the Passat definitely, definitely excels.


  • Loads of area for passengers
  • Extraordinary overall driving assortment
  • Affordable starting selling price

Will not Like

  • Type of a dud to push
  • Inside materials are lousy
  • Most driver-aid tech is optional

The 2020 Passat is the great motor vehicle for journey-hailing drivers. It really is bought tons of area for passengers and a enormous trunk for airport runs. It has hard-donning leatherette seats and not specifically high-class carpets, so it’s going to be simple to continue to keep cleanse. It gets respectable gas mileage and also has a big gasoline tank, so its cruising assortment is epic. Picture for a moment you happen to be a driver for Uber or Lyft — all of these characteristics are appealing, correct?

Let us break these characteristics down in a little bit much more element, commencing with the drivetrain. The 2020 Passat is only readily available with a two.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is fantastic for 174 horsepower and 206 pound-ft of torque. You’re not heading to blow anyone’s doors off with all those quantities, but they transfer the midsize sedan around with sufficient confidence. The two.0T is mated to a 6-speed computerized transmission, which works very well plenty of, while it’s a very little jerky at slow speeds.

Alongside one another, the engine and transmission assist the Passat return 23 miles per gallon in the town and 34 mpg on the freeway. The 34-mpg figure isn’t really all that outstanding on its own, but mix it with an 18.5-gallon gasoline tank and you can vacation much more than 600 miles involving fill-ups even factoring in some town driving, five hundred miles per tank isn’t really as well terrible.

On the road, the Passat is type of bouncy and not exceptionally forgiving of road bumps, while I’ll chalk some of that up to the comparatively substantial 19-inch wheels of this R-Line tester and the lowish profile 235/forty-collection tires. Total, this isn’t really particularly a sporty motor vehicle, but it’s simple to push, with simple-to-modulate brakes and gentle steering.

The infotainment tech works very well plenty of, but the six.3-inch display screen is puny.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Inside, the Passat borders on enormous. The again seats have 39.1 inches of legroom and 37.8 inches of headroom. The rear seats also have dual USB charging ports, which increase to that journey-hailing attraction. Sadly, the inside isn’t really exceptionally silent and there are a whole lot of low-priced-emotion plastics employed in the course of the cabin. But all over again, at least it’s going to be simple to cleanse.

The leatherette seats in my tester are heated but not cooled and whilst they are at ease plenty of on shorter drives, the absence of help will not definitely make me want to pile on the miles. I am an outlier when it will come to dimensions — I am six-ft, four-inches tall — so your mileage could range. Weirdly, while, on my R-Line tester, only the driver’s seat is operated by energy.

From an infotainment standpoint, the 2020 Passat isn’t really terrible. It really is bought a smaller, six.3-inch display screen and consists of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. My R-Line tester lacks the usually great Fender audio system discovered in other Passat styles, but the base stereo will very likely be great for most prospective buyers.

The instrument cluster isn’t really extravagant and unfortunately lacks VW’s electronic cockpit technology, discovered in the Atlas, Jetta and Tiguan. There’s a enjoying card-sized multifunction screen involving the analog gauges, which presents basic info like tire pressures, mileage, a electronic speedometer and so on.

The Passat’s roster of safety tech is competitive, but only on greater trims. The base motor vehicle will come standard with ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, but if you want adaptive cruise regulate, lane-keeping aid, parking aid, park distance regulate or computerized higher-beams, you have to step up to greater trims. In fact, all those final 3 are only readily available on the assortment-topping SEL.

The 2020 Passat is comparatively economical at $23,915 to commence, together with $920 for desired destination. All loaded up, an SEL will set you again $32,015, which undercuts the selling price of other, likewise equipped sedans. But all those other sedans supply greater interiors, greater driving dynamics and greater standard safety tech, building them a significantly greater value, even if they are much more high-priced.

If you want a motor vehicle with great cruising assortment and a major again seat for your journey-hailing get the job done, the 2020 Passat is for you. But if you happen to be on the lookout for a very well-rounded midsize sedan with consolation, style and great on-road manners, you may be much greater served by one of this VW’s fresher rivals.