Volkswagen Passat To Make A Comeback in India; Facelift Spied Testing

Volkswagen discontinued the Passat in India last year but VW’s flagship sedan in India could soon make a comeback as the Passat facelift was recently spied testing in India. This time, it gets the new 2.0L TSI petrol engine under its hood.

Volkswagen once had an entire array of sedans in India, starting with the Vento, then the Jetta and finally they had the Passat. However, currently, the only Volkswagen sedan on sale in India in the BS6 Vento. Volkswagen could however be in the process of reintroducing the Passat in India as their flagship sedan. A completely undisguised test mule was recently spotted on the out skirts of Pune and that gives us some hope about the Passat making a comeback.

Volkswagen Passat facelift spied testing in India and it could make a comeback.
Volkswagen Passat facelift spied testing in India and it could make a comeback.

Volkswagen discontinued the Passat in India around October last year when it was still powered by a BS4 2.0L diesel engine. That was however the pre-facelift model but this new test mule is the facelifted version that has already been on sale internationally for quite some time now. While the previous Passat was very understated in its design, the new Volkswagen Passat announces with good measure that its the flagship VW sedan in India. The styling of the new Passat looks much more premium and sophisticated than before.

This is how the top-spec Volkswagen Passat looks like in top-spec trim as its sold abroad.
This is how the top-spec Volkswagen Passat looks like in top-spec trim as its sold abroad.

The new Passat has the necessary bling to make it look like a premium car but there’s still a hint of understatement. The wide chrome grille beautifully merges with the redesigned full-LED headlamps and some of the chrome from the grille even creeps into the headlamp cluster when you look at it in closer detail. The bumpers down below and well contoured will cuts and creases. At the rear, the new Passat has a cleaner but a more muscular look with newly designed tail lamps and the ‘Passat’ name inscribed across the boot lid.

On the inside, the Passat facelift carries over the same layout as the pre-facelift car but there are still some notable changes and they bring up the premiumness of the cabin and also make it a lot more techy. The surfaces are all new and the touchscreen infotainment screen is low larger with fewer buttons, thus clearing up the visual clutter. The new silver and grey trim on the dashboard contrasts well with the high-contrast screen and it also gets a new virtual-cockpit instrument cluster and a new flat-bottom steering wheel. There are lot more features on board now than before and it even gets SIM-based connected tech and wireless Apple Car Play.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Facelift interiors.
2020 Volkswagen Passat Facelift interiors.

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The new Volkswagen Passat will however be quite different under the hood. When the Passat was first brought to India in 2007, it was powered by a diesel engine. In 2010, the Passat switched over to a 1.8L petrol heart before again going back to a diesel engine in 2011. Now for 2020, the Volkswagen Passat will come to India with a new petrol heart. And guesses about the engine? Yes, it will be VW’s 2.0L TSI petrol engine that also does duty on the Tiguan AllSpace and the Skoda Superb. With 190bhp on tap, the new 2.0L TSI engine has plenty of performance, smoothness and a beautiful European charm to it.

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The only question is whether VW will be able to price the new Passat in India competitively. The only other competitor the Passat has in India is its own sister, the Skoda Superb. The Superb is however quite more spacious and also undercuts the Passat by a fair margin. It still offers great value for money in being a luxury sedan over some of its German counterparts. If the badge on the hood is not so important to you, then the Passat is a great buy at a bargain. Expect a price of around Rs 34-35 lakh when the car goes on sale.

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