2020 Volkswagen Passat raises the tech for a lower price

Volkswagen has priced up the 2020 Passat, and while the shapely new sedan may be familiar under the sheet metal, the price has take a welcome dip. Headed out to dealerships by the end of the year, the new Passat trims $2,400 from the starting price of its MY19 predecessor.

Where the outgoing sedan kicks off at $25,295, the 2020 Passat will start at $22,995. That gets you the Passat S, with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps with daytime running lights, cloth seats, a 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and blind spot monitoring.

Next up is the 2020 Passat SE, which starts at $25,845. It gets keyless entry and push-button start, a leather wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats with leatherette trim, dual-zone climate control, and rain-sensing wipers. There's also the newer Car-Net system and a pair of extra USB ports for the rear, together with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. A sunroof will be an extra $995.

The 2020 Passat R-Line starts at $28,645, making the sunroof standard and adding 19-inch wheels. It gets a special R-Line front bumper with gloss black trim to the air intakes, a grille with vertical chrome trim, black window surrounds, a spoiler, and a rear diffuser. There's also stainless steel trim for the door sills and chrome tailpipes. Inside, there's ambient lighting and paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.

Finally, there's the 2020 Passat SEL. That starts at $31,095 and gets 18-inch wheels; VW also throws in its Advanced Front-lighting System and high-beam assistance, while inside there's Comfort Sport seats with leather trim, power memory for the driver's seats and exterior mirrors, a power passenger seat, and rear seat heating. The Discover Media infotainment system gets a 6.3-inch touchscreen and navigation as standard, and works with a Fender Premium Audio system. Parking Steering Assistant and park-distance control are standard, too.

Whichever trim, the 2020 Passat gets a 2.0-liter TSI engine which now delivers 174 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, as is a six-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.

Although that's little changed – bar the torque bump – from the outgoing Passat, VW has given the exterior a makeover. There's a new grille line and a change to the overall roofline, while the automaker has also made LED headlamps and taillamps standard now.

Inside, the cabin has been revamped too, and there's a choice of four color options for the seat trim, depending on whether you opt for V-Tex leatherette, cloth, or leather. Each trim comes with a $920 destination charge.