New Passat Revealed in China; Likely Previews American Passat

The new Chinese Passat has launched and while it’s likely a little longer than ours, we have every reason to expect that the North American model will look like it.

Heavily influenced by the Arteon at the front, VW’s big sedan espouses VW’s current understated and simple design ethos, while also looking vaguely different than the European Passat, which is pretty much why we think that the American model will look roughly the same, albeit with a slightly smaller back door and a little less luxury inside.

This Passat is roughly 3 inches longer than the European model and features big back seats with cushioney headrests. That implies to us that, as is the fashion in China, the car has been extended to give the back seats more space.

Given America’s love of a bargain, though, we would expect to see a little less space back there and a little less luxury, too. With the Arteon coming to America as a halo car, we don’t expect VW will want the Passat to step on that car’s toes, luxury-wise.

With the new Jetta and the Arteon both introducing VW’s new grille shape to North America, and little to differentiate the former from its international counterparts, we don’t expect the exterior design to depart from China’s Passat too much. And we aren’t too upset about that. Although it suffers a little from VW’s recent handsome anonymity, “handsome” remains an important part of that phrase.