By on September 22, 2015

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Volkswagen rolled out its 2016 Passat on Tuesday in the thick of a growing scandal around the company’s admission that it cheated on emissions tests worldwide.

The new mid-size sedan sports a new front and rear end, updated instrument panel and infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (and USB connectivity!), and for the first time will boast an R-line model with 19-inch wheels.

Last year’s engines carry over: A base 1.8-liter turbocharged four and a 3.6-liter VR6 will power the Passat. According to VW, a 2-liter turbocharged diesel (yes, that diesel engine) will be available in the Passat, but it’s unclear when Volkswagen may begin selling that engine option.

The Passat sports a different, sharper hood and front headlights up front. LED headlights and tail lights are available on all models, according to the automaker.

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In back, the Passat gets a new trunk lid, rear bumper and available LED tail lamps. According to Volkswagen, only the roof, doors and body side stamped sheet metal remain from the 2015 model. R-line cars will sport a modified rear diffuser.

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Inside, the Passat sports Volkswagen’s newest infotainment system with touchscreens standard on all models and CarPlay and Android Auto available. Responding to the gripes of many car owners (and car journalists) Volkswagen included a USB connector for its system instead of its proprietary cable connector.

The steering wheel, instrument panel and center stack have been updated as well. Heated rear seats are available in the Passat this year, as well.

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The Passat will be available with a suite of safety systems including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, and parking assist. Post-collision braking, which applies the brake after impact to reduce continued impacts, will be standard on all models.

Volkswagen didn’t offer many powertrain details, other than the VR6 will sport 280 horsepower and the 1.8-turbo will manage 38 mpg with an automatic transmission. (The TDI details were left out.) Using last year’s cars a benchmark, the 1.8-turbo four will manage 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and return around 24 city/36 highway/28 combined mpg. The VR6 will produce 280 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. and return 20/28/23 mpg.

The TDI is a whole other story today.

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