China's New Volkswagen Passat Could Preview Upcoming U.S. Model

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
china s new volkswagen passat could preview upcoming u s model

Volkswagen’s Passat has long been the choice for Euro-fetishists who believe themselves too good to purchase a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. That decision was easier to make in 2012, when VW moved 117,023 of them in the United States, diesel cars were still tolerated, and Japan had basically given up on styling its vehicles. But things are different now.

Diesel might as well be a four-letter word when not affixed to trucks and Japan’s automakers have gone mental with their newer designs. Volkswagen only sold 60,700 Passats in the U.S. last year. The automaker needs to work some real magic if it hopes to bring that number up in the years to come. While Europeans get ready to wrap their paws around an MQB-based Passat, Americans remain stuck with an older platform shared with China, South Korea, and the Middle East.

Fortunately, it looks like VW has been hard at work in Asia, delivering a sharp new sedan for the Chinese market that it might share with the U.S. next year.

Incorporating elements from both the new Jetta and Arteon, China’s Passat still carries a familiar face. However, it’s longer and sleeker than what we’re accustomed to when viewed side-on. Roughly 3 inches longer than the European Passat, according to VWvortex, the Chinese model was likely tweaked to better accommodate rear-seat passengers — you know, because everyone in China is so tall.

While a bigger back door sounds like just the thing for Americans, history tells us that stretched Chinese models typically don’t make it here. Still, the sedan should maintain the faux fastback styling (it has a normal trunk) and same overall appearance when the MQB finally hits the shores of freedom. We would also wager that the upcoming European refresh will adopt the Chinese styling.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Oct 15, 2018

    Admittedly I'm a VW fan but holy crap this is a beautiful car.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 15, 2018

      I think it would look better sans fake fastback. A more formal roof and trunk would do it good.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Oct 16, 2018

    I like it. When the lease is over on my 17 Jetta I'll take a hard look at whatever Passat they have in the US market. I've been doing 7500 mile oil changes on the 1.4t, even though it's leased and VW says 10k intervals are fine, I just can't bring myself to do it...partially because it makes me uncomfortable, partially because IF I happen to buy it at the end of the lease, I'll feel better about keeping it in the fleet.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.