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.
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.
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