Volkswagen revealed a snazzier-looking, better-equipped version of the Passat Monday evening, which will start at $23,260 when it goes on sale as a 2016 model late this fall.
The refresh updates VW's midsize sedan, though the changes are mostly evolutionary, and they come as Volkswagen is mired in scandal following charges it cheated on EPA tests.
The design features a new hood, grille, rear bumpers, and front fenders. It's also the first VW sedan to offer LED head- and taillights as an option, and the 2016 version is the first Passat to get an R-Line package, which includes black accents, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and a custom front bumper.
"We applied a progressive design strategy with the new Passat, giving the car a dynamic presence and a more sophisticated look," Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen head of design, said in a statement. "We have integrated several new design elements, including a sculpted, domed hood that significantly sets the car apart from its predecessor."
Inside, the cabin gets nicer materials, including chrome and piano-black trim, a new steering wheel, and available heated rear seats. VW's second-generation modular infotainment platform is standard, and it offers swiping and pinch-to-zoom features on most models. Volkswagen's Car-Net system is also available, which allows for smoother smartphone integration.
The powertrain lineup carries over and is made up of the 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbo diesel, and a 3.6-liter V6. It's unclear if the TDI model will be offered at launch in light of VW's recent diesel scandal.