Assembled in Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, the Passat features a winning combination of bold design, innovative technology, copious amounts of interior space, and Volkswagen’s signature fun-to-drive nature.
The 2021 Volkswagen Passat will be available in three value-laden trim levels: S, SE, and R-Line. All Passat models now feature standard Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) as well upgraded interior accents including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearshift knob, and brake handle. SE models welcome standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a tilt-and-slide sunroof, and a Bumperdillo® bumper protector.
In a modest value realignment, the Passat R-Line offers more features and infotainment. The Discover Media unit and Fender® Premium Audio system are standard on the R-Line® model for a more connected experience. Additionally, the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and Light Assist are now standard on the R-Line.
Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Passat starts at $23,995 MSRP for the Passat S with the standard 2.0T engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Destination for all Passat models is $995.
The sophisticated design and coupe-like roofline on the 2021 Passat helps it stand out from the rest of the midsize sedan competitors. Slim headlights and a dominant grille give the Passat a focused, expressive face. The powerful promise of the front end is supported by an elegant and dynamic side treatment that features a strong Tornado line. Standard 17-inch ten-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and 215/55R17 tires give the car a more dynamic stance, while SE models come shod with 18-inch five-spoke two tone wheels and 235/45/R18 rubber.
R-Line models take the basic design and up the ante. The more aggressive front end treatment features a unique bumper with C-signature air intakes in gloss black and adds vertical chrome stripes to the grille. From the side, R-line models are distinguished by badging on the flitzer and black window surrounds. At the back, a rear diffuser and rear spoiler add a sporty touch. R-Line models feature striking 19-inch, two-tone, five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40R19 rubber.
Standard LED head- and taillights help the car stand out from the crowd and enhance the modern design. Passat R-Line trims are further equipped with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights. A power-tilt-and-slide sunroof is standard equipment on Passat SE and R-Line models. Prominent Passat badging, that runs the width of the decklid, finishes the car with a premium look. The Passat is available in six colors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, Deep Black Pearl, Aurora Red Chroma, and Tourmaline Blue.
The 2021 Passat remains a generously-proportioned four-door sedan. Nose to tail, it measures 193.6 inches and features a 110.4-inch wheelbase and 72.6-inch width, which allows for an exceptional 39.1 inches of rear-seat legroom. Thanks to a sophisticated overall package of aerodynamic design features, the 2021 Passat manages a low coefficient of drag (.28).
Like the exterior, the interior conveys sophistication and quality. The cockpit in the Passat incorporates a horizontal design that emphasizes the interior space; the concept is prominently illustrated by a long horizontal element that stretches the length of the dashboard, incorporating the air vents and instrument panel. For further ambience, a trapezoidal center display for the infotainment system is housed in glass.
Despite its coupe-like styling, the 2021 Passat offers copious amounts of cabin space. Base-level S models come with cloth seats in Titan Black. SE trims upgrade to Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette, which is offered in Titan Black, Shetland Beige, and Mauro Brown. R-Line trims also adopt V-Tex, with two color options—Titan Black and two-tone Titan Black and Shetland Beige.
The Passat offers heated front seats as standard on SE and R-Line models. A powered driver’s seat with memory is featured on SE and R-Line trims. Additionally, S and SE models feature a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel as well as leather-wrapped gearshift knob and brake handle. In R-Line models, the 2021 Passat is equipped with a leather-trimmed sport steering wheel that features shift paddles.
Between the large speedometer and tachometer is a color multi-function trip computer that helps monitor everything from estimated fuel consumption to trip distance, Bluetooth® connection status for compatible devices and navigation directions (when equipped). SE and R-Line trims feature KESSY® keyless access and push-button start, as well as dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control.
All 2021 Passat vehicles come standard with automatic headlights, and SE models and above feature rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an automatically dimming rearview mirror. Heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals are also standard throughout.
R-Line models feature the 400-watt Fender Premium Audio system with eight speakers and a separate subwoofer, allowing passengers to feel the music as if they were listening in person.
MIB Infotainment. All 2021 Passat models feature innovative Volkswagen MIB2 touchscreen infotainment systems. The displays utilize a capacitive-touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming. App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices is standard, and offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicle’s display through services such as Apple CarPlay®, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink®.
The Passat S and SE models are equipped with the Composition Media unit, which features a 6.3-inch display. The infotainment system includes one USB-A port in the center stack, SD Card multimedia interface, SiriusXM® radio (three-month trial period), and Bluetooth® technology, which can pair two compatible phones simultaneously. SE models and above receive two charge-only USB-A ports in the rear center console
Passat R-Line models are equipped with the Discover Media system, which adds HD Radio and 2.5D navigation. It features one-shot voice destination entry, typed destination entry with search and auto-complete, and predicts possible destinations based on frequently used routes.
Since its debut for the 2014 model year, Volkswagen Car-Net has allowed Volkswagen owners to get connected to their vehicles. Last year, Car-Net moved into the next generation of integration, with an updated mobile app, a long list of no-charge services for five years, and new subscription options. For model year 2021, Car-Net Services will be offered in three areas: Remote Access, Safe & Secure, and Hotspot. Next year, Volkswagen will introduce Carrier of Choice, giving our customers the option to select a data plan from either VerizonTM or T-Mobile ®. With just a few clicks in the VW Car-Net mobile app or at vw.com/carnet, owners can add their new Volkswagen vehicle to their existing mobile data plan or purchase a new one.
Car-Net Remote Access allows owners the ability to interact with their vehicle from miles away via the mobile app. It is offered at no additional charge for five years from the date of vehicle purchase. Features include remote start and stop (if equipped), remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash of lights, last parked location, and remote vehicle status display, which provides information on estimated fuel level and mileage and door and window status.
VW Car-Net skills for Amazon AlexaTM are now available for most new Volkswagen vehicles, is. To set up, owners should open the skills page associated with their car model in their Alexa app and link the skill to their VW Car-Net account. This will allow them to use their voice on an Alexa-enabled device to ask Alexa to send remote commands from the comfort of their own home—for instance: “Alexa, ask Car-Net to honk my horn.”
For vehicles equipped with factory-installed navigation systems, Car-Net can make customers lives easier by locating off-street parking information and sending destinations or points of interest directly to their car from the app. Powered by ParkopediaTM, the Parking Information feature can help make owners’ lives easier by locating off-street parking information. Through the Navigate tab on the app, users can click the “P” icon to show available parking locations, either in the immediate vicinity or near a Point of Interest. Clicking on a specific location will display the address, hours of operation and pricing. Users can also send the location to their car’s navigation system, if so equipped, by clicking the “Send to My VW” button.
Vehicle Health Reports can provide owners easy access to diagnostic information. Reports generate automatically each month after enrollment and are sent directly to the email address in the owner’s profile; owners can also request updated reports anytime through the mobile app. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net can not only notify the customer, but also provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit.
Family Guardian services and Roadside Call Assist can provide added peace-of-mind no matter who is driving. Speed Alert notifies the owner when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded. Boundary Alert lets the owner know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary. Curfew Alert notifies the owner if the vehicle is driven while curfew alert is on. Valet Alert warns if the vehicle is driven more than 0.2 miles from the valet drop-off location. The Car-Net app allows users to control who receives notifications by designating primary and secondary users, with varying levels of control and functionality for each. Notifications can come in the form of text messages, emails, or push notifications from the mobile app itself. If the vehicle is disabled, Roadside Call Assist is available at the touch of the wrench button.
By enrolling in the DriveView™ program, Car-Net users may be eligible for discounted rates from some of the top automotive insurance companies in the country. This program can also help Car-Net users monitor their driving by tracking activities like night driving, hard braking, idle time, and excess speed. These factors all contribute to an overall driving score, which is visible within the mobile app.
Car-Net Safe & Secure is a paid subscription service that includes Information Assistance, Emergency Assistance, Automatic Crash Notification, Anti-Theft Alert, and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. The subscription is $99 per year before taxes and fees, and automatically renews annually at the end of the subscription term, unless cancelled. Information Assistance—accessed through the i-call button within the vehicle—allows the driver to speak to a Car-Net agent for support needs, such as points of interest and account services. Emergency Assistance can be accessed through the SOS button in the vehicle, and, if a cellular connection can be established, puts the driver in contact with the Car-Net service center, who can direct emergency responders to the vehicle’s location and notify the user’s Emergency Contact. Provided a cellular connection can be established, Automatic Crash Notification can help automatically notify an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of a collision. Anti-Theft Alert sends a push notification to the user if the vehicle’s anti-theft alarm is triggered, and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses Car-Net to assist law enforcement with locating the vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including compatible tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more— at 4G LTE-enabled speed. Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile customers with an existing mobile data plan can simply add their Volkswagen vehicle as a new $20 line item to their existing monthly bill; non-Verizon or T-Mobile customers can set up an unlimited plan for $20/month, taxes and fees may apply.
The 2021 Passat is powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection EA888 engine, which produces 174 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting, with steering-wheel mounted shift paddles on R-Line models.
The TSI® engine features innovative solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas routing through the cylinder head to the turbocharger (to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption) and a dual injection system with direct and multi-port injection. Thanks to its fully electronic coolant control system, the four-cylinder engine also offers highly efficient thermal management with a short warm-up phase; this helps reduce friction and decreases fuel consumption.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2021 Passat is 24 mpg in city driving, 36 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined.
The Passat has been designed to give the kind of dynamic handling and precise steering that drivers have come to expect of a Volkswagen. Its front suspension features struts with lower control arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. At the rear, there’s a sophisticated four-link independent layout with telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. The electro-mechanical power steering is weighted to provide a balance between precision at highway speeds and lower steering weight at parking speeds.
To help protect occupants, the Passat provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
A standard feature on the 2021 Passat is Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The Passat also includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.
All Passat models feature a standard rearview camera.
To help meet the demands of American drivers, the 2021 Passat offers a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance technology. Available features include: Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
Front Assist, standard on all Passat models, is intended to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking).
Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning warns the driver of potential critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. Furthermore, an automatic jolt of the brakes can warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle. If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Autonomous Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).
Blind Spot Monitor is standard on all Passat models. Blind Spot Monitor uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and is intended to warn drivers of the presence of other vehicles in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors. Even if the driver does not use a turn signal, the LED symbol in the mirror will illuminate if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot. The system is designed to help alert drivers in specific situations; stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings, nor do vehicles more than one lane across away from the vehicle.
If combined with Lane Assist (SE models and above, see below) the system not only warns the driver with the flashing LED symbol if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, but within system limits, it can also countersteer to help keep the car in the lane even if the turn signal is on. If the driver still tries to steer out of the lane, the system will warn with an additional vibration of the steering wheel.
The Rear Traffic Alert system, standard on all Passat models, is intended to detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. The system offers a 180-degree view of the back of the car with a range of 65 feet, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, if a potential collision with a crossing vehicle is detected. If the driver does not react, the system can apply the brakes to help mitigate and, in the best case, can prevent a collision. The system is activated by putting the car in reverse.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), standard on all Passat models, uses a forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can further use those buttons to adjust and cancel the ACC function while the accelerator can be used to override the ACC function. Pressing the brakes always cancels the ACC function. All ACC-related system messages appear in the central multifunction display.
When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is clear, the system maintains the set speed. Passat models fitted with ACC can match a vehicle in front and come to a stop if the vehicle in front does. As the vehicle ahead slows, ACC on the Passat will disengage below 12 mph and request the driver to take over control.
Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist) is standard on SE models and above. When driving above 40 mph, if the system’s camera recognizes visible lane markings and, using a special algorithm, calculates that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane without using a turn signal, Lane Assist actively countersteers to help keep the vehicle in the lane. If the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, the system provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over.
The system will not engage if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Assist system will not engage or give a warning. The driver can override the system at any time by applying minimal force to the steering wheel.
High Beam Control (Light Assist), standard on the Passat R-Line, helps provide drivers with better visibility. High Beam Control (Light Assist) automatically switches on the headlamp high beams above 37 mph on dark or poorly lit roads, if there is no oncoming traffic detected. Below 18 mph, the high beams automatically switch off.
Every 2021 Passat comes with a bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty and Carefree Maintenance Program. The warranty provides coverage for four years or 50,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration. The Carefree Maintenance Program provides scheduled maintenance services for 2 years or 20,000 miles (whichever occurs first) at no additional charge, and can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration.