Volkswagen’s sedan lineup in China is quite confusing as there are many three-box offerings offered by local joint ventures with SAIC and FAW. The People’s Republic is where VW still sells a car bearing the Bora badge with a Phideon serving as an indirect successor to the hapless Phaeton. The Passat family is also interesting if you allow us to explain.
The latest Chinese-spec Passat was introduced towards the end of 2018 with a significantly different design than the Euro model on sale since 2015. The CN version looks a lot like the North American version although the two models are completely different in their design. familiar skins. Indeed, the model sold in China is based on the MQB platform while the American version still uses the old bones of the Passat NMS.
Adding more to the confusion is the Magotan, essentially a longer wheelbase specification of the Passat sold in Europe. It sits between the local Passat and Phideon models in VW China’s sedan family including additional models such as the Lavida, Lamando and CC (Arteon in international markets).
For model year 2022, VW is giving the Passat a facelift in the world’s most populous country. Revealing images of the sedan’s mid-cycle update were released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology after the car recently received the government’s stamp of approval. It gets a sparkling grille with chrome honeycomb-shaped inserts, along with updated LED headlights and a cleaner front bumper design.
The most obvious change is at the rear, where the Chinese Passat gains a full-width light bar, although we’re not entirely sure if that actually lights up or if it’s there just for decoration. Those horrible fake exhausts are unfortunately still there, as is the “280 TSI” badge reserved for the entry-level 1.4-liter powertrain sold alongside the 330 TSI and 380 TSI 2.0-liter models. All three are DSG only business.
Since the North American version looks a lot like the Chinese model, we can’t help but wonder if this tweak will be applied to the Passat sold in the United States. Even if it does, it won’t be sold here for a long time, as a report says production of the midsize sedan at the Tennessee plant will end in 2023.