The Volkswagen Passat sedan is on its way out.
Autocar reports production of the three-box mid-sizer ended in December 2021.
The Passat sedan has also been removed from most of Volkswagen’s European websites, including the German website, while for some it’s listed as being in runout. In Europe and the UK, the wagon outsells the sedan considerably.
Volkswagen Australia was already in the process of transitioning the sedan to police-only sales, with the base 140TSI Business a favourite of Victoria Police.
A spokesperson today confirmed no more Passat sedans are arriving here for private buyers, leaving only what’s left in dealer stock. As of the time of writing, there are just 28 sedans left in dealer stock nationwide.
However, the spokesperson said they were not aware of any formal end of Passat sedan production.
Regardless Volkswagen is now steering buyers interested in the Passat sedan to either its wagon counterpart, which is also popular with police departments, and the relaunched Arteon.
The Arteon, a five-door liftback replacement for the also Passat-based CC four-door coupe, was initially launched in Australia solely as a 206TSI liftback in November 2017.
The company sold 1306 examples before putting it on hiatus and then relaunching it late in 2021, with an expanded range that includes a less powerful 140TSI Elegance trim and a Shooting Brake wagon body style.
That gives the Arteon a slightly lower entry price this time around, though the 140TSI Elegance liftback is almost $10,000 more expensive than the outgoing Passat 162TSI Elegance sedan despite offering essentially the same level of equipment.
The 162TSI Elegance is one of just two Passat sedan models offered here – the fleet favourite 140TSI Business being the other – and is priced at $53,990 before on-road costs, compared to $61,740 before on-roads for the Arteon 140TSI Elegance.
The Arteon is down 22kW of power and 30Nm of torque on the Passat 162TSI, for total outputs of 140kW and 320Nm.
The Passat range was reduced to just two models for 2020 as production delays pushed back the launch of the expanded range.
It was expanded in 2021 to six variants – two sedans, two wagons, and two Alltrack wagons – though diesels didn’t return.
Though the Passat nameplate dates back to 1973, it took until the second ‘B2’ generation of 1981 – not sold here – for a conventional three-box model to appear, with first-generation Passat sedans sharing their bodies with hatchback models.
The three-box B2 Passat was initially known as the Santana or Quantum, depending on the market.
The Passat took a leave of absence from the Australian market, returning permanently in 1995 with B4, a heavily restyled B3.
Since then, a Passat sedan has been a fixture of Volkswagen’s Australian showrooms.
Volkswagen is currently testing an electric mid-sized sedan on the MEB platform, referred to as the Aero B (above), which was previewed with the ID.Vizzion concept.
This could indirectly replace the Passat sedan in markets like Europe and the US; the latter market had its own, separate Passat sedan, which was discontinued in 2021.
The demise of the Passat sedan locally will leave Volkswagen with no traditional, three-box sedans in its line-up, with the Jetta being axed in 2017.
The Jetta lives on in markets like the US, while the brand’s Chinese line-up is packed to the gills with sedans with its own Passat plus the Bora, Lavida, Sagitar, Lamando, Santana, Magotan and Phideon.