The B8 Volkswagen Passat facelift has finally been unveiled for European markets, bringing with it an updated design as well as a host of new technologies. The revised D-segment model will go on sale in selected European markets from the end of August, with sedan, wagon Variant and jacked-up Alltrack version available.

In terms of visual changes, the Passat gets a new front bumper with angular fog lamp sections that form a “wing” in the lower apron. There’s also a new grille with two slats rather than three, and the headlamps have been made slimmer.

As standard, LEDs are used in the headlamps, fog lamps and daytime running lights. Volkswagen also offers its IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights, which are already available for the latest Touareg, as an option.

Around back, the Passat gets a mildly redesigned bumper with trapezoidal-shaped exhaust trim. The model script has also been repositioned to the middle of the boot lid similar to the Arteon, and beside it is a new set of LED taillights.

The clusters contain six small angles within them to create a distinct signature, with three of them facing upwards being linked to the brakes, while the remainder is for the default taillight function. Much like Audi models, there are also coming home/leaving home animations programmed into the system.

Moving inside, the Passat retains its familiar dashboard layout, although the analogue clock placed in line with the air-con vents has been removed. In its place are another script and the trigger for the hazard lights, while the buttons for parking-related functions have been relegated to beside the gear lever.

The facelifted Passat is the first to come with the company’s third-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3), which is an “always on” system that comes with its own SIM card. This need for continuous connectivity is necessary to interface with Volkswagen We (Plus), a new digital platform for mobility products.

At launch, three infotainment systems will be offered: Composition Media (6.5 inch, no navigation), Discover Media (8.0 inch, first navigation system level) and Discover Pro (9.2 inch, full navigation system level). The new infotainment systems support natural voice control and come with redesigned menus that are more intuitive than before.

The other screen in the cabin, the 11.7-inch Active Info Display, has also been revised with clearer graphics and tweaked functionality. Three basic layouts are available, including dials, information fields and map display with a function.

Not only is the new Passat the first to get the MIB3 system, it is also the first Volkswagen to offer partially automated driving at cruising speed. Parked under its IQ.Drive umbrella, the assistance systems available include Travel Assist, Emergency Steering Assist, ACC with predictive cruise control, Side Assist plus Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Assist, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, Trailer Assist, and the Park Assist system.

The first of the three is appearing for the first time in the Passat, and allows for partially automated driving (Level 2) at speeds of up to 210 km/h. Drivers will still need to keep their hands on the wheel, hence the need for a capacitive steering wheel so the “hands-off detection” can warn the driver.

On the mechanical side of things, all Passat models come with the same electromechanical brake servo previously found only in the plug-in hybrid GTE variants. This allows the Passat’s brakes to react even quicker and with better precision, the latter works with the various assistance systems.

As before, powertrain options include a mix of petrol TSI and diesel TDI mills, with a petrol plug-in hybrid solution for GTE variants. Focusing on the PHEV first, Volkswagen has updated its system with a new battery that boasts a higher energy content of 13 kWh instead of 9.9 kWh.

The battery is located under the vehicle floor just in front of the rear axle, providing an electric-only WLTP range of about 55 km (20 km more than the predecessor). Recharging the battery is done either via energy recuperation, engine or using the onboard 3.6 kW battery charger.

With a 230 V/2.3 kW electrical outlet, it’ll take six hours and 15 minutes to completely recharge the battery, or four hours with a dedicated wall box/charging station with 360 V/3.6 kW.

The rest of the system is a 1.4 litre TSI engine with 156 PS, electric motor with 115 PS, and a DQ400 six-speed wet dual-clutch automatic gearbox, all combining for a total system output of 218 PS.

You’ll still get a selection of drive modes here, with E-Mode being the default, whereby the car runs on electricity alone. In GTE mode, full system power is provided for sporty driving, while Hybrid automatically switches between the e-motor and internal combustion engine. The two previous modes – Battery Hold and Battery Charge – have been integrated into the Hybrid mode.

For the non-hybrid options, the TSI camp is populated by a 1.5 litre unit with 150 PS and 2.0 litre unit with either 190 PS or 272 PS. The diesel range starts with a 1.6 TDI with 120 PS, followed by the 2.0 TDI Evo (150 PS) and standard 2.0 TDI (190 PS or 240 PS).

All ICE are fitted with a particulate filter and meet the Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard. Dual-clutch and manual transmissions are available depending on the selected engine, including front- and all-wheel drive.