Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has finally launched the facelifted Passat here in Malaysia. The updated D-segment sedan comes with a new look, a mildly refreshed interior and some added kit, with the range paired down to just a single 2.0 TSI Elegance model.

It retails at RM189,012 on-the-road without insurance, meaning that it slots between the old 1.8 TSI Comfortline and 2.0 TSI Highline variants in terms of price. Included in the price is a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, a three-year free service package and five years’ roadside assistance.

As the variant name suggests, the car is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged TSI petrol engine, but it’s been detuned slightly compared to the previous 2.0 TSI mill. It now makes 190 PS and 320 Nm of torque, decreases of 30 PS and 30 Nm, although VPCM would probably like to point out that it’s still significantly more muscular than the old 1.8 litre unit – 10 PS and 70 Nm more, to be exact.

Paired to this engine is a new seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, making it the first front-wheel drive Volkswagen model to come with the gearbox in Malaysia, coming after the all-wheel drive Golf R. So equipped, the Passat is capable of delivering a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100 km on the new Worldwide Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) cycle.

Visual changes are numerous but fairly subtle in nature, led by the redesigned twin-slat grille and revised graphics for the LED headlights, complete with eyebrow-esque daytime running lights that also function as sequential indicators. The air intakes have also been re-profiled, with a body-coloured strip that forms a “wing” under the front fog lights.

At the back, the tail lights are also new and come with triple L-shaped graphics and sequential indicators, while the rear bumper has also been redesigned with sharper creases and a wider diffuser-like insert; the Passat badge is also now positioned in the middle of the (powered) bootlid, in a spaced-out fashion. Completing the look are 18-inch Liverpool multi-spoke alloy wheels in a painted grey finish.

On the inside, the facelift adds a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and removes the centre analogue clock, replaced by the Passat script. The door cards have also been redesigned, and the rear panels now hide manual rear sun blinds, while the rear windscreen gets powered blinds.

Technology has also taken a step up with the new Discover Pro infotainment system, equipped with a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen, voice and gesture control and a customisable three-view split screen function. It also comes with the new Wireless AppConnect system that also includes wireless Apple CarPlay – the second such application of the feature in Malaysia after BMW. The ports are now all USB-C front and rear.

The rest of the kit list includes keyless entry, push-button start, triple-zone climate control, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory and a massage function, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, auto lights and wipers, eight speakers and a reverse camera.

The facelift also introduces some driver assistance systems for the local market, though as before, the Passat still isn’t offered with autonomous emergency braking. However, it does now get Side Assist blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, along with a tyre pressure monitoring system. Six airbags and stability control continues to be on the standard safety kit list.