The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is a mid-size sedan caught between two times. Even though it has a fresh design and the necessary safety upgrades, it rides on an old platform and is powered by an outdated powertrain. It’s what I feel like when I lace up new basketball shoes, then step onto the court.

The redesigned sedan looks much better on the court than I do, though. Its limited moves limit its TCC Rating to a 5.6, which is not enough to impress in a segment bursting with great options, from the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata to the stalwart Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Even Volkswagen is unsure how much the Passat has left in its tank; it has the same underpinnings as the old model and doesn’t get the powertrain and technology options available on its more popular crossover SUVs.

But there’s value to be found in the Passat. It costs nearly as much as the 2018…

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