Volkswagen updated its midsize Passat sedan for 2020 with an Audi-like profile and a conservatively styled interior. Not much else has changed. And in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing. We like the current Passat’s roomy interior and predictable handling, which we hope will carry over into the new car. The styling updates start up front with additional creases in the hood’s surface and a new egg crate grille. Look at it from the side, and you could mistake this VW for a sedan from the more expensive Audi brand. You won’t make the same mistake inside. Although the Passat is well-appointed and quite spacious, it does lack some of the soft touch surfaces and the interior design accents that you might expect to find in some similarly priced competitors. Still, buyers who value simplicity will appreciate what VW did with the Passat’s controls. The car’s characteristic design feature is a grille that spans the length of the dashboard integrating the air vents. And underneath that, there’s a touchscreen that’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But users also have plenty of physical buttons for basic tasks. We found this setup particularly user-friendly when we tested it in the Volkswagen Atlas SUV.Only one engine and transmission combination is on offer, and that’s 174 horsepower 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s made it to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine and transmission combination that the current car uses. In our tests, that current Passat had average acceleration and fuel economy for its class. But the transmission didn’t change gears as seamlessly as we would have liked. We that VW made some changes to the powertrain in the new car that would address that issue.The 2020 Passat comes standard with advanced safety features, like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning. The new Passat goes on sale later in 2019. Find out more about midsize sedans at consumerreports.org. .