Volkswagen revealed its refreshed Passat family sedan yesterday in New York city, an unveiling that comes as the German automaker deals with the fallout of a diesel engine emissions scandal that could seriously affect its reputation around the world.

Certainly, the timing could be better, but VW thinks the Passat will help offset that negativity, as the Chattanooga, TN sedan “raises the bar in the midsize segment, offering new styling, (and) a host of new connectivity and driver assistance features.”

The car you see here is a refreshed version of the one VW introduced in 2012, designed and engineered to meet North American’s demands for big sedans; it wears a new grille, headlights, and taillights on the same slab-sided body we’re used to. As the old car was, this one is handsome, but unremarkable.

VW is keen to point out a raft of newly-available technology, LED headlights, the second-generation of VW’s ‘modular infotainment platform (MIB-II) that puts a touchscreen in every trim level and enables smartphone-like gesture recognition in “most” models, and an available Car-Net system that VW says allows “seamless integration with the majority of smartphones available today.”

New safety kit on offer includes automatic post-collision braking, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, lane departure warning and prevention, and park assist. VW says all models sold in the U.S. will come standard with a backup camera, and we’re waiting on confirmation that the same will be true for Canadian cars.

Engine and transmission choices remain the same: base power comes from a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder (1.8 TSI), a 3.6L V6 (VR6), and, of course, a TDI diesel whose availability miiight be delayed a little while. We’re unsure whether VW will continue to offer the Passat with a manual transmission, as it makes no direct mention of one in its press release; all they tell us is the 2016 Passat’s starting price will be $22,440, “which is the same price as the previous base model when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.”

We’ll update you when we learn how Volkswagen Canada will price and equip its version of the new Passat.

2016 Volkswagen Passat 0005

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