Volkswagen Jetta vs. Volkswagen Passat

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 5, 2018

While Volkswagen has put a lot of focus on its crossover lineup as of late, it still has a pair of popular sedans to consider. The Volkswagen Jetta is all new for 2019, ushering in a new look, chassis, and powertrain, while the VW Passat looks roughly the same as it has since 2016. Can the aging Passat continue to keep its little brother in line, or is the redesigned Jetta the better buy of the two? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Jetta & Passat »

What the Jetta Gets Right

Being Volkswagen’s entry-level sedan, the Jetta boasts a healthy $3,650 price advantage over the Passat. This gives buyers plenty of extra cash to add a few options, or they can pocket the extra cash. Despite being so much cheaper, the Jetta doesn't require a huge compromise in terms of features. It matches most of the Passat’s standard features pound-for-pound, plus it adds standard LED headlights and a 6.5-inch touchscreen that's 1.5 inches larger than the base Passat’s screen. As you move up the trim levels, the Jetta continues to match the Passat the entire way.

The restyled Jetta is not only quite modern and a step in a new direction for the brand, it's also simple enough to age very well over the years. The Passat, however, is too vanilla and will become boring over the years.

Finally, with its EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 30 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 combined, the Jetta blows the Passat out of the water in efficiency across the board.

What the Passat Gets Right

The Passat rolls in as the leader of the VW sedans, for now, so it’s no surprise it has the most upscale feel. Inside the cabin, riders enjoy top-notch ride and peacefulness. Despite it being the range-topping sedan, VW was careful with the Passat’s styling and features, giving it a more conservative look to meet the needs of more buyers.

Inside, passengers enjoy a massive cabin that boasts 39.1 inches of rear-seat leg room, 57 inches of rear-seat shoulder room, and 37.8 inches of rear head room. The trunk can fit 15.9 cubic feet of cargo, making this sedan ready for your next road trip.

The Passat is the more powerful of these two sedans across the board. Its base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and an impressive initial dig. The optional V6, while craving plenty of premium fuel, delivers even better straight-line performance with its 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Got a Long Commute? Go Jetta

The Jetta is a great option for the long-distance commuter with its up to 40 mpg highway rating and surprisingly well-equipped cabin.

Verdict: VW Passat

Larger, more comfortable, more powerful, and quieter, the Volkswagen Passat pulls off a fairly convincing win against its little brother. But its sibling landed a few key body blows along the way.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Jetta »

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Passat »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website