Volkswagen Passat vs. Honda Accord

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 5, 2018

The Honda Accord has been one of the top-selling vehicles in the US for an almost countless number of years, and the new-generation model looks to build upon this success. But its success isn’t due to a lack of competition, as it has plenty of that coming from all angles, even Germany. The aging Volkswagen Passat is its competition in the mid-size class, but can this greying German gent hold its own against the best-selling Accord? Keep reading to find out.

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

What the Accord Gets Right

The Accord is one of the best-selling vehicles in the US for a reason: it does so many thing right. It all starts with its impeccable styling that gives this sedan a more upscale look without making it a complete bore to the younger crowd.

Inside, its beautiful styling continues and is further complemented by a serene cabin that lets very little noise seep in. The cabin is also cavernous with up to 40.4 inches of second-row leg room and a trunk that swallows up to 16.7 cubes of cargo.

Under the hood, the 1.5-liter turbocharged base engine is a nice standard unit that outdoes the Passat’s base unit, but the real highlight is the Accord’s Civic Type R-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This engine replaces the Accord’s V6 engine and produces a respectable 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter engine’s optional 10-speed automatic transmission is the perfect match, delivering smooth shifts in normal driving and firmer shifts with more throttle.

Across the board, the Accord beats the Jetta in fuel economy. Its 1.5-liter gets up to 30 miles per gallon city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 combined with the continuously variable transmission, according to the EPA. The optional 2.0-liter gets up to 23/34/27 mpg (city/highway/combined).

What the Passat Gets Right

At $23,890 (including destination), the Volkswagen Passat has a $575 price advantage over the Accord. That’s not much, but it's worth considering. Plus, the Passat’s design, while much older than the Accord’s, is more traditional, which plays to the more reserved demographic.

For those who prefer the steady power delivery of a naturally-aspirated V6 engine, the Passat is the last of this dying breed. Its optional 3.6-liter V6 engine injects a smooth 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

For added performance, the Passat GT boasts an enhanced exhaust system, a 0.6-inch lower ride height, and a firmer suspension.

Craving German Flare? Go Passat

The Volkswagen Passat can’t hang with the newest Accord – few vehicles can – but it gives buyers one of the lowest entry points into a mid-size German sedan. Plus, with all its available options, it's easy to dress it up like an Audi.

Verdict: Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is nearly impossible to beat as it does almost everything flawlessly. It delivers ample power in all trims, a great cabin, a peaceful ride, and styling that will remain relevant for many years.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Passat »

Take a closer look at the Honda Accord »

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

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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