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2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat: Which Is Better?

Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2019 Honda Accord review, and the 2019 Volkswagen Passat review.

If you’re shopping for a midsize sedan, there’s a good chance that the Honda Accord is on your shopping list, but one that’s often overlooked is the Volkswagen Passat. The Accord is a bit more modern having just been thoroughly updated in 2018 while the Passat has been in the same generation since 2011 and is starting to show its age.

Let’s take a look at how these two midsize sedans compare in 2019 and which one is better.

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat exterior

Exterior

The exterior dimensions of these two sedans are pretty similar with the Accord being a little wider and a little lower than the Passat, giving the Honda a bit more of an athletic stance. The styling of the Volkswagen is more conservative and the Honda’s aesthetic is a bit more modern and, in our opinion, more stylish. If you’re looking to fly under the radar, you’ll like the subdued look of the Passat, but if you want to stand out in traffic a little more, the sharp Accord is for you.

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat interior

Interior

Both of these sedans are pretty roomy on the inside with spacious seats that make a nice fit for a wide range of drivers. Both are well suited for family car duty with two kids in the back. There’s room for three in the back, but like pretty much all cars in this class, it can get a little cramped when all five seats are in use. See the 2019 Honda Accord for sale near you

The interior design of the Accord is a bit more modern and upscale than the one in the Passat. The conservative styling of the exterior continues on the inside of the Volkswagen arguably to the point of being a bit boring. The Accord just looks and feels like a more modern, more premium car on the inside. See the 2019 Volkswagen Passat for sale near you

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat mechanicals

Mechanicals

The Accord has two turbocharged engines and a hybrid drivetrain available while the Passat just has one engine available. Both cars are front-wheel drive and the Accord is available with a manual transmission in the Sport trim while the Passat is automatic only. It’s worth noting that the Passat used to be available with a strong V6 engine under the hood, but it’s been dropped for 2019. A slight change to the 2019 Accord — the base 1.5-liter engine is no longer available in the Touring trim.

2019 Honda Accord Engines

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four; 192 horsepower, 192 lb-ft of torque; up to 30 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; 252 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque; up to 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter hybrid inline-four; 143 hp, 129 lb-ft of torque; 48 mpg city/48 mpg hwy

2019 Volkswagen Passat Engine

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; 174 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque; 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy

The Honda is the clear winner over the Volkswagen in terms of performance. Despite having a smaller base engine, the base Accord outperforms the Passat’s base engine in horsepower, torque and fuel economy. The 2.0-liter turbo engine in the Accord does return slightly worse fuel economy than the Passat’s engine, but it also delivers significantly better performance despite having the same displacement. The performance of the Accord Hybrid might be a little underwhelming, but it’s worth it when you consider its outstanding fuel economy of 48 mpg both in the city and on the highway.

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat technology

Technology

The Accord and the Passat are both pretty generous with standard safety technology. The 2019 Passat comes standard with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Available upgrades include front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist.

The Accord comes standard with the Honda Sensing safety tech suite on all trims, which includes automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control with low-speed following, lane-keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition. A blind-spot information system is available starting with the midrange EX trim.

The Passat comes standard with the 6.3-in MIB II infotainment system, which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is really nice to see as standard tech. The screen is a little small, but it’s a user-friendly, feature-rich system. The Accord comes standard with a 7-in system that is upgradable to an 8-in unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which we recommend if your budget allows it. Both systems are a pleasure to use and we like the bigger screen sizes in the Accord, but we wish the Honda came standard with those smartphone connectivity features.

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat pricing

Pricing

The Accord is a little more affordable than the Passat at the base level, but can get quite a bit more expensive in the higher trims. The Passat has a starting MSRP of $25,295 for the Wolfsburg trim and the only other trim is the SE R-Line model, which adds LED headlights, navigation, adaptive cruise control, and more and starts at $29,995. The Accord starts at $23,720 and can get well into the mid- to high-$30k range when you get into the nicer trims like the Touring model and its hybrid variant. In between, there’s a nice variety of trims to suit your tastes and your budget.

2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat conclusion

Conclusion

With a lower starting price, more standard safety tech, an efficient hybrid option, and much more variety in its lineup, the Honda Accord is a clear winner over the Volkswagen Passat. The Honda is a more modern car that delivers better performance and better fuel economy than its aging Volkswagen rival. Find a Honda Accord for sale or Find a Volkswagen Passat for sale

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