Specifications of Volkswagen Passat Variant (B8, facelift 2019) 1.5 TSI (150 HP) ACT
General characteristics of Volkswagen Passat Variant (B8, facelift 2019) 1.5 TSI (150 HP) ACT
While it may be perceived as a strong value-for-money offering and one that supports US workers by virtue of its local assembly, its appeal will be limited to those who appreciate the steady-cruising capability, somber interior, big back seat, and spacious trunk. However, there is real value to be had from the Passat's competitors. It may be reliable and spacious, but at its heart, the Passat is old, and its failings are those of an old car. It lacks the refinement, quality materials, and advanced technology of contemporary rivals, and the older platform has various ergonomic flaws that rivals don't fall victim to. It might drive pleasingly well, but it isn't exciting, nor does it thrive at being a mere commuter-mobile, making it hard to truly recommend. If, after a test drive of a more contemporary rival and an objective comparison, your heart is still set on the VW, keep in mind that sales will end with this 2022 model, so 2021 is not the best time to buy one. If you can hold off pulling the trigger a little, you may get a good deal in terms of price, just don't expect a near-luxury experience.
The Honda Accord is considered the top pick of the midsize sedans - it's a well-packaged machine, offering a large rear seat and trunk competing with that of the Passat. However, Honda takes it several steps further by giving the driver a vehicle talented in the handling department, with impressive efficiency from smaller turbo engines and a hybrid, and thoughtful comfort and convenience technologies to boot. The base-price LX models have an eight-inch touchscreen integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic air conditioning. Sport configurations in the Accord range have 12-way power adjustment for the driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, keyless entry, and eight-speaker audio systems. Top-end Touring trims add a head-up display, which isn't available to the Passat at all. In IIHS safety testing, the 2021 Accord earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, and 2022 NHTSA reviews were equally positive. Entry-level pricing starts at around $2,300 cheaper than the Passat, but with the luxurious Touring trim topping out over $36k, this is money well spent. We'll take the Honda.
The Camry has a history of being the best-selling passenger car in America, and with an affordable price tag, comfy interior, loads of safety tech, and even AWD for adverse weather, it offers a lot over and above the Passat. But, like the Passat, the quality of the Camry's cabin materials is not premium, however, occupants will enjoy the more engaging design. The floating infotainment display is available in seven inches or nine inches, both larger than the Passat's and with greater functionality, including support for Amazon Alexa. When it comes to drivetrain options, the Toyota's offering includes four- and six-cylinder options, and a hybrid, with fuel economy figures that are far better than what the Passat can manage. And, if you want more power, you can consider the 3.5-liter V6 with 301 hp, which is available to the top configurations in the Camry lineup. With pricing not that far off what the Passat asks, it's a no-brainer here - pass up on the VW this time round.