2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2019 Volkswagen Passat

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 Sportback have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Passat doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Passat doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense City in the A5 Sportback as “Superior.” The Passat scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The A5 Sportback has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Passat doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passat only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A5 Sportback and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi A5 Sportback weighs 441 pounds more than the Volkswagen Passat. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A5 Sportback is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

 

A5

Passat

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

164

312

Neck Injury Risk

26%

39%

Neck Stress

232 lbs.

391 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

236

384

Neck Injury Risk

25%

41%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

297 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

85 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A5 Sportback is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

 

A5

Passat

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

280

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

61 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

15 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

671 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The A5 Sportback comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Audi will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Passat.

The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Passat’s (12 vs. 10 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 9 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 74 more horsepower (248 vs. 174) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the A5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Passat doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A5 Sportback’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Passat doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi A5 Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Passat.

The A5 Sportback offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Passat doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A5 Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Passat doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Passat:

 

A5 Sportback

Passat

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.7 inches

The A5 Sportback’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Passat are solid, not vented.

The A5 Sportback stops much shorter than the Passat:

 

A5 Sportback

Passat

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Passat (245/40R18 vs. 215/55R17). The A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passat (255/35R19 vs. 235/45R18).

The A5 Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Passat Wolfsburg Edition’s standard 55 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Passat SE R-Line’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Passat Wolfsburg Edition.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 Sportback offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Passat’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the Passat pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The A5 Sportback is 5.6 inches shorter than the Passat, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the Passat (21.8 vs. 15.9 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A5 Sportback has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Passat doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Passat. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 43% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Ergonomics

The A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Passat doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A5 Sportback’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Passat’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A5 Sportback Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Passat doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A5 Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Volkswagen only offers heated mirrors on the Passat SE R-Line.

When the A5 Sportback with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Passat’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A5 Sportback offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Passat offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Passat doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Passat doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The A5 Sportback has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Passat SE R-Line.

Both the A5 Sportback and the Passat offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A5 Sportback has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Passat doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Volkswagen Passat isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos