2019 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2019 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Passat and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rear parking sensors.

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


A5 Sportback



4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

104/367 lbs.

431/395 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.8 inches

1 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

86/37 lbs.

324/341 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 Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:


A5 Sportback

Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

219 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

308 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

627 lbs.

777 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

44 G’s

47 G’s

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


The Passat comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The A5 Sportback’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Passat’s warranty.


To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Passat has a 140-amp alternator. The A5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Passat has a standard 480-amp battery. The A5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the A5 Sportback (25 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Passat uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A5 Sportback requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Passat has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 Sportback (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

The Passat has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the A5 Sportback; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).


The Volkswagen Passat may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the Audi A5 Sportback.

Passenger Space

The Passat has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the A5 Sportback.


The Passat has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The A5 Sportback has no towing capacity.


The Passat SE R-Line has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Passat (except S/R-Line/GT) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Passat, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the Passat as their 2012 Car of the Year. The A5 Sportback has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Passat outsold the Audi A5/S5 by 59% during 2018.

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

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