2019 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Passat has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The MKZ doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Passat and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 Lincoln MKZ:







4 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

44 G’s

46 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 MKZ’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the MKZ’s (10 vs. 5 years).


The Volkswagen Passat’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the MKZ’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid and 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Passat’s reliability 49 points higher than the MKZ.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 4 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ:











2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/36 hwy







2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/31 hwy



3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy



2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy



3.0 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Passat uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Passat has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Passat’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

The Passat stops shorter than the MKZ:





70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The Passat SE R-Line handles at .84 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Passat executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the MKZ Premiere (26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (36.4 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Volkswagen Passat may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 950 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

Passenger Space

The Passat has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (102.3 vs. 96.6).

The Passat has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Passat has a larger trunk than the MKZ (15.9 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Passat easier. The Passat’s trunk lift-over height is 28.2 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the Passat SE R-Line’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The MKZ doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


While the MKZ Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any Passat can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.


The Passat has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Passat R-Line/SE/SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The MKZ doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Passat’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the MKZ’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Passat owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Passat with a number “1” insurance rate while the MKZ is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the Passat than the MKZ, including $339 less for a muffler, $24 less for front brake pads, $121 less for fuel injection, $235 less for a timing belt/chain and $752 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Passat, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Lincoln MKZ isn't recommended.

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

The Volkswagen Passat outsold the Lincoln MKZ by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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