2019 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2019 Mazda 6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Passat has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda 6 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.

Compared to metal, the Passat’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Passat and the Mazda 6 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, 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 Mazda 6:

Passat

Mazda 6

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

41%

53%

Neck Compression

85 lbs.

107 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

86/37 lbs.

335/150 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 Mazda 6:

Passat

Mazda 6

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

119

154

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

256 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

437 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

280

356

Spine Acceleration

61 G’s

64 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

671 lbs.

671 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Passat comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The 6’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Mazda 6’s (10 vs. 5 years).

There are over 12 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Passat’s warranty.

Reliability

The Volkswagen Passat’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Mazda 6’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Passat has a 140-amp alternator. The Mazda 6’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 Turbo (25 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Passat uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Passat has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mazda 6 (18.5 vs. 16.4 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 Mazda 6:

Passat

6

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.7 inches

The Passat stops much shorter than the Mazda 6:

Passat

Mazda 6

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Passat’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mazda 6 (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The Passat SE R-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Passat SE R-Line handles at .84 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Signature pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Passat executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Mazda 6 Touring (26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Passat has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 6 (102.3 vs. 99.7).

The Passat has .2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 6.

Cargo Capacity

The Passat has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 6 (15.9 vs. 14.7 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Passat. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The Passat has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Mazda 6 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Passat uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mazda 6 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Passat has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Mazda 6 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Passat and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Passat is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the Passat the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Mazda 6 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Passat SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because typical repairs cost much less on the Passat than the Mazda 6, including $13 less for front brake pads, $292 less for fuel injection, $48 less for a fuel pump and $28 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen Passat and the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the Passat as their 2012 Car of the Year. The Mazda 6 has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Passat outsold the Mazda 6 by 34% during 2018.

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

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