2019 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen Passat

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2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

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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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan 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, 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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan:



C-Class Sedan




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

85 lbs.

219 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

86/37 lbs.

311/161 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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan:



C-Class Sedan


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

147 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

452 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

61 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

627 lbs.

949 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

671 lbs.

769 lbs.

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 C-Class Sedan’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 C-Class Sedan’s (10 vs. 5 years).

There are over 71 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Passat’s warranty.


The Volkswagen Passat’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the C-Class Sedan’s engines use 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 22 points higher than the C-Class Sedan.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 1 place higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class:











2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/36 hwy







300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy



300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/33 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Passat uses regular unleaded gasoline. The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Passat has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Sedan (18.5 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Passat’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

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 C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the C-Class Sedan’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The Passat’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).


The design of the Volkswagen Passat amounts to more than styling. The Passat has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Passat get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Passat a Mid-size car, while the C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Passat has 12.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (102.3 vs. 90).

The Passat has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

The front step up height for the Passat is .7 inches lower than the C-Class Sedan (15.8” vs. 16.5”). The Passat’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the C-Class Sedan’s (15.5” vs. 16.8”).

Cargo Capacity

The Passat has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (15.9 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).


The Passat has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The C-Class Sedan has no towing capacity.


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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Passat has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. The Passat also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

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 C-Class Sedan is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $369 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Passat than the C-Class Sedan, including $204 less for a water pump, $216 less for a muffler, $21 less for front brake pads, $90 less for fuel injection, $358 less for a fuel pump, $39 less for front struts and $392 less for a power steering pump.


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 C-Class Sedan has never been chosen.

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

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