2020 Audi A3 Sedan 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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan’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.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Volkswagen Passat has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Audi Pre Sense Front in the A3 Sedan as “Superior.” The Passat scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Passat doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

A3 Sedan

Passat

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

217

312

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

284

384

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.8 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

41%

Neck Stress

223 lbs.

297 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 A3 Sedan is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

A3 Sedan

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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passat was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Passat’s (12 vs. 10 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A3 Sedan has a standard 320-amp alternator. The Passat’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (184 vs. 174) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 184) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 54 more horsepower (228 vs. 174) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Passat (27 city/35 hwy vs. 25 city/36 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A3 Sedan’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.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Volkswagen Passat (3 to 7). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Passat every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi A3 Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Passat.

The A3 Sedan 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.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Passat:

A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI

Passat

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.7 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Passat:

A3 Sedan

Passat

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the Passat (225/40R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The A3 Sedan’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 A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’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 A3 Sedan has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Passat Wolfsburg Edition.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the Passat pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the Passat SE R-Line (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 4.4 inches shorter than the Passat, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A3 Sedan easier. The A3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the Passat’s liftover is 28.2 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A3 Sedan’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Passat’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Passat has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

If the windows are left open on the A3 Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Passat can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The A3 Sedan’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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The A3 Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Passat’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Passat doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Passat doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A3 Sedan’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.

The A3 Sedan Prestige has standard 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.

The A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan and the Passat offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Passat doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The A3 Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A3 Sedan will retain 36.82% to 38.8% of its original price after five years, while the Passat only retains 33.69% to 34.46%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Passat because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Sedan than the Passat, including $119 less for a muffler, $177 less for a starter, $121 less for a fuel pump and $444 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 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