2020 Honda Accord vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Jetta’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Accord’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Jetta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Accord and the Jetta 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available 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 Honda Accord is safer than the Volkswagen Jetta:

Accord

Jetta

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Accord the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Jetta last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Accord 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Jetta. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Accord’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Jetta’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 65 percent more Honda dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Accord’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Accord’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Jetta’s camshafts. If the Jetta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 Accord’s reliability 31 points higher than the Jetta.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 15 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 45 more horsepower (192 vs. 147) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (192 vs. 184) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The Accord’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 105 more horsepower (252 vs. 147) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Volkswagen Jetta (manual transmissions tested):

Accord

Jetta

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.2 MPH

87.3 MPH

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda Accord is faster than the Volkswagen Jetta (automatics tested):

Accord 1.5

Accord 2.0

Jetta

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

2.3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

5.5 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5 sec

3.4 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

14.1 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

102 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

The Accord has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Accord has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Jetta doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Honda Accord comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta.

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Jetta.

The Accord has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Jetta doesn’t offer a CVT.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Accord Sport has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Jetta doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Accord 2.0T/Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Jetta:

Accord 2.0T/Sport

Jetta

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

The Accord stops much shorter than the Jetta:

Accord

Jetta

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Accord has larger standard tires than the Jetta (225/50R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Accord Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (235/40R19 vs. 205/60R16).

The Accord’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta’s standard 60 series tires. The Accord Sport/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Accord has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Jetta. The Accord Sport/Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Honda Accord has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Volkswagen Jetta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Accord has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Accord flat and controlled during cornering. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Accord offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Jetta doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Accord’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Jetta (111.4 inches vs. 105.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Accord is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta.

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the Jetta SEL pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Accord Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Jetta SEL (26.4 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Accord uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Jetta doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Accord a Large car, while the Jetta is rated a Compact.

The Accord has 10.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Jetta (105.6 vs. 94.7).

The Accord has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.

Cargo Capacity

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The Accord has a much larger trunk than the Jetta (16.7 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Jetta’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Accord offers cargo security. The Jetta’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

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

Ergonomics

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The Accord Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Jetta doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The Accord’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Jetta’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

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 Accord’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Jetta’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

When the Accord Touring is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Jetta’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Accord 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 Jetta SE/R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium.

Both the Accord and the Jetta offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $360 less than the Jetta over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the Jetta because it costs $418 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the Jetta, including $370 less for a water pump, $279 less for a muffler, $12 less for front brake pads, $161 less for a starter, $147 less for front struts and $180 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Accord, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volkswagen Jetta isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Accord first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Jetta was rated second in its category.

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2020 and 24 of the last 26 years. The Jetta has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Honda Accord outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by almost three to one during 2019.

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

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