2020 Infiniti Q50 vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

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 2020/07/13

The Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400’s optional 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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Q50 as “Superior.” The Passat scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q50 (except Pure) offers optional Back-up Collision Intervention that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Passat doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Q50 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Passat doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Q50 (except Pure) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passat only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Q50 and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, blind spot warning systems 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 Infiniti Q50 is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

Q50

Passat

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

225

312

Neck Injury Risk

24%

39%

Neck Stress

223 lbs.

391 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

47 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 Infiniti Q50 is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

Q50

Passat

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

79

119

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

196

280

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

61 G’s

Hip Force

415 lbs.

627 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

190

305

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

44 G’s

Hip Force

634 lbs.

671 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The Q50 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Passat’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 10,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the Q50 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Passat. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Passat ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Q50’s 7 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Passat runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q50 has a standard 150-amp alternator (170-amp - Q50 Red Sport 400). 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 Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 19th in initial quality. With 12 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 Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 14 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

© 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 2020/07/13

The Q50 3.0t’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 126 more horsepower (300 vs. 174) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 206) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Q50 Red Sport 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 226 more horsepower (400 vs. 174) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 206) than the Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Q50 3.0t is faster than the Volkswagen Passat:

Q50

Passat

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

7.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.2 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

91 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 2020/07/13

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q50 2.0t’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.

The Q50 has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Passat (20 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic is standard on the Infiniti Q50, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Passat.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Q50’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Passat:

Q50

Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400

Passat

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

14 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

13.8 inches

10.7 inches

The Q50’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Passat are solid, not vented.

The Q50 stops much shorter than the Passat:

Q50

Passat

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/07/13

For better traction, the Q50 has larger standard tires than the Passat (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R17). The Q50 Red Sport 400’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passat (F:245/40R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 235/45R18).

The Q50 Red Sport 400’s 265/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Passat R-Line’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Q50 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Passat doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/07/13

The Q50 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 Passat’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Q50 Sport’s optional 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 Passat doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q50’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Passat (112.2 inches vs. 110.4 inches).

The Q50 Red Sport 400 handles at .88 G’s, while the Passat pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Q50 is 4 inches shorter than the Passat, making the Q50 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Q50 has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Passat uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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The Q50 has 1.9 inches more front headroom and 2.1 inches more front legroom than the Passat.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Q50’s trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Passat’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Q50 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Passat. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in service department satisfaction. With a 47% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Passat doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the Q50 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 Passat can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Q50’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.

When the Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400 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 Passat’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Q50’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the Q50’s optional (except Pure) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Passat doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Q50 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/SEL.

Both the Q50 and the Passat offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q50 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.

Economic Advantages

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The Q50 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q50 will retain 36.99% to 46.1% 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 Q50 is less expensive to operate than the Passat because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q50 than the Passat, including $206 less for a water pump, $107 less for a muffler, $4 less for front brake pads, $248 less for a starter and $205 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 2020/07/13

The Infiniti Q50 outsold the Volkswagen Passat by 84% during 2019.

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

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