2020 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2020 Kia Cadenza

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 2020/06/06

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 Cadenza 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 Kia Cadenza has a metal gas tank.

Both the Passat and the Cadenza 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, collision warning systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Passat the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cadenza has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Cadenza’s (7/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Passat for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cadenza.

Reliability

© 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 2020/06/06

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (23 city/34 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

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The Passat stops shorter than the Cadenza:

Passat

Cadenza

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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The Passat R-Line handles at .83 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Passat executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cadenza Limited (26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Cadenza’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Volkswagen Passat may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Kia Cadenza.

The Passat is 3.1 inches shorter than the Cadenza, making the Passat easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Passat has .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cadenza.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Passat easier. The Passat’s trunk lift-over height is 28.2 inches, while the Cadenza’s liftover is 29.6 inches.

The Passat’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Towing

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The Passat has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Cadenza has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Passat’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cadenza’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Cadenza 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Passat SEL has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Cadenza doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Passat SEL also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Passat SEL’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Passat owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Passat will cost $1450 to $4035 less than the Cadenza over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the Cadenza because it costs $45 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Passat than the Cadenza, including $138 less for a muffler.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Passat will be $12418 to $20023 less than for the Kia Cadenza.

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 2020/06/06

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

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

The Volkswagen Passat outsold the Kia Cadenza by almost 9 to one during 2019.

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

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