If you’re on the hunt for a premium saloon car, you may well have considered the Volkswagen Passat or Audi A4 as part of your search. The latest editions of both were released in 2015 to positive reviews, with a number of attractive enhancements to the overall design, running and efficiency.Both models have a lot going for them, but which comes out on top in a Volkswagen Passat vs Audi A4 competition?
Good looking, stylish, and understated, both the Volkswagen Passat and Audi A4 aim to please. The most recent models build on their heritage of high-quality German design. Popular with buyers, the styling for both is classy and exactly what you’d expect from such acclaimed manufacturers. Overall, we’d say that the Audi edges slightly ahead of the Volkswagen Passat due its daytime LED running lights - a feature which makes it a more sophisticated choice.
Buyers are likely to have high expectations around the interior of the Volkswagen Passat and Audi A4, and the latest models do everything possible to meet those expectations. In a similar vein to the Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen Passat has a high-quality, luxurious interior which you might expect for cars in a higher budget bracket.
Ergonomically designed, there are many features which contribute to the driver’s convenience and comfort. Not least a very spacious interior, which provides more head and legroom than ever before. There’s also a good variety of comfortable materials and chrome edging used to make the Volkswagen Passat look and feel truly upmarket. In short, it feels solid, and everything has a superb fit. All of this combined reinforces the VW Passat’s reliability and comfort as a premium saloon car.
However, the Audi A4 offers an interior which is beyond what most buyers would expect for this range, and is thus superior to that of the Volkswagen Passat. The Audi A4 comes with the same virtual cockpit used in the TT and Q7, and is more technically advanced of the two models. The Audi A4 dashboard has been beautifully redesigned, and combines simplicity and convenience well.
Both models are very spacious and comfortable on the inside, but the Volkswagen Passat has the edge over the Audi A4 on this one. The Passat has impressive boot size, offering a maximum of 586 litres in saloon format. That’s 81 litres more than the A4, which can accommodate 505 litres in saloon format.
The Volkswagen also has a variable boot floor which allows owners to drop the height of the boot to gain some valuable extra space. With the seats folded, down the Passat has a very roomy 1,152 litres of space - more than enough for bikes, luggage and family essentials. There’s also optional keyless entry which will open the boot remotely, if you have your hands full.
In a comparison between the performance of the Volkswagen Passat and the Audi A4, this is where the former loses out, with no petrol version available. Still, the Passat does have the better fuel economy, with 76.3mpg from the 1.6-litre diesel engine. But boy, does the Audi A4 impress in this category.
The diesel engine offers a maximum of 74.3mpg from the 2.0-litre engine, so only marginally lower than the Passat. Plus, the A4 petrol engine really exceeds expectations. The model has an impressive 187hp 2.0-litre engine, which succeeds in getting 58.9mpg and only emits 109g/km. Better still, it races to 62mph in under 7.3 seconds. There’s also the 249hp 2.0-litre TFSI engine, which gets to 62mph in a particularly impressive 5.8 seconds. Plus, due to the low CO2 emissions, it costs just £110 to tax for a year.
The Volkswagen Passat has had positive reviews of its driving experience, although the size of the car may make take a little bit of getting used to in narrow city streets or car parks. Other than that, the light and linear controls are a pleasure to use, making the Passat an easy car to drive through town and on the open road. In addition, the six-speed manual or automatic gearbox is straightforward to use. The Passat also offers a smooth driving experience, gliding over any bumps or rough surfaces, with minimal wind noise and tyre roar, so it’s ideal for long-distance driving.
The Audi A4, meanwhile, offers a sublime and enjoyable drive. The latest model has a weight saving of 120kg over previous models, and has a range of gearbox choices from six-speed through to eight-speed automatic. The A4 glides swan-like over rough surfaces, and is equally suited to long drives and short journeys. Audi has also done a lot of work to the exterior, which reduces noise during the drive.
Both the Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat offer four wheel-drive options too for wintery conditions or if you need to navigate tougher terrain.
Both of these premium saloons have a lot to offer to buyers, and the choice of which to buy will come down to what suits your needs. The Volkswagen Passat offers lots of space, a great design, and comfort all at a reasonable price. If you’re interested in something which is a little more exciting and offers more in terms of technology and performance, the Audi A4 would be the better choice.
When purchasing a car, always make sure you buy from a reputable garage or dealer. If you’d like more information about the Volkswagen Passat or Audi A4, why not visit us at one of our showrooms in Harlow and Maidstone today