6 Differences Between the Jetta and the Passat

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Volkswagen Jetta in a field with the sunset in the background.Volkswagen is known for producing quality vehicles, and that’s entirely apparent when you take a look at both the Jetta and the Passat. Both of these cars are excellent sedan choices – but which one is right for you? If you’re struggling to decide which vehicle to invest in, consider these differences before making your purchase.

1. Size

The Volkswagen Jetta is slightly smaller than the Volkswagen Passat. Each car weighs 2,859 lbs. and 3,172 lbs. respectively. Additionally, the Jetta comes with 15-inch steel wheels, while the Passat’s wheels are 16-inch. These differences in size don’t really matter much except when it comes to interior space. The Passat is the winner here with 102 cubic feet of passenger volume. However, the Jetta isn’t far behind, with 94 cubic feet of passenger volume.

2. Price

The Jetta is the clear winner when it comes to price. The MSRP for lower trim models is only $17,895. However, you won’t be able to get a Passat for under $20,000, as the MSRP for the base model is $22,440. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, the Jetta is the way to go.

3. Safety

Both the Jetta and the Passat come loaded with safety features to keep your whole family protected. Standard features include side, curtain, and front airbags, along with anti-lock brakes, stability control, and backup cameras. However, where the Passat starts to pull ahead is with advanced technologies. The SEL model includes a lane departure warning upgrade to keep you from veering off the road if you get distracted.

4. Performance

If you love zooming down the road, then the Jetta is probably your best choice. While both vehicles feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, the top GLI Jetta trim comes with 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. While the top Passat model does have 280 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque, because of the extra weight, it doesn’t perform quite as well as the Jetta.

5. Interior

For slightly more impressive features, choose the Passat. The interior of this car is filled with upscale features like wood trim and aluminum accents. The driver and passenger seats also include more elbow and legroom. The Jetta, on the other hand, is primarily composed of hard plastic across the whole dashboard. However, both are made with firm and supportive seats for even the longest of road trips.

6. Exterior

The exteriors of these vehicles look similar. However, the Passat has LED headlights, while the Jetta includes halogen headlights with added LED daytime running lights. Additionally, the Passat includes a hands-free, easy-open trunk that is perfect if your hands are full.


Clearly, both the Jetta and the Passat present a good value despite their differences. If you’re still stuck between the two, stop by Leith Volkswagen of Cary to take both for a test drive. After seeing how wonderful they are in person, you’ll be able to make a choice that will last you for years to come.

Image via Flickr by Tomasz Dudek
6 Differences Between the Jetta and the Passat was last modified: August 31st, 2017 by Leith Volkswagen Cary
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