Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2008 Audi A4 VS 2008 Volkswagen Passat Near Phoenix, AZ

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2008 Audi A4

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VS

2008 Volkswagen Passat

Safety Comparison

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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the A4 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passat’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the A4 and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in frontal, side and rear impact tests, and its standard Electronic Stabilization Program, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the A4 Sedan as a “Top Pick for 2007,” a rating only granted to 24 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passat was not a 2007 Top Pick.

The A4’s bumpers sustained $2428 less damage than the Passat in four IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) bumper tests.

Warranty Comparison

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Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the A4 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Passat.

Reliability Comparison

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The A4’s reliability is better than the Passat’s. In Consumer Reports, the A4’s reliability is 12% better.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2005 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 26th in initial quality. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 31st.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 23rd in reliability, above the industry average. With 64 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 33rd.

Engine Comparison

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The A4 3.2’s standard 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 55 more horsepower (255 vs. 200) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (243 vs. 207) than the Passat 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the Passat:

A4

Passat

FWD

4 cyl./Manual

20 city/31 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

4 cyl. Sedan/Auto

21 city/30 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

4 cyl. Wagon/Auto

21 city/30 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

V6/Auto

18 city/27 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

AWD

V6/Auto

17 city/25 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the A4’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Passat:

A4

Passat

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11 inches

The A4 stops much shorter than the Passat:

A4

Passat

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

252 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the A4 has larger standard tires than the Passat (225/55R16 vs. 215/55R16).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The A4 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Passat’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The A4 2.0 T Sedan Quattro handles at .86 G’s, while the Passat VR6 Sedan pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The A4 2.0 T Sedan Quattro goes through Road & Track’s slalom 9 MPH faster than the Passat VR6 Sedan (69.2 vs. 60.2 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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The A4 is 7.6 inches shorter than the Passat, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The A4 is 7.6 inches shorter than the Passat.

As tested by Road & Track while under full throttle, the interior of the A4 2.0 T Sedan Quattro is quieter than the Passat VR6 Sedan (73 vs. 75 dB).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The A4’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 Passat’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Passat doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A4’s available rear sun shade is power operated, allowing the driver to remotely raise and lower it. The sun shade in the Passat is manual, and has to be raised or lowered in the rear.

The A4 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Passat has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

With optional voice command, the A4 offers the driver hands free control of cell phone by simply speaking. The Passat doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the A4, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Volkswagen doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Passat.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The A4 is less expensive to operate than the Passat because it costs $400 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the A4 than the Passat, including $3 less for front brake pads, $4 less for fuel injection, $58 less for front struts and $79 less for a timing belt/chain.

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