Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Volkswagen Passat VS 2015 Hyundai Sonata Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Volkswagen Passat

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2015 Hyundai Sonata

Safety Comparison

Both the Passat and the Sonata 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:





5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Compression

9 lbs.

49 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

52/418 lbs.

198/433 lbs.



5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

52/27 lbs.

31/73 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 Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:



Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

74 G’s

Hip Force

581 lbs.

785 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

671 lbs.

773 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Sonata’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Reliability Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in reliability. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 27th.

Engine Comparison

The Passat has more powerful engines than the Sonata:


Passat V6 3.6 DOHC V6

280 HP

Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

177 HP

Sonata 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

Sonata Sport 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

The Passat’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 195) than the Sonata Eco’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The Passat’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 58 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 178) than the Sonata’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Passat V6 is faster than the Hyundai Sonata (automatics tested):


Sonata 4 cyl.

Sonata Sport 2.0T

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

8.4 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16.5 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.9 MPH

86.7 MPH

88.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Passat TDI gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Eco (30 city/42 hwy vs. 28 city/38 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Passat 1.8T Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Sport 2.0T (24 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

12.3 inches

12 inches

The Passat stops much shorter than the Sonata:



70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Passat has larger standard tires than the Sonata (215/55R17 vs. 205/65R16).

The Passat S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata SE/Eco’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Passat SE handles at .83 G’s, while the Sonata Eco pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Passat SEL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Sonata Eco (26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Passat has 3.5 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonata.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Passat SEL has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sonata doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Passat’s front power windows 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 Sonata’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Sonata’s optional windows’ rear windows don’t close automatically.

The Passat SEL’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sonata’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Passat SE/SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Sonata doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Passat has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Sonata only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Passat SEL has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Sonata doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Recommendations Comparison

The Volkswagen Passat has won recognition from these important consumer publications:



Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



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

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