Continuing our coverage on mid-size family sedans, we're taking a look at the 2018 Volkswagen Passat Highline and 2018 Honda Accord 1.5L Touring. What features do these two cars share, and what makes them different? We find out!

Before watching this Showdown, we strongly recommend watching the TestDrive Spotlight episode for each car to find out all the features and our thoughts about them individually, as this Showdown does not cover everything and is meant to be a comparison between these two popular mid-size family sedans.

2018 Honda Accord 1.5L Touring: automobilrevue.net/v/VUhmbjVHei1WOGM
2018 Volkswagen Passat Highline: automobilrevue.net/v/UGRiZWxRQ2R6TGc

Both cars offer similar features inside and out, but like any Showdown there are some differences that make each one standout in it's own right. The Accord is all-new for 2018 marking the car's 10th generation. With the fully loaded Touring model you get LED headlights and fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, heated steering wheel, an 8" HondaLink infotainment screen which support Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, and built-in navigation.

The Accord also features a colour heads-up display, backup camera, two driver memory options, front power seats, a power glass moonroof, automatic dual-zone climate control, and Qi wireless phone charging which works with the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note8.

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat Highline is optioned with the R-Line appearance package and Driver's Assistance package. On the exterior the VW has LED front headlights but the R-Line package deletes the fog lamps. Parking sensors are located on the front and back along with corner sensors to aid with the Park Assist feature. Automatic power folding mirrors are found on the Passat, along with a leather interior, front and rear heated seats, a 6.33" navigation screen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM Radio.

The rear seating space is also much larger on the Passat, making it idea for people looking for a more full-size sedan experience while keeping it under $40,000.

Our Showdown will compare these two and crown one a winner, so that if you're in the market for a new mid-size sedan you'll have a better idea about either car.

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Comments

    • Glory Rodriguez
      Glory Rodriguez

      Thanks for sharing your review but i prefer the VW Passat style

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Glory Rodriguez

      Glad to hear that the Passat styling works for you! It's a handsome car.

      about 11 days ago
    • Muhammed Öner
      Muhammed Öner

      Honda ❤

      about 13 days ago
    • Jason M
      Jason M

      Once again the Legacy is not considered
      Tell me one car that is a better value....just one. Safety, resale, sight lines, MPG and ages well

      about 17 days ago
    • Jason M
      Jason M In reply to Jason M

      That’s all you got;) Oil burn was caused by low pressure piston rings and fixed in 2013 and wasn’t as wide spread as you like to think. CVTs in Subaru have very low failure rates overall under 150,000. For a safe daily driver family sedan they just can’t be beat. If you’re into looks and driving like a teenager everyday then for sure a terrible car, but I the 2018-+ model should age well. VW looks boring, but that was designed in 2012 and still looks decent and aged very well.
      The CVTs in 2018 and 2019s are not that that bad for aggressive driving and really nice for a daily. If the resale on the VW was better and they offered AWD and safety tech was better along with reliability I’d grab one as I think the design is better, but for them to offer that it would be north or 30 and you can get Subaru out the door with zero percent for under 23 easy.

      about 16 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Jason M

      Burns oil, CVT has tonnes of problems, overall car design is so boring it puts people to sleep when they pass by one on the road. Should I go on?

      about 17 days ago
    • Jose Brito
      Jose Brito

      Little known fact: the Honda Accord started as a copy of the VW Scirocco.

      about 26 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Jose Brito

      I can definitely see some similarities between those two.

      about 26 days ago
    • TheCoasterDoctor
      TheCoasterDoctor

      I'm so surprised at how many people are saying the VW is superior to the Accord. VW has so many reliability issues, the design looks outdated and ugly - it looks like something a 50 year old tennis player mom would drive. The accord looks both edgy and modest at the same time. The Accords interior absolutely trumps the VWs interior, and the accord will have a much higher resale value. You can add features to the accord that can give it the things that it lacks in comparison to the VW, but you cant add anything to the VW that would make up for what it lacks compared to the accord. The accord is the far superior one, no questions asked.

      about 29 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to TheCoasterDoctor

      A lot of VW fanboys out there can't fathom another car being superior in any other way. We've seen this type of comments on pretty much every Volkswagen we've featured.

      about 28 days ago
    • jaret myers
      jaret myers

      The Honda can make it over 200,000 miles vw will be lucky to hit 100,000.

      about 1 month ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to jaret myers

      Historically speaking I'd agree, considering our 1990 Accord is still on the road with 325,000km.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rea Ality
      Rea Ality

      The Honda is my preference, even though the 1.5t is known for gas filling the oil pan due to blowback. This seems to be a problem in colder climates where the engine never maintains operational temps long enough to burn off the excess gas. I also know Honda performance guys prefer the 1.5 to the 2.0 as it can be modified more reliably.

      about 1 month ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Rea Ality

      Interesting! We've seen what the stock 2.0L turbo can do, it's a real sleeper.

      about 1 month ago
    • أستغفرالله سبحان الله وبحمده سبحان الله العظيم
      أستغفرالله سبحان الله وبحمده سبحان الله العظيم

      الحمدلله،،( سُبحانَ الله ۈ بحمدًه ! ♥ سّبحان الله العظيم ) ♥ كرّرهًا ١٠٠ مّرهہ ستمًحي ذنوبك لو كانت مثل زبد البحّر ،،،،،،،،. يقول الله تعالى ~‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​‏​( يَا ‏​ابنَ آدمَ لو بلغتّ ذنوبك عنإنَ ‏​السماء ثم ‏​إستغفرتنيّ لَ غفرتَ لك) استغفرالله العظيم واتوب إليه

      about 1 month ago
    • Michael Pare
      Michael Pare

      The Honda is far more reliable and will outlast the VW.

      about 1 month ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Michael Pare

      I wouldn't say far more, Honda has been having problems with their turbocharged engines recently.

      about 1 month ago
    • Grand Matthew
      Grand Matthew

      I absolutely love the styling of the Passat. Definitely a head turning vehicle

      about 2 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Grand Matthew

      I think it's grown on us more since filming this episode, as well as driving some other models from Volkswagen over the past 14 months.

      about 2 months ago
    • Neil
      Neil

      What didn't you like about the Passat? Can you be more specific on why you went with the Accord as the winner?

      about 2 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Neil

      The Passat isn't an awful car, it's just really dated. We're a little disappointed VW is keeping the same Passat into 2020 with just a microscopic facelift. This generation Passat has been out since the 2011 model year, it's time for an update. Aside from that, VW also removed some features for 2018 like homelink and the analogue clock yet kept the price the same. Navigation is also very dated, and overall engine performance isn't good for the size of the vehicle. We don't hate the Passat, it works for a lot of people, but the Accord is forward-facing while the Passat is clinging onto the past.

      about 2 months ago
    • Vaughn James
      Vaughn James

      I’ve owned a Passat for a few months now, the seating is a pretty annoying issue imo. Long trips can really start to hurt my upper back, I still haven’t found the best position for my seat. Other than that I love my car, I’d definitely recommend it.

      about 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Vaughn James

      We're glad to hear that you like yours. It's been over a year since we drove this, but we're in the 2019 Golf Alltrack and the seats are probably similar, the leather is very stiff and I believe long trips might create the same fatigue you're experiencing.

      about 2 months ago
    • Hershey Kiss
      Hershey Kiss

      I have owned 3 VW Passats. Just bought a 2017 SEL. It is so much better than a Honda Accord. The VW will stay on the road when you hit the pedal. Hondas are too squirmy for my liking.

      about 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Hershey Kiss

      It would be nice if VW offered 4motion on more of their sedans.

      about 3 months ago
    • Daniel Joseph
      Daniel Joseph

      I love the way VW’s ride vs Honda... VW’s are smooth with the ride while Honda’s tremble at a red lights.. that annoys me

      about 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Daniel Joseph

      This Passat was very smooth, I'll give it that. I was hoping to get into the 2019 Passat GT with the VR6 a few months ago but they had to retire it off the fleet before I could get it.

      about 3 months ago
    • paul c
      paul c

      The new accord is so ugly! give me any of them before this one! .. Impressed by the VW I'm considering a new Jetta..

      about 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to paul c

      The Jetta so far has been doing very well here, I see them everywhere. We're looking forward to try out the GLI, though I doubt the cost-cotting will be less noticable in it.

      about 3 months ago
    • B Tat
      B Tat

      Be careful, my 2016 CIVIC EX needs a new AC compressor. Just out of 3/36000
      warranty. Other have the same or similar problem. The dealer is
      asking for $1,600. Please please do your research before buying. Yes, I am pissed.

      about 3 months ago
    • Georan Churchill
      Georan Churchill

      CVT is trash

      about 3 months ago
    • BruceTheSillyGoose
      BruceTheSillyGoose

      those huge tires on the R line aren't gonna filter out the really bumpy stuff well.

      about 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to BruceTheSillyGoose

      That’s certainly true, especially here where the roads are beyond awful.

      about 3 months ago
    • Reece 20
      Reece 20

      Accord is more reliable coming from someone that owns both

      about 4 months ago
    • Reece 20
      Reece 20 In reply to Reece 20

      PRN_TestDrive the Honda lost or the Audi?

      about 4 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Reece 20

      The 2.0T Accord is unnaturally fast. We’ve raced against a stock one on the drag strip with a V6 AWD sedan and lost.

      about 4 months ago
    • Reece 20
      Reece 20 In reply to Reece 20

      PRN_TestDrive and the take off is faster on the accord at stop lights when I drive the Passat and you step on the gas it goes so slow and then fast out of no where accord is more comfortable to sit in as well

      about 4 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Reece 20

      Accords do last forever, the 1990 Accord I owned is still on the road today.

      about 4 months ago
    • J Beable1
      J Beable1

      I really like VW R line , I would say the Honda may be the more reliable car in the long run. I would not either one of these cars out in the snow.

      about 4 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to J Beable1

      I’m spoiled getting to pick what I drive during the winter, but a lot of people still drive FWD sedans like this out here for winter. It might not have the same level of grip you’d get by going AWD, but a solid set of winter tires goes a long way.

      about 4 months ago
    • Carlos _714
      Carlos _714

      Does the R-Line passat come with a black interior or are all R-Lines tan??
      Thanks

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Carlos _714

      You should be able to pick black as an interior, at least from what we've seen on VW's website!

      about 5 months ago
    • dwevors
      dwevors

      I have both of these cars. My wife drives the Passat and I drive the Honda. It's a toss up! Long trip, Passat! Driving around town and short cruise, Honda! I love the one I'm in!

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to dwevors

      Glad to hear it! Both cars offer something a little different for buyers.

      about 5 months ago
    • slimstylro
      slimstylro

      CVT transmission = trash, it’s that simple
      This means the VW is superior

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to slimstylro

      Or just get the Accord with the 2.0T and get a 10 speed automatic transmission.

      about 5 months ago
    • junior vallejo
      junior vallejo

      Love both brands but Honda lost me with this new design of the accord the passat is a bit outdated but the new Passat design is coming out pretty soon

      about 6 months ago
    • junior vallejo
      junior vallejo In reply to junior vallejo

      @PRN_TestDrive it's on YouTube now I think 😁

      about 6 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to junior vallejo

      We're hoping to see an update for the Passat.

      about 6 months ago
    • Darek PRZEKUPEK
      Darek PRZEKUPEK

      Volkswagen is a very emergency car

      about 6 months ago
    • Darek PRZEKUPEK
      Darek PRZEKUPEK

      Volkswagen has only good publicity

      about 6 months ago
    • Liam Ross
      Liam Ross

      No real showdown here, especially if it were the 2.0l Honda turbo in that beast. The Accord drives far far better, more planted, more precise in it's steering, more advanced suspension set up, quicker response and a far more advanced interior. The Accord is the longest lasting sedan in North American in terms of longevity and reliability. The Passat's build quality is an easy slot below. Drive both and see the difference. I did. After driving all the main ones for family / commuter sedans( Audi, VW, Honda, Mazda and Subaru), the Passat came in dead last. And then I bought a brand new 2019 Accord 2.0l Sport.

      about 6 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Liam Ross

      The Accord is a serious winner, especially going up to the 2.0L engine. It’s surprisingly quick!

      about 6 months ago
    • VW Criminals
      VW Criminals

      vw too risky to buy maybe, might end up on graveyard sooner then expected..
      www.thedrive.com/news/19768/vw-dieselgate-graveyards-grow-to-over-300000-cars-across-u-s

      about 6 months ago
    • Mark Ivanchenko
      Mark Ivanchenko

      I just bought the 2017 passat rline and I can say that I love the simplicity of it and the quality is top notch less plastic more leather it doesnt have that horrible screen that looks cheap it just feels well built it feels peppy with the 1.8t and the style is timeless and looks good without having too much going on

      about 7 months ago
    • Ariel Garcia
      Ariel Garcia

      I just got a Passat GT. Love it!

      about 7 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Ariel Garcia

      Glad to hear it!

      about 7 months ago