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

    • GrandINSANITY64
      GrandINSANITY64

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

      about 20 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to GrandINSANITY64

      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 19 days 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 23 days 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 21 day 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 29 days 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 26 days 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 1 month ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Hershey Kiss

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

      about 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago
    • Georan Churchill
      Georan Churchill

      CVT is trash

      about 1 month ago
    • BruceTheSillyGoose
      BruceTheSillyGoose

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

      about 1 month ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to BruceTheSillyGoose

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

      about 1 month ago
    • Reece 20
      Reece 20

      Accord is more reliable coming from someone that owns both

      about 1 month ago
    • Reece 20
      Reece 20 In reply to Reece 20

      PRN_TestDrive the Honda lost or the Audi?

      about 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 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 2 months ago
    • Carlos _714
      Carlos _714

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

      about 3 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 3 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 3 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to dwevors

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

      about 3 months ago
    • slimstylro
      slimstylro

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

      about 3 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 3 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 4 months ago
    • junior vallejo
      junior vallejo In reply to junior vallejo

      +PRN_TestDrive it's on YouTube now I think 😁

      about 4 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to junior vallejo

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

      about 4 months ago
    • Darek PRZEKUPEK
      Darek PRZEKUPEK

      Volkswagen is a very emergency car

      about 4 months ago
    • Darek PRZEKUPEK
      Darek PRZEKUPEK

      Volkswagen has only good publicity

      about 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 months ago
    • Ariel Garcia
      Ariel Garcia

      I just got a Passat GT. Love it!

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Ariel Garcia

      Glad to hear it!

      about 5 months ago
    • MBSKKW
      MBSKKW

      accord doens`t cvt

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to MBSKKW

      Except it does. The 1.5L Accord comes with a CVT, the 2.0L Accord has a 10-Speed automatic transmission. Basic research goes a long way.

      about 5 months ago
    • LUIS AGUILAR
      LUIS AGUILAR

      VW CHEATS ALL THE TIME...NOT ONLY WITH ITS DIESEL FIASCOS BUT CLAIMING NUMBERS TGAT ARE NOT TRUE AS WELL...

      about 5 months ago
    • LUIS AGUILAR
      LUIS AGUILAR

      WHY CAN'T WE FACE THE TRUTH? THERE'S A LOT OF GOOD CARS BUT THE HONDA ACCORD IS IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN...EXQUISITE FIT AND FINISH, BULLET PROOF RELIABILITY AND DURABILITY AND PLUS...CAMRY IS A CLOSE RUNNER UP BUT ACCORD HAS ALWAYS TOPPED I T.

      about 5 months ago
    • D P
      D P

      I own a UK Passat. It's superior to the US version, extras are better and the interior is more modern. I don't understand why VW would sell a less luxurious version in the US. It seems crazy. VW all the way.

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to D P

      I believe we had a few comments that had some theories, essentially the Passat was getting pricey and going in a slightly more upscale direction, VW decided to make a cheap version for North America then developed the CC as a semi-premium experience for those wanting that euro-passat feel.

      about 5 months ago
    • Phantom096
      Phantom096

      It does. The early 90’s Accord were something special and this one is probably the closest Accord to that.

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Phantom096

      It's hard to beat the 90s when it comes to build quality!

      about 5 months ago
    • Jeff Jassby
      Jeff Jassby

      wide-body Challenger Hellcat Red Eye better family vehicle

      about 5 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Jeff Jassby

      Can't argue there!

      about 5 months ago
    • ahmed alameri
      ahmed alameri

      Accord for sure are better i have owned both cars in the past the Passat looks more luxurious but when it comes to durability and mechanic issues the accord is way better all it need just regular oil change and thats it but the passat after 2 years it will spend alot of time in dealership or mechanic place especially when it comes to the electric issues it will take all your money so stay a way from it i am really happy with the accord and i will have always an accord thats my plan

      about 5 months ago
    • Ahmad Makmom
      Ahmad Makmom

      I owned accord 2.0 2006 to 2012 and changed to passat b7 in 2012 and still driving the passat. I love both cars. Passat is a bit better than accord in term of power, comfort, handling and I the look.

      about 6 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Ahmad Makmom

      The new 2.0L turbo Accord is really quick. We had hoped to have the Passat GT VR6 this week, but unfortunately the car was retired off the press fleet.

      about 6 months ago
    • 1quickster
      1quickster

      The Passat is older than the Accord. The Accord has just been all new from the ground up. Which one depreciate faster.

      about 6 months ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to 1quickster

      It'll be interesting to see actually. Both cars tend to hold their value better than others.

      about 6 months ago