2021 Honda Accord vs. 2021 Volkswagen Passat

2021 Honda Accord vs Volkswagen Passat

The award-winning Honda Accord continues to distance itself from the competition as one of America’s most popular midsize four-door sedans. And for good reason. With its spacious and well-appointed cabin, fuel-efficient yet peppy performance, extensive list of standard features, superior safety technology, and handsome good looks, the 2021 Accord offers the perfect combination of style, value, and quality that car buyers want.

While the Accord reigns supreme as America’s preferred family-sized sedan, that’s not to say that other automakers have given up on trying to topple it. There are plenty of contenders who seek to emulate the Accord’s perennial success, one of whom is the 2021 Volkswagen Passat. Let’s compare the 2021 Accord LX with the comparably equipped 2021 Passat S model and see which one comes out on top.


Staid vs Sophisticated

The 2021 Passat remains largely unchanged from the 2020 model. This is especially evident in the Passat’s shopworn sheet metal, which hasn’t had a major refresh in almost eight years. Car and Driver recently reviewed the 2021 Passat, stating that, “’ll satisfy people who are concerned with getting places in peace versus in style.” Ouch.

In fact, the only major change to the Passat in 2021 is an increase in price. That means you’re basically paying more for the Passat’s aging looks.

2021 Accord - Sophisticated Styling

In contrast, the updated 2021 Honda Accord gets rave reviews for its sophisticated styling that artfully combines an athletic and sporty look with an elegant and graceful silhouette. The 2021 Accord gets a mild upgrade with a wider grille, and standard LED headlights. It’s clean and cohesive, no matter the angle.

Performance & Fuel Economy

Passat Stays in the Slow Lane

The 2021 Passat sticks with the same anemic 2.0-liter, turbocharged TSI® power plant across all trim levels, with VW having dropped the more potent V6 from the Passat lineup. The result is mediocre performance, at best. Mated to a six-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission, the Passat’s turbo four churns out just 174 hp at 5000 rpm.

On the other hand, generating an impressive 192 hp at 5500 rpm, the Accord’s more potent 1.5-liter, VTEC® turbocharged four-cylinder engine with Eco-Assist® and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) leaves the Passat in its rearview mirror.

The thrifty and fuel-efficient Accord also easily bests the Passat in terms of fuel economy. With the Accord, you’ll get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway*. The Passat looks positively foolish fuelish compared to the Accord, with an EPA-estimated 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway.

When it comes to the ultimate in fuel efficiency, the Passat takes a pass on hybrid technology. The Accord Hybrid EX, however, offers exceptional gas mileage (48 mpg) thanks to its advanced, industry leading hybrid technology.

2021 Honda Accord 2021 VW Passat S
Horsepower 192 hp @ 5500 rpm* 174 hp @ 5000 rpm
EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway* 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway
Hybrid Fuel Efficiency 48 mpg Not available
2021 Honda Accord - More Tech for your Money


First Class vs Economy

If you like traveling first class rather than economy, then the Accord’s roomy and well-appointed interior is sure to suit you better than the Passat. Crafted of high-quality materials and ergonomically designed for the ultimate in comfort and convenience. The Accord’s exceptional cabin is an oasis of quiet elegance.

The dowdy Passat’s interior, however, fails to impress with what calls an “unimaginative interior….[that is] handsome in a German, utilitarian way, but it’s lacking true inspiration to earn our full praise.”

The Accord offers more total interior volume, a larger trunk, more front shoulder room, and more rear legroom than the Passat.

2021 Accord LX 2021 VW Passat S
Passenger Volume 105.6 cubic feet 102.2 cubic feet
Trunk Volume 16.7 cubic feet 15.9 cubic feet
Front Headroom 39.5 in 38.3 in
Front Shoulder Room 58.3 in 56.9 in
Rear Legroom 40.4 in 39.1 in
2021 Honda Accord - More Tech for your Money

Features & Technology

The Accord continues to offer class-leading technology and innovative features to keep you connected and entertained. Standard on the Accord LX is an 8-inch, high-resolution Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration*. Of course, the Accord comes packed with the latest connectivity features, including Bluetooth® Hands-Free Link, Bluetooth® Streaming Audio*, and more. Plus, the Accord gives you dual-zone climate control and push-button start as standard equipment.

The Passat S comes with a much smaller 6.3-inch display, manual air conditioning, and doesn’t offer push-button start or remote keyless entry.


Keeping you and your passengers safe has long been a top priority for Honda engineers. That’s why you’ll find the comprehensive Honda Sensing® suite of advanced driver-assist safety technologies as standard equipment on every Honda. These include Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Lane-Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

In addition, every Honda Accord comes with Honda’s exclusive ACE™ Body Structure, which is specifically designed to help absorb the impact of a frontal collision.

2021 Accord LX 2021 VW Passat S
ACE™ Body Structure Standard Not Available
Traffic Sign Recognition Standard Not Available

With its superior performance, better fuel economy, spacious interior, and innovative technology and advanced safety features, the 2021 Accord LX easily passes up the aging Passat. Perhaps that’s why Volkswagen will be phasing out the Passat by the end of the 2023 model year.


192 hp @ 5500 rpm (SAE net)

30 city/38 highway/33 combined mpg rating for LX and EX-L trims. 48 city/48 highway/48 combined mpg rating for Hybrid, Hybrid EX and Hybrid EX-L trims. 44 city/41 highway/43 combined mpg rating for the Hybrid Touring trim. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-package/condition (hybrid trims) and other factors.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license.

Apple CarPlay is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Android and Android Auto are trademarks of Google LLC.