2016 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2016 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen’s two sedans, one compact and the other midsize, continue to make waves in the automotive industry. Their turbocharged yet efficient engines, sleek and sporty exteriors, classy interiors dressed with finesse, and their advanced safety and entertainment technology; the list could go on and on.

These are the primary categories the Volkswagen Jetta and Passat excel in, but even though you might own a two-car garage, you’re probably only to pick one or the other.

Allow us to further tell you more about how the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2016 Volkswagen Passat differ. Strictly comparing the two size-wise, the VW Jetta is a compact sedan and therefore is going to be slightly smaller than the midsize VW Passat. 

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2016 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2016 Volkswagen Passat
1.4L 4-cylinder Engine Choices

1.8L 4-cylinder

3.6L V6
Front-wheel drive Drivetrain Front-wheel drive
Yes IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Yes

1.4T S

1.4T SE

1.8T Sport

1.8T SEL


Trim Levels





SEL Premium

2016 Volkswagen Jetta or Passat? Take your pick.

What’s interesting is that althought the two differ in size, passenger space isn’t compromised; the backseat passengers only lose an inch of legroom in the Jetta and yet it still remains one of the more spacious sedans on the market. Cargo space isn’t a concern in either vehicle, but if you need as much storage space as possible, the Passat will be the larger and better equipped choice.

Being the smaller vehicle of the two, the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta also carries with it the smaller price tag. The same finite materials are used throughout the interior, giving both vehicles a look and feel of luxury compared to the common sedans out there on the market.

The Volkswagen Jetta houses a smaller turbocharged engine that produces 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque while still managing a fuel economy rating of 28 city/ 39 hwy mpg. It comes standard with a five-speed manual but can also take up a six-speed automatic.

As for the Volkswagen Passat, it takes arms with a slightly larger turbocharged 4-cylinder that boosts horsepower to 170 and still manages 25 city/ 38 hwy mpg. The 4-cylinder is carried across all trim levels except for the SEL Premium which jumps up to the 3.6L V6; horsepower climbs to 280 while the fuel economy settles in at 20 city/ 28 hwy mpg.

The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta and Passat are both available with Volkswagen’s latest, second-generation infotainment system, MIB II. It will allow drivers to pair their smartphones and vehicle through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, creating a whole new user experience when it comes to accessing music, contacts, and navigation systems.

Both also are available with Volkswagen’s advanced safety, pre-collision systems, which include: Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Park Pilot. The Passat also adds in Park Assist and Lane Assist, but still both vehicles are Top Safety Pick+ plus vehicles according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Drivers interested in learning more about specific differences between trim levels and packaging options are encouraged to get in contact with a Donaldsons VW teammember. We would be happy to answer any questions and further explain how the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta and Passat compare, or which would best suit what you’re looking for. We hope to see you soon at Donaldsons VW!

front view of the 2016 volkswagen jetta
interior space and seating of 2016 volkswagen jetta
front view of grille on 2016 vw passat
interior space and seating vw passat