Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Passat VS 2017 Mazda 6 Near Washington, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Passat

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2018 Volkswagen Passat

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2017 Mazda 6

Safety Comparison

The Passat has standard post collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Passat SE Technology Package/SEL has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Compared to metal, the Passat’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Passat and the Mazda 6 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Mazda 6:



Mazda 6




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

85 lbs.

107 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

86/37 lbs.

335/150 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 Mazda 6:



Mazda 6


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

256 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

437 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

61 G’s

64 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

671 lbs.

671 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

The Passat comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The 6’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Mazda 6’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Passat’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Mazda 6’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Passat has a 140-amp alternator. The Mazda 6’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 27th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Passat’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 96 more horsepower (280 vs. 184) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 185) than the Mazda 6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Passat V6 is faster than the Mazda 6 (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.1 sec

13.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.6 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.9 MPH

87.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Passat has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mazda 6 (18.5 vs. 16.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Passat’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda 6:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.7 inches

The Passat stops shorter than the Mazda 6:



Mazda 6


70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Passat’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mazda 6 (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The Passat R-Line/GT’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Passat SE handles at .83 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Grand Touring pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Passat SEL Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Mazda 6 Touring (26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Passat SEL Premium is quieter than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Passat has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 6 (102.3 vs. 99.7).

The Passat has .2 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 6.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Passat has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 6 (15.9 vs. 14.8 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Passat offers cargo security. The Mazda 6’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Passat. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Passat’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Passat and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Passat is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Passat R-Line/SE/SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Mazda 6 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 Mazda 6 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Touring/Grand Touring.

Both the Passat and the Mazda 6 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Passat has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Mazda 6 Sport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Passat SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Passat owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Passat with a number “3” insurance rate while the Mazda 6 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The Passat will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Passat will retain 42.97% to 77.66% of its original price after five years, while the Mazda 6 only retains 37.01% to 38.94%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because typical repairs cost less on the Passat than the Mazda 6, including $13 less for front brake pads, $55 less for a fuel pump and $19 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen Passat and the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the Passat as their 2012 Car of the Year. The Mazda 6 has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Passat outsold the Mazda 6 by 21% during the 2017 model year.

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