Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Passat VS 2018 Chevrolet Impala Near Washington, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Passat

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2018 Volkswagen Passat

VS
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2018 Chevrolet Impala

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 Impala 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 Impala doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Passat and the Impala 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Chevrolet Impala:

 

Passat

Impala

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

384

412

Neck Compression

85 lbs.

97 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Impala:

 

Passat

Impala

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.39/.46

.68/.32

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 Chevrolet Impala:

 

Passat

Impala

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

180 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

332 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

627 lbs.

855 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

305

315

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Passat the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 136 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Impala was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

The Volkswagen Passat has a better fatality history. The Passat was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 18% lower per vehicle registered than the Impala, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

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

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 4 years and unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (10/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

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

Engine Comparison

The Passat’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 83 more horsepower (280 vs. 197) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 191) than the Impala’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Passat V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Impala V6:

 

Passat

Impala

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.1 sec

10.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.6 sec

2.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.9 MPH

96.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the Impala:

 

 

Passat

Impala

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/36 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

 

3.6 V6/6-spd. Auto

19 city/28 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

 

n/a

18 city/28 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Passat stops shorter than the Impala:

 

Passat

Impala

 

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Passat SE handles at .84 G’s, while the Impala LT pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Impala’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Volkswagen Passat may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Chevrolet Impala.

The Passat is 9.4 inches shorter than the Impala, making the Passat easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Passat has .4 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Impala.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Passat easier. The Passat’s trunk lift-over height is 28.2 inches, while the Impala’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

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 Impala 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 Passat’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impala’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Passat the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Passat has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Impala doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Passat SE Technology Package/SEL Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Impala doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Passat (except S/R-Line/GT) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Impala doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Passat SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Impala’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Passat and the Impala offer available heated front seats. The Passat also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impala.

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 Impala 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 Impala is rated higher at a number “8” 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 Impala only retains 38.93% to 39.26%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $40 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Passat than the Impala, including $155 less for a water pump, $91 less for front brake pads, $59 less for fuel injection and $231 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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

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