Consumer Reports Recommends the 2022 Subaru Legacy Over the Volkswagen Passat for Short Drivers

Car shopping doesn’t need to be difficult – especially for short drivers. There is so much to love about sedans. They are great for maneuvering through traffic and fitting in tight parking spaces. They also have excellent fuel economy ratings, and best of all, they are practical. Let’s see why Consumer Reports praises the 2022 Subaru Legacy over the 2022 Volkswagen Passat for smaller drivers.

The 2022 Subaru Legacy received great marks in the Consumer Reports test for short drivers

An overhead shot of the 2022 Subaru Legacy midsize sedan in blue parked on a cobblestone road
2022 Subaru Legacy | Subaru of America, Inc.

If you didn’t know, Consumer Reports runs tests with shorter and taller staff members. That way, you can make an informed decision before signing on the dotted line. The participants of this test judged their findings based on the following categories: 

  • Access 
  • Driving position
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Visibility

The results are used to make composite scores for each car model. The reviewers take the time to pick out the best options for short drivers with different size classes. They also list alternative options. The best part? Consumer Reports members can read detailed responses about each model. 

Consumer Reports awarded the best midsize sedan for short drivers to the 2022 Subaru Legacy. The 2022 Volkswagen Passat fell behind slightly. The overall score for the Legacy is 87 out of 100. For the Passat, it’s 71 out of 100. Although both models scored 4 out of 5 ratings in front seat comfort, the Passat received a 3/5 for its ride quality. Meanwhile, the Legacy scored high with 5/5 in the same category.

The Legacy’s driving position is great for all body types. There is more than enough headroom, which is advantageous for tall passengers. The center console even features a cutout for right knee space. Short drivers will have no problems with visibility, either. The slim roof pillars and generously-sized side windows allow you to see clearly.

Meanwhile, if you opt for the VW Passat SE trim level, the passenger’s seat is fully manual with no lumbar support. Additionally, the rear-seat headrests block the view out the rear window, and unfortunately, they can’t flip down.

Other notable features of the 2022 Subaru Legacy

Aside from being a good option for short drivers, the Subaru Legacy boasts a smooth ride. In fact, it’s comparable to a luxury midsize sedan. It has a 182-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but a turbocharged 260-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine option is also available. It also comes with advanced safety technologies like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

What Consumer Reports likes about the Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat also has excellent features. For starters, it’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. It comes equipped with many convenience features, like the dual-zone automatic climate system, heated front seats, and heated mirrors. The infotainment system features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Which midsize sedan is right for my driving needs?

MotorTrend states, unless you “find yourself needing ground clearance and off-road capability, three rows of seating, or massive towing capacity, a sedan might better suit your needs.”

Unfortunately, the Volkswagen Passat is being discontinued after the 2022 model, but there’s still plenty of time to get yours. Still, if you’re a shorter driver, chances are, you’ll like the Subaru Legacy a little better. Not only does it have better visibility, but it also boasts a smooth, comfortable ride. However, the best way to see which one is right for you is to jump inside for a test drive.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Recommends the 2022 Subaru Legacy Over the Honda Accord for Tall Drivers