Paying a Little More for a 2021 Mazda6 Is Worth It Over the Volkswagen Passat

If you’re looking for a midsize sedan with a luxury feel to it and a sporty ride all for an affordable price, you might be comparing two pretty popular cars on the market. The Mazda6 and Volkswagen Passat have many of the same features and specs. But each one has its own positive and negative aspects about it. 

Autotrader compared the two sedans, and they recommend choosing the Mazda6 over the Passat. Let’s see what each one offers and why the Mazda6 is the one to buy. 

What you can expect with the Mazda6?

Autotrader took a liking to the 2021 Mazda6. They praised the vehicle’s exceptional interior, roominess, and included active-safety features. Mazda seemed to go all out on its midsize sedan by implementing a superb exterior design along with a polished interior. The starting price for it is $24,445 MSRP. 

For this new model year, Mazda added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features. In the upper trims, you can get the wireless CarPlay feature as well. Other available equipment offered for the top trims include 19-inch black wheels, black accent pieces throughout the vehicle, and some red leather seating. 

The top-level trim, the Signature rivals other sedans that are considered near-luxury, according to Autotrader. This model offers driver-drowsiness monitoring and even rear automatic emergency braking. 

But there were a few things that failed to impress the reviewers. They didn’t like the small trunk the Mazda6 comes with. There’s also no AWD offering, no upgrades for the transmission, and there’s no hybrid version available as of yet. 

What does the Volkswagen Passat offer?

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The Volkswagen Passat received good marks from Autotrader for its roominess, large cargo space, and an exceptional warranty. You’ll find the interior specs are pretty close to the Mazda6, but there seems to be slightly more head and legroom in the rear seats of the vehicle. There’s also 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the Passat, which is 1.2 cubic feet more than what Mazda offers. Its price tag starts at $23,995 MSRP.

Volkswagen’s warranty is pretty good when you compare it to Mazda’s. The Passat offers coverage for four years or the first 50,000 miles, which is one year and 14,000 more miles more than the Mazda6. 

However, the Passat isn’t without its weaknesses. Autotrader wasn’t quite impressed with its simplistic exterior styling, one weak engine choice, no transmission upgrade, no hybrid version, and no available AWD option.

Why the Mazda6 is the better choice

We know the Mazda6 has a slightly larger price tag than the Volkswagen Passat, but in this case, it may not matter all that much. The Mazda gives you more standard features for that price than what you would get buying Volkswagen’s midsize sedan. 

First, the Mazda6 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 187 hp for the lower trim levels. If you upgrade to a higher one, you can get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder generating 227 hp (250 hp with Premium fuel). The Passat only offers a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder motor that produces 174 hp.

The next reason is that it handles and rides like a dream. Autotrader said it was fun to drive around in and had “sporty driving character.” The Passat, however, wasn’t as quick as they would’ve liked. As for how it drove, Autotrader had nothing more to say about it. 

Lastly, the Mazda6 offers tons more standard features for the base model than the Passat does. With the Mazda, you get lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning that comes with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking to name just a few. 

Both midsize sedans are pretty good options, but the Mazda6 is clearly the better choice to make. Don’t let the higher price tag fool you. You’ll get more standard features for your money by choosing the Mazda.