2019 Volkswagen Arteon vs 2018 Volkswagen Passat

2019 Volkswagen Arteon on the left and 2018 VW Passat on the right

After seeing the Volkswagen CC end with the 2017 model year, we thought that the full-size, luxury sedan was gone for the U.S. market. What we know now that we didn’t know then is that VW was imagining something entirely new. One comparison that plagued the CC – how is it different from the Passat? – is one that may also come up for the new Arteon. Comparing the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon vs the 2018 Volkswagen Passat, it’s obvious that both are sophisticated and spacious, but a bit more performance benefits can be seen in the new model.

You’ll note that while the base engine for both models is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, the Arteon is tuned to produce an astounding 268 horsepower compared to the 174 ponies produced by the Passat. It’s true a V6 is an option in the Passat, and it does produce an edge more horsepower, but this typically results in a decrease in fuel economy.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon


2018 Volkswagen Passat

Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Engine Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (available 3.6-liter v6)
268hp/258 lb-ft Performance 174hp/184 lb-ft of torque (280hp/258 lb-ft of torque)
8-speed automatic Transmission 6-speed automatic (available DSG)
Optional AWD No

Benefits of the 2019 VW Arteon

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat was always a fantastic option and previous model years were compared to the CC for an obvious reason. The CC was originally a Passat CC before breaking off as its own model. Clearly, the model is living up to its European pedigree. The Arteon has a similar aesthetic, but fastback design that may turn heads even more than the Passat already does. But the real deal maker for most will be in the transmission and drivetrain options.

We don’t know, yet, what 2019 will bring for the Passat, but we do know the current model year has a standard six-speed automatic and available dual-clutch six-speed. The Arteon has a smoother and more efficient eight-speed automatic. A highlight for the performance-minded, though, is the available 4Motion all-wheel drive system. AWD has seen an increase in demand in recent years, but is currently absent as an option for the Passat.

Standard features in the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon include full LED headlights, Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and DCC adaptive damping, keyless access with push-button start, three-zone automatic climate control and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity.

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat has standard Bluetooth, remote entry and a 5-inch touchscreen, but Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available upgrades. The touchscreen system also maxes out at 6.3 inches and the DCC system is not available.