Searching for a reliable, efficient vehicle for your daily drives near Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, or Harrisburg, PA? If you’re looking for the right sedan for everything from your morning commute to long weekend getaways, you’ve probably found yourself comparing the Volkswagen Jetta vs. Volkswagen Passat.

At Faulkner Volkswagen, we want to show you how the 2021 VW Jetta and 2021 VW Passat match up, so you can make the best choice for you! On this page, you will learn about these vehicles’ interior, performance, safety, and technology. Start reading below to get cruising.

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VW Jetta vs VW Passat: Interior Space

One of the most significant differences between the VW Jetta vs. VW Passat is size. The VW Passat is a midsize sedan, while the VW Jetta is a compact sedan, giving them slightly different interior dimensions. While both cars seat five passengers comfortably, the midsize VW Passat is, of course, going to have slightly more room.


VW Jetta

VW Passat

Headroom (front/rear)

38.5/37.2 inches

38.3/37.8 inches

Legroom (front/rear)

41.1/37.4 inches

42.4/39.1 inches

Shoulder room (front/rear)

55.9/54 inches

56.9/57 inches

Cargo Volume

14.1 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

Passenger Volume

94.7 cubic feet

102.2 cubic feet

2021 Volkswagen Passat interior

It’s worth noting that even though the VW Jetta has slightly less cargo space, it comes with 60/40-split folding rear seats. This feature will allow you to utilize more of the passenger room to store things like skis or fishing poles and helps the VW Jetta catch up to the VW Passat regarding maximum cargo space.

Since the VW Jetta is a compact sedan and the VW Passat is midsize, these differences in space are to be expected. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether you need the extra inches and cubic feet the VW Passat has to offer or if the more compact size of the VW Jetta meets your needs.

Comfort Options

The 2021 VW Jetta and the 2021 VW Passat both have several features designed to make for a more enjoyable ride. If you’re going to share your vehicle with other drivers in the family, the VW Jetta might be better for you because of its driver memory feature. This will save your seating preferences, allowing you to start every ride exactly the way you want it.

Alternatively, the VW Passat has a leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters to make every ride convenient and comfortable. That way, you won’t have to take your hands off the wheel for anything.

Both the VW Jetta and the VW Passat also have available Climatronic® dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats to ensure you’ll not only be protected from the elements when inside your Volkswagen, but you’ll also remain comfortable at all times. However, the VW Jetta also has ventilated front seats to keep you cool in the summer, in addition to staying warm in the winter.

2021 Volkswagen Passat interior comfort

First-Class Seating

Both the VW Jetta and VW Passat offer premium seating options that can have you sinking into comfort for miles and miles. Depending on which sedan you choose, you can find different fabrics as comfortable as the last. The VW Jetta can equip these seat trims:

  • Cloth
  • Leatherette
  • Perforated-leather

On the other hand, you can between these seat trims with the VW Passat:

  • Cloth
  • V-Tex leatherette

No matter which vehicle you choose, everyone seated in the cabin will be met with soft-touch seating surfaces that can make even the longest of road trips comfortable. If you prefer the additional leather option in the VW Jetta, it can give a more premium ride. However, the V-Tex fabric offered by the VW Passat can be durable against any accidents or spills.

2021 VW Jetta vs 2021 VW Passat: Engaging & Efficient Performance

2021 Volkswagen Jetta exterior
As you might expect, the larger VW Passat has more power under the hood. Its standard 2.0L TSI® turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers a lively 174 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque.

Since the Volkswagen Jetta offers you its own 1.4L TSI® turbocharged engine with 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, it’s clear that either vehicle will have the internal strength to get you wherever you want to go.

Additionally, both cars are highly fuel efficient:

VW Jetta VW Passat
EPA-Estimated City 30 MPG1 24 MPG2
EPA-Estimated Highway 41 MPG1 36 MPG2

While each VW sedan offers great gas mileage, their front-wheel drivetrains also help them achieve top-notch fuel efficiency. Vehicles equipped with front-wheel drive are typically lighter in weight, which allows them to burn less gas when in motion.

Want a Customized Ride?

2021 Volkswagen Jetta customized rideBoth vehicles also offer the ability to customize your drive. In the 2021 VW Jetta, you’ll have the option to choose your driving mode. With four drive modes to choose from, you’re able to pick the best mode to match your intended driving experience.

  • Eco: For the fuel-conscious drivers, this drive mode optimizes shift points, throttle response, and climate control settings to improve fuel economy.
  • Normal: For those daily drives or weekend errands, this mode gives the most balanced experience.
  • Sport: If you’re looking for a more spirited drive, this drive mode delivers a dynamic throttle response and tighter steering.
  • Custom: If you don’t like to be put in a box, this mode lets you freely alter steering, throttle, ACC, and climate control as you please.

The 2021 VW Passat offers a similar feature in the 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode and Tiptronic® shifting. While the normal 6-speed transmission will already give you a smooth ride, Sport mode will offer a little more fun and allow you to feel a little more active.

Safety Features: Driver-Assist Technology

2021 Volkswagen Passat safety featuresThe VW Passat and the VW Jetta are two sedans that bring a lot of standard safety technology to the table. They each offer a suite of available driver-assistive technologies, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control: This feature will help keep your Volkswagen a pre-set distance from the car in front of you, while also cruising along at your chosen speed.
  • Blind Spot Monitor: This feature will warn you of cars in your blind spot when you signal a lane change.
  • Forward Collision Warning: This feature is designed to alert you to potential oncoming front-end collisions—and apply the brakes if needed.
  • Lane Assist: This system, active over 37 MPH, can warn you if you’ve drifted out of your lane without signaling.
  • Light Assist: This feature can keep an eye on your high beams to ensure you’ll have maximum visibility without accidentally blinding oncoming drivers.

These VW models also include multiple standard safety measures that help prevent potential collisions and assist you in the event of an accident. The features include:

  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System: After an initial collision, this system applies the brakes to potentially reduce the chance of additional damage.
  • Intelligent Crash Response System: In the event of an accident, this feature shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks all doors, and turns on the hazard lights.
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking: This system works hand-in-hand with the Forward Collision Warning by activating the brakes if the driver does not do so when a potential collision is detected.
  • Rear Traffic Alert System: When reversing out of your driveway or a parking spot, this feature will audibly warn you if a vehicle is passing behind the rear of your VW ride.

With these systems—along with many passive systems–you’ll have more control over your vehicle and a clearer picture of what’s going on around you!

2021 VW Jetta vs 2021 VW Passat: Infotainment

Volkswagen Passat

Staying connected is easy in both the VW Jetta and the VW Passat thanks to these features:

  • Bluetooth® technology: If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to stream audio right from your phone, this feature is for you.
  • App-Connect: When streaming audio isn’t enough, connect your smartphone and use several selected apps so you can easily check your maps, music, podcasts, or phone calls.
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™: Seamlessly play Adele’s discography, your current true crime playlist, or that new sci-fi audiobook you’ve been stoked about with these integration systems.

If you’re looking to have an immersive listening experience, both the VW Jetta and VW Passat offer available audio systems. You can opt for the eight-speaker Fender® Premium Audio System in the VW Passat. On the other hand, you’ll be sure to stay plugged in with the BeatsAudio® sound system offered in the VW Jetta. Whichever you choose, you can stay connected and bopping.

The VW Jetta and VW Passat offer the available Discover Media System, which adds a navigation system to both sedans. The navigation system features an enhanced map, intuitive route options, quick access to frequently visited locations, and advanced route management.

Volkswagen Jetta vs Volkswagen Passat: Choose Your Sedan

At Faulkner Volkswagen, we want to make choosing a quality sedan easy for shoppers across Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Hopefully, this Volkswagen Jetta vs. Volkswagen Passat comparison helped you weigh your options.

If you’re looking for a compact or midsize sedan that’s efficient, powerful, and spacious, you can’t go wrong with either the 2021 VW Jetta or the 2021 VW Passat. The best way to decide is to schedule a test drive with us today!

130 city/41 highway mpg (2021 Jetta 1.4L, 6-speed manual transmission). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.
2 24 city/36 highway mpg (2021 Passat 2.0L, 6-speed automatic transmission). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.

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