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Acura TSX vs Honda Accord vs Volkswagen Passat



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This discussion is listed under the Passat and the TSX (which is how we list all comparos), so the original poster has indeed posted in the Passat forum. :)

    The poster is looking for feedback, not necessarily "praise", for both cars, so your input is very helpful.
  • I recently purchased a 2008 Acura TSX with Navigation. I originally wanted to
    purchase a VW Eos (wanted a convertible) and went so far as to get pricing
    quotes: The Eos isn't exactly a Passat, but I believe it shares some common
    components: 2.0 turbo engine & transmission. The car was fun to drive and I
    liked the engine and DSG transmission, but what killed the purchase was the
    dismal VW reliability ratings and even worse dealer service rating for VW.

    I switched gears and considered Volvo S40, Audi A4 & the TSX. I also think
    the Audi A4 2.0 turbo engine is similar to VW's (same company). Very fun car
    to drive, but from the Audi forums, it seems to spend a lot of time in the
    service dept. Also more expensive when considering features. The TSX
    simply seemed to be a bargain considering all it comes with.

    As a final note, a good friend of mine owns a Passat with 150000+ miles on it -
    mid 1990's, I think - and he told me that he had a lot of reliability issues with
    his car over the years and felt I'd made a good choice with the Acura.

    What you may like about the Passat is the European design that I liked a lot
    about the style/interior of the Eos/Audi/Volvo. But I think the TSX is a
    tremendous value and the style has grown on me and it is very nice to drive.
  • bpitt1bpitt1 Posts: 6
    I owned a 2006 Passat 2.0t sedan for 15 months; while I loved driving it, I did not love the amount of time it spent at the dealer for recalls and other issues. I initially considered the TSX, but decided to get the Passat since it was larger and less expensive (although a comparably equipped Passat is more expensive than the TSX), and liked the way it drove vs. the TSX.

    All said, I traded it in on a 2008 Passat Wagon (lease). I'm hoping the 2008 has all the bugs worked out. If I had wanted another sedan, however, I would have gone with the TL or the new Accord, which is a lot of car for the money).

    If you are interested in keeping your car beyond the warranty timeframe, definitely go with the Acura. Resale value is also going to be better on the Acura/ Honda.

    One other perk with Acura service: loaner cars! VW won't give you one unless the car is deemed mechanically dangerous to operate.

    My final opinion... even though I love the way my Passat drives, it sounds like you should go with the Acura (although I'd really suggest you test drive the new accord V6... tons more power than the TSX, more space than the TL , AND takes regular unleaded vs. 91+.) Good luck!
  • Passat vs TSX is comparing apples and oranges:

    Acura is a near luxury / luxury brand. VW is not.

    Acura's competitors: Audi, Volvo, Lexus, Saab, Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti

    VW's competitors: Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc.

    Acura's level of service tends to be better - especially if they want to keep pace with said competitors.
  • bpitt1bpitt1 Posts: 6
    That may be, but the guy has asked for opinions comparing the two. (While VW might be in the same ballpark, there isn't a Honda, Toyota or Nissan that handles like the VW does).

    While Acura may be a luxury brand, the TSX is an Accord at heart. The Passat feels more like a luxury brand in ride, handling, power than the TSX , but a navi-equipped Passat costs the same or more than the Acura, so the trade-off will always be Acura reliability and service vs. Passat's Germanic driving experience. All said, I think the Acura or Honda will be better for him since he wants to keep the car for the long haul. In my opinion the new Accord is more car for the $ than the TSX and is still reliable, just don't expect free loaners from Honda...
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    when I owned my 05 civic the dealer provided me with free loaner cars when I took the car there for service. Many honda dealers do have free loaner cars.
  • gregd1gregd1 Posts: 38
    I was looking at the same.
    The Passat has a lot more back seat room.
    The TSX has:
    Rear Leg Room: 34.2 in.

    And the Passat has:
    Rear Leg Room: 37.7 in.

    That is a huge difference. Between being able to let a full grown adult in the back seat. And only being able to put a bag in the back seat.

    I wish the TSX would add 3 inches to the back seat.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    How different will that feel between the 200 HP on Passat and 207 HP on TSX? The 207 TSX has to be gained at much higher engine speed.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    3.5 inch will make big diffenrence on the sitting. However, the measure is not accurate and also depends on how they measure them. Of course the Passat has more space than the TSX.
  • gregd1gregd1 Posts: 38
    Yes, I also wonder how they get the leg room.
    Is the seat all the way forward? Or all the way back? To measure.

    Acura has a great warranty. And great cars. I wish they would add some space in the back seat. Just a little :cry:

    Rear Leg Room: 34.9 in.

    Rear Leg Room: 34.2 in.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,039
    Rear seat legroom in a car like this, for me, is borderline irrelevant. The car needs to have some (no 2+2's), but the amount is not that important. Unless I'm planning to take 3 full-size people to San Diego from Phoenix. . .

    I don't use my car for that. I drive with no one else in it 98%+ of the time. I need the back seat to be useable for that other 2%, but it's not as if I'm hauling them to the East Coast. It's for a few miles.

    In an earlier life, I played a mid/senior manager type and needed to take "clients" to lunch from time to time. Then it's important to have a "worthy" vehicle with a proper back seat.

    I don't do that any more.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The Rear Seat Legroom specification really doesn't tell the full story. Consider the following measurements from for different cars:

    34.2" -- 2008 Acura TSX
    34.9" -- 2008 Acura TL
    37.7" -- 2008 VW Passat VR6
    37.0" -- 1995 VW Passat VR6 (You'll see why I've added this car in a moment)

    By the looks of things the Acura TL only has seven tenths of an inch more rear leg room than the Acura TSX. By the same token, the new Passat looks like it beats the Passat from two generations ago by that same seven tenths of an inch. Right? Nope, wrong.

    Why wrong? Because that measurement is taken with the front seat all of the way back, and as such, a car with greater front seat travel will (theoretically at least) will leave the remaining space in the rear when not used by the front seat occupants. Consider the following:

    - FR ---- RR ---- Tot
    42.4" -- 34.2" -- 76.6" -- 2008 Acura TSX
    42.8" -- 34.9" -- 77.7" -- 2008 Acura TL
    41.4" -- 37.7" -- 79.1" -- 2008 VW Passat VR6
    45.1" -- 37.0" -- 82.1" -- 1995 VW Passat VR6

    Interesting difference huh?. With the two Acuras, the TL ended up extending its legroom advantage from 0.7" to 1.1", not too shabby. On the VW front, we see a reversal of fortunes with the 1995 erasing the 0.7" lead that the 2008 had and blowing by it by another 3.0".

    FWIW, I used to have one of those old Passats, and I've got to tell you, a freaking giant would have been able to find a comfortable seating position in that car, and since I'm only 5'8", when I positioned the front seat all of the way back to the stops, I wasn't able to reach the steering wheel, the stick shift, or any of the three pedals. Conversely, when I positioned the front seat so that I could drive comfortably, there was so much rear seat legroom that even my 6'6" business partner could sit back there and cross his legs comfortably.

    Best Regards,
  • mumin4umumin4u Posts: 2
    Hey man I don't blame you one bit for liking the Passat!!! I personally have owned Hondas, Acuras, and VWs. In this day and age of globalization cars are becoming more and more like each other!!! Hondas/Acuras use the fly-by-wire technology that VW and other German automakers have been using for over 20 years!!! Also, more and more components of control systems are being replaced by electronics. German cars are not the only cars to be electronic anymore!!! Everyone is going electronic!!! So the complexity of the parts and service for these types of vehicles will obviously increase. Therefore electrical components failing is a problem with both brands is about the same!!! Keeping that in mind, I would have to say that the real difference between the Acura TSX (although I don't think it's an appropriate comparison--the TL would have been a better comparison) and the Passat is the driving experience. German automakers have focused more on drivetrains that generate more lower end torque vs drivetrains that generate more horsepower. You will notice the Passat has less horsepower than the TSX but the Passat feels as if it grips the ground much better than the TSX (and at a lower RPM)!!! The Passat will have a more refined ride compared to the TSX. If you are a person that likes to impress the ladies with revving you engine high, then the TSX will suit you better. If you are intent on beating the teenager with his GF while taking off from the traffic light, the Passat will suit you better!!! In terms of powertrain, I personally advise you to stay away from Turbocharged applications. I believe there is still a great deal of work needed in order to properly integrate a turbocharger with an electronic engine. In that regards I'd recommend the 3.6 VR6 as great engine!! It is probably one of the most reliable water-cooled engines VW has ever manufactured!!! If you are looking for great fuel economy and a no frills driving experience I'd recommend the TSX. VW will have "reliability" issues simply because VW will take more design risks compared to Honda. Honda is pretty conservative and doesn't usually change their design philosophy except once every blue moon. VW is constantly thinking outside of the box and doing so will carry it's share of risks!!! With design and innovation someone has to take a risk (and the potential falls and rises associated with it)!!! I know this is about at year or so late but hopefully it will shed some light on your desire for the VW German driving experience!!! I know it all too well owning currently owning a GTI and Passat!!! :-)
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Doesn't the 2.0T engine in the passat offer 201 torque, while the TSX has 172.

    In a VW or Honda, most don't always opt for a V6. Though the VW V6 has a huge premium, wouldn't always be practical. Why do you think a bigger car like the passat has a 4cyl engine, turbocharged, but excellent. Others could take pointers with this method. The 4cyl are tuned so well that its plenty powerful to get around with some fun. I love VW's approach, putting the most power within the speeds used most. I love it!
  • I thought long and hard on the virtues of each vehicle for months. For me, it came down to reliability and resale. If I had purchased the Passat, I would've also bought the extended warranty for peace of mind. The price of the extended warranty would have off-set the savings the Passat had over the TSX. Thus, for this reason I got the TSX on Friday, and am exceedingly glad that I did.
  • Dude "fly by wire" is a very new, last 3 or 4 years at most.

    Most OTHER components have been electronic for 30 years.

    Cars don't "grip the road" at lower torque.

    I'm not sure you have a clue - or a point.
  • You seem to know quite a bit about the Passats. I, on the other hand, have never owned a German car - I am a transplant from Japanese cars - until now... have just picked up a new Passat - the dealer gave me a great deal on it - and was wondering if it would be OK for me to use low octane gas (87) as opposed to the premium in conjunction with the turbo.

  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    You should always do what your owner's manual says you should do.
  • How much did you pay for your TSX?
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