2019 Audi Allroad vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Allroad have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Audi Pre Sense City in the Allroad as “Superior.” The Golf SportWagen scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Allroad. But it costs extra on the Golf SportWagen.

The Allroad Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf SportWagen only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Allroad and the Golf SportWagen have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Allroad weighs 500 to 772 pounds more than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.


The Allroad comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Audi will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf SportWagen.

The Allroad’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Golf SportWagen’s (12 vs. 10 years).


The Audi Allroad’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Golf SportWagen’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The camshafts in the Allroad’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Golf SportWagen 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Golf SportWagen’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 9 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.


The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 101 more horsepower (248 vs. 147) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the Golf SportWagen’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 80 more horsepower (248 vs. 168) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 199) than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION’s optional 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi Allroad is faster than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Golf SportWagen

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

21.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

128 MPH

126 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Allroad’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Allroad has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf SportWagen FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The Audi Allroad comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf SportWagen.

The Allroad offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer an SMG.

The Allroad’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf SportWagen:



Golf SportWagen

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.7 inches

The Allroad’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Golf SportWagen are solid, not vented.

The Allroad stops much shorter than the Golf SportWagen:



Golf SportWagen


70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Allroad has larger tires than the Golf SportWagen (245/45R18 vs. 195/65R15). The Allroad’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf SportWagen (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

The Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf SportWagen S’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Allroad has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S. The Golf SportWagen’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Allroad has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Golf SportWagen’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Allroad has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Golf SportWagen’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Allroad’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Golf SportWagen (110.9 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Allroad is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf SportWagen.

The Allroad Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Golf SportWagen SE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Allroad Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure-Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Golf SportWagen S (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Allroad has .5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf SportWagen.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Allroad. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Allroad has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Allroad is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Golf SportWagen. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 43% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.


When two different drivers share the Allroad, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Allroad Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Allroad has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Allroad has standard extendable sun visors. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Allroad offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Golf SportWagen offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Allroad has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Golf SportWagen 4Motion/SE. The Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Golf SportWagen.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Allroad’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Allroad’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Golf SportWagen’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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