2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the CR-V as “Superior.” The Golf Alltrack scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CR-V and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CR-V the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf Alltrack was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

The CR-V comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Honda 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 Alltrack.

There are over 60 percent more Honda dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Golf Alltrack isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 1 place higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (184 vs. 168) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (190 vs. 168) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the CR-V 1.5T is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

 

CR-V

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.3 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CR-V gets better fuel mileage than the Golf Alltrack:

 

 

 

MPG

CR-V

FWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

Golf Alltrack

AWD

Manual

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

Auto

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

The CR-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Honda CR-V comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

 

CR-V

Golf Alltrack

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the Golf Alltrack (235/65R17 vs. 205/55R17). The CR-V LX’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (235/65R17 vs. 225/45R18).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CR-V’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (104.7 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Golf Alltrack.

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 11.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (105.9 vs. 94.3).

The CR-V has 1.5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 4.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The Golf Alltrack’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 30.4 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Golf Alltrack with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 66.5 cubic feet).

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the Golf Alltrack’s in almost every dimension:

 

CR-V

Golf Alltrack

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

41.5”/69.1”

Max Width

54”

50.2”

Min Width

41.5”

39.6”

Height

41”

29.2”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CR-V EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CR-V has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the CR-V EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CR-V has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf Alltrack only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CR-V’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf Alltrack’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Model Availability

The CR-V is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

Golf Alltrack

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Golf Alltrack isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The Golf has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The Golf was Car of the Year in 2015.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by almost 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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