2019 Infiniti QX30 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 Infiniti QX30 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 QX30 (except Pure) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf SportWagen only offers a rear monitor.

Both the QX30 and the Golf SportWagen have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.


The QX30 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Infiniti 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.


A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the QX30’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Golf SportWagen 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts. 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 10 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.


The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (208 vs. 147) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Golf SportWagen’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (208 vs. 168) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 199) than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION’s optional 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Infiniti QX30 is faster than the Golf SportWagen 1.8T (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.1 sec

21.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.2 sec

8.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

126 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the QX30’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 Infiniti QX30 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf SportWagen.

The QX30 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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the QX30’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf SportWagen:



Golf SportWagen

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.7 inches

The QX30 stops much shorter than the Golf SportWagen:



Golf SportWagen


70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the QX30 has larger tires than the Golf SportWagen (235/50R18 vs. 195/65R15). The QX30’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf SportWagen (235/50R18 vs. 225/45R17).

The QX30’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 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 QX30 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S. The QX30’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Golf SportWagen SE.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX30 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX30’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Golf SportWagen (106.3 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the QX30 is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Golf SportWagen.

The QX30 Essential AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Golf SportWagen SE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The QX30 Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Golf SportWagen S (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).


The QX30 is 5.4 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the QX30 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the QX30 has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Golf SportWagen uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the QX30 Essential AWD is quieter than the Golf SportWagen SE (69 vs. 71 dB).

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the QX30. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 48% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.


When three different drivers share the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a memory system.

The QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential’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 SportWagen doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the QX30 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Golf SportWagen can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

When the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Golf SportWagen’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The QX30 has standard 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 QX30’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 QX30’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 QX30 (except Pure)’s available 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.

The QX30 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional Intelligent Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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