2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the UX Series and the Golf SportWagen have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The UX Series comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Lexus 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.

Reliability

The camshafts in the UX Series’ 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (169 vs. 147) than the Golf SportWagen’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 200’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 1 more horsepower (169 vs. 168) than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION’s optional 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 7 more horsepower (175 vs. 168) than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION’s optional 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen:

 

 

UX Series

Golf

 

2WD

200/Auto

29 city/37 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

 

n/a

22 city/32 hwy

1.8T/Manual

 

250h/Auto

41 city/38 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

1.8T/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the UX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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

The UX Series 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 SportWagen doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

UX Series

Golf

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Golf SportWagen (225/50R18 vs. 195/65R15).

The UX Series’ 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 UX Series 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.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series 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 better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the UX Series is 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf SportWagen.

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Golf SportWagen’s (34.2 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ available liftgate can be opened just by a gesture, leaving your hands completely free. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

The UX Series 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 Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel 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.

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series 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.

The UX Series’ 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.

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

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