2019 Nissan Kicks vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Kicks SR has a standard 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 Kicks and the Golf SportWagen have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Kicks comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Nissan 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.

There are over 66 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kicks’ warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Kicks’ 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 Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 2 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Kicks

FWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

31 city/36 hwy

Golf

FWD

Manual

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

AWD

Manual

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

Auto

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

8

Transmission

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

The Kicks 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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kicks has larger tires than the Golf SportWagen (205/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).

The Kicks S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 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 Kicks S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S.

The Kicks has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Kicks SR 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.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Golf SportWagen’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 650 pounds less than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

The Kicks is 10.5 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the Kicks easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Passenger Space

The Kicks has 2.1 inches more front headroom and 2.5 inches more front legroom than the Golf SportWagen.

Ergonomics

The Kicks SV/SR 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 SportWagen doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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

The Kicks SV/SR’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.

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

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