2019 Nissan Rogue Sport vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Rogue Sport are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rogue Sport SV/SL has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Rogue Sport (except S) 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 Rogue Sport 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Rogue Sport is safer than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen:

 

Rogue Sport

Golf SportWagen

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

34%

Neck Stress

224 lbs.

336 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Rogue Sport’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 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 Rogue Sport 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION Auto (24 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

The Rogue Sport has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf SportWagen FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

The Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf SportWagen:

 

Rogue Sport

Golf SportWagen

Front Rotors

11.65 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.7 inches

The Rogue Sport’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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rogue Sport has larger standard tires than the Golf SportWagen (215/65R16 vs. 195/65R15).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rogue Sport S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S. The Rogue Sport SL’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Golf SportWagen SE.

The Rogue Sport 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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rogue Sport is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf SportWagen.

Chassis

The Rogue Sport is 7.2 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the Rogue Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf SportWagen.

Ergonomics

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers a 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 Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport SV/SL has standard extendable sun visors. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer extendable visors.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rogue Sport’s optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Rogue Sport SV/SL’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 Rogue Sport SV/SL’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 Rogue Sport (except S)’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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Rogue Sport, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Rogue outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by almost 9 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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