2019 Nissan Versa Sedan vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Versa Sedan and the Golf 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

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

 

Versa Sedan

Golf

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

311

454

Neck Injury Risk

28%

33%

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Versa Sedan is safer than the Volkswagen Golf:

 

Versa Sedan

Golf

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

584 lbs.

834 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Versa Sedan 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.

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 Versa Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Versa Sedan’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Golf’s camshafts. If the Golf’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Versa Sedan’s reliability 25 points higher than the Golf.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Versa Sedan second among small cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Golf 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 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 Versa Sedan Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Golf Auto (31 city/39 hwy vs. 29 city/37 hwy).

Transmission

The Versa Sedan offers an optional 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 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Versa Sedan SV offers an optional 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 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Versa Sedan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Golf’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Versa Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 550 pounds less than the Volkswagen Golf.

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

Passenger Space

The Versa Sedan has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom and 1.4 inches more rear legroom than the Golf.

Ergonomics

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Golf because it costs $495 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Versa Sedan than the Golf, including $253 less for a water pump, $94 less for a muffler, $286 less for a starter, $225 less for front struts and $116 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Nissan Versa outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by 79% during 2018.

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

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