2019 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Prius Prime’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The e-Golf doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Prius Prime and the e-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, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The e-Golf has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Prius Prime comes with free roadside assistance for 2 years 25000 miles. Toyota 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 e-Golf.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the e-Golf.

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the e-Golf (145 city/121 hwy vs. 126 city/111 hwy MPGe).

The Prius Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 652 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The e-Golf’s range is only 125 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 1 hour for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 26 hours.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Prius Prime is 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the e-Golf.

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the e-Golf’s (33.4 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Toyota Prius Prime amounts to more than styling. The Prius Prime has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .25 Cd. That is lower than the e-Golf (.27) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Prius Prime get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Prius Prime a Mid-size car, while the e-Golf is rated a Compact.

The Prius Prime has 1 inch more front headroom and 2 inches more front legroom than the e-Golf.

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Advanced has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The e-Golf doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

On extremely cold winter days, the Prius Prime Advanced’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The e-Golf doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Prius Prime’s standard 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 e-Golf’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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