2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2019 Tesla Model S

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen e-Golf are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Tesla Model S doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The e-Golf has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Model S doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model S doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Model S doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the e-Golf’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model S doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The e-Golf has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model S doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the e-Golf and the Model S have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The e-Golf’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model S’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 10 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the e-Golf’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 11 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The e-Golf has a standard Hydraulic Brake Assist to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model S doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The e-Golf stops shorter than the Model S:

e-Golf

Model S

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model S; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the e-Golf’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Model S’ (35.8 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen e-Golf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1300 to 1500 pounds less than the Tesla Model S.

The e-Golf is 2 feet, 3.9 inches shorter than the Model S, making the e-Golf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The e-Golf is 6.5 inches narrower than the Model S, making the e-Golf easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

The e-Golf has 2.8 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear legroom than the Model S.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the e-Golf to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for tire rotation and brake pad replacement, vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model S.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the e-Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Model S can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the e-Golf has a standard rear wiper. The Model S doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The Model S hasn’t been picked since 2016.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Model S was Car of the Year in 2013.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos