2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Golf Alltrack 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Golf Alltrack has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The EcoSport doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Golf Alltrack has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The EcoSport 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 Golf Alltrack (except S) offers optional Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The EcoSport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Golf Alltrack. But it costs extra on the EcoSport.

The Golf Alltrack (except S)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Golf Alltrack (except S) offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Golf Alltrack and the EcoSport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Golf Alltrack the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The EcoSport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Golf Alltrack comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The EcoSport’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Golf Alltrack’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the EcoSport’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the EcoSport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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

Engine

The Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 45 more horsepower (168 vs. 123) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. The Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (168 vs. 166) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is faster than the Ford EcoSport turbo 3 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Golf

EcoSport

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

10.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

22.2 sec

39.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.8 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

78 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack uses regular unleaded gasoline. The EcoSport with the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Golf Alltrack has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the EcoSport (14.5 vs. 13.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Golf Alltrack stops much shorter than the EcoSport:

 

Golf Alltrack

EcoSport

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Golf Alltrack’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the EcoSport (225/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Golf Alltrack’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the EcoSport’s standard 60 series tires. The Golf Alltrack’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the EcoSport’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Golf Alltrack has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the EcoSport. The Golf Alltrack’s optional 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the EcoSport.

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The EcoSport 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Golf Alltrack has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Golf Alltrack flat and controlled during cornering. The EcoSport 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Golf Alltrack has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Golf Alltrack’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the EcoSport (103.5 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Golf Alltrack is 1.1 inches wider in the front than on the EcoSport.

The Golf Alltrack SEL handles at .84 G’s, while the EcoSport Titanium pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Golf Alltrack has 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the EcoSport (94.3 vs. 91.1).

The Golf Alltrack has 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

Cargo Capacity

The Golf Alltrack has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the EcoSport with its rear seat up (30.4 vs. 20.9 cubic feet). The Golf Alltrack has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the EcoSport with its rear seat folded (66.5 vs. 50 cubic feet).

The Golf Alltrack’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Servicing Ease

The Golf Alltrack uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The EcoSport uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Golf Alltrack’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The EcoSport’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Golf Alltrack 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 EcoSport can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Golf Alltrack has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Golf Alltrack’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The EcoSport’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Golf Alltrack (except S) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The EcoSport doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Golf Alltrack SE/SEL has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The EcoSport doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Golf Alltrack (except S) also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Golf Alltrack’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the EcoSport Titanium/SES.

The Golf Alltrack SEL’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 EcoSport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Golf Alltrack has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Golf Alltrack SEL has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The EcoSport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Golf Alltrack (except S)’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The EcoSport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Volkswagen Golf comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Ford EcoSport isn’t available as a four door.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford EcoSport isn't recommended.

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 12 of the last 12 years. The EcoSport has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The EcoSport has never been chosen.

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

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