2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vs. 2019 Honda CR-V

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Golf Alltrack 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 CR-V 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 that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CR-V 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 CR-V.

Both the Golf Alltrack and the CR-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Golf Alltrack comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The CR-V’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 CR-V’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the CR-V’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Golf Alltrack has a standard 480-amp battery. The CR-V’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 180) than the CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 179) than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is faster than the Honda CR-V (automatics tested):

Golf

CR-V LX

CR-V 1.5T

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

7.7 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

16 sec

16.7 sec

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Golf Alltrack’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CR-V:

Golf

CR-V

Front Rotors

11.3 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

10.2 inches

The Golf Alltrack stops much shorter than the CR-V:

Golf

CR-V

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 CR-V LX’s standard 65 series tires. The Golf Alltrack’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 CR-V doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Golf Alltrack SEL handles at .84 G’s, while the CR-V Touring AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Golf Alltrack SEL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the CR-V Touring AWD (27 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Golf Alltrack’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the CR-V’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Golf Alltrack easier. The Golf Alltrack’s trunk lift-over height is 24.8 inches, while the CR-V’s liftover is 26 inches.

Servicing Ease

The Golf Alltrack uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CR-V 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 power windows standard on both the Golf Alltrack and the CR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Golf Alltrack is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 CR-V’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

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 CR-V LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 CR-V 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 SE/SEL has a 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 CR-V doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Volkswagen Golf comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Honda CR-V isn’t available as a four door.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the Honda CR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Golf Alltrack second among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CR-V was rated third in its category.

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The CR-V has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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