2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vs. 2019 Honda Passport

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 Passport 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 Passport 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 Passport 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 Passport.

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

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 155 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passport 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 Passport’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 Passport’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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

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

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Golf Alltrack gets better fuel mileage than the Passport:

MPG

Golf Alltrack

AWD

Manual

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

Auto

1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Passport

FWD

Auto

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/25 hwy

AWD

Auto

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Transmission

The Golf Alltrack offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Passport doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Golf Alltrack offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Passport doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Golf Alltrack stops much shorter than the Passport:

Golf Alltrack

Passport

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Golf Alltrack SEL handles at .84 G’s, while the Passport Elite AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Golf Alltrack SEL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Passport Elite AWD (27 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Golf Alltrack’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Passport AWD’s (35.8 feet vs. 39.3 feet). The Golf Alltrack’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Passport’s (35.8 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 850 pounds less than the Honda Passport.

The Golf Alltrack is 10.3 inches shorter than the Passport, making the Golf Alltrack easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Golf Alltrack is 7.8 inches narrower than the Passport, making the Golf Alltrack easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The Golf Alltrack is 11.9 inches shorter in height than the Passport, making the Golf Alltrack much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Servicing Ease

The Golf Alltrack uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport 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 Passport 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 Passport 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 Passport’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Passport’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Golf Alltrack’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 Passport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

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

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

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

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

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