2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

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Safety

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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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.

Compared to metal, the Golf Alltrack’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has a metal gas tank.

Both the Golf Alltrack and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Golf Alltrack’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (168 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Golf Alltrack has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Crosstrek Hybrid (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

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

The Golf Alltrack 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 Crosstrek Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Golf Alltrack has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat up (30.4 vs. 15.9 cubic feet). The Golf Alltrack has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (66.5 vs. 43.1 cubic feet).

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s liftover is 30.7 inches.

Servicing Ease

The Golf Alltrack uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Crosstrek Hybrid 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 engine computer on the Golf Alltrack disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Golf Alltrack and the Crosstrek Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Golf Alltrack has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 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 Crosstrek Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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

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