2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs. 2019 BMW X1

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 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 BMW X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Golf SportWagen 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 X1 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Golf SportWagen 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 X1 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.

The Golf SportWagen’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Golf SportWagen’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 X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Golf SportWagen and the X1 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is safer than the BMW X1:

Golf SportWagen

X1

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

286

328

Neck Stress

336 lbs.

360 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/169 lbs.

257/329 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is safer than the BMW X1:

Golf SportWagen

X1

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

310 lbs.

486 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

63 G’s

65 G’s

Hip Force

588 lbs.

637 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

274

278

Hip Force

674 lbs.

815 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Golf SportWagen comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The X1’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 89 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Golf SportWagen’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Golf SportWagen’s reliability 32 points higher than the X1.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Golf SportWagen FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the X1 sDrive28i (27 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).

Transmission

The Golf SportWagen offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The X1 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Golf SportWagen stops much shorter than the X1:

Golf

X1

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Golf SportWagen’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the X1’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the BMW X1.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Golf SportWagen SE is quieter than the X1 xDrive28i (73 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

The Golf SportWagen has .8 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more front shoulder room than the X1.

Cargo Capacity

The Golf SportWagen has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X1 with its rear seat up (30.4 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The Golf SportWagen has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X1 with its rear seat folded (66.5 vs. 58.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Golf SportWagen easier. The Golf SportWagen’s trunk lift-over height is 24.8 inches, while the X1’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

Ergonomics

The X1’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Golf SportWagen SE’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The Golf SportWagen SE 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 X1 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Volkswagen Golf comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW X1 isn’t available as a four door.

Recommendations

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The X1 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The X1 has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the BMW X1 by 45% during 2018.

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

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