2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs. 2019 Honda CR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 CR-V 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 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.

Both the Golf SportWagen and the CR-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Honda CR-V:

Golf SportWagen

CR-V

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Compression

61 lbs.

66 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 Honda CR-V:

Golf SportWagen

CR-V

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

310 lbs.

354 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

588 lbs.

609 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

274

390

Hip Force

674 lbs.

743 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 CR-V’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Golf SportWagen’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the CR-V’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen S 4MOTION’s optional 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 Car and Driver the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION is faster than the CR-V 1.5 turbo (automatics tested):

Golf

CR-V

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Golf SportWagen FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CR-V 1.5T FWD (27 city/36 hwy vs. 28 city/34 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Golf SportWagen’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 SportWagen stops much shorter than the CR-V:

Golf

CR-V

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Golf SportWagen SE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen 4Motion 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 SportWagen S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the CR-V Touring AWD (27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Golf SportWagen’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the CR-V’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 200 to 250 pounds less than the Honda CR-V.

The Golf SportWagen is 7.8 inches shorter in height than the CR-V, making the Golf SportWagen much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Golf SportWagen SE is quieter than the CR-V Touring AWD (73 vs. 78 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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 CR-V’s liftover is 26 inches.

Servicing Ease

The Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen and the CR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen’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 SportWagen’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 SportWagen SE has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The CR-V doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Golf SportWagen SE also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Golf SportWagen 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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