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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 QX30 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 QX30 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.
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Compared to metal, the Golf SportWagen’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX30 has a metal gas tank.
Both the Golf SportWagen and the QX30 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, 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 and blind spot warning systems.
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 SportWagen the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 155 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.
The Golf SportWagen comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The QX30’s 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 12000 miles sooner.
The Golf SportWagen’s corrosion warranty is 3 years longer than the QX30’s (10 vs. 7 years).
There are over 3 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Golf SportWagen’s warranty.
On the EPA test cycle the Golf SportWagen FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the QX30 FWD Auto (27 city/36 hwy vs. 24 city/33 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen uses regular unleaded gasoline. The QX30 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
An eight-speed automatic is optional on the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.4 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX30.
The Golf SportWagen 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 QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
The Golf SportWagen’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.9% to 43.1%) than the QX30’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Golf SportWagen more stable handling and braking.
The Golf SportWagen 4Motion handles at .84 G’s, while the QX30 Essential AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the Golf SportWagen’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the QX30 AWD’s (35.8 feet vs. 36.6 feet). The Golf SportWagen’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the QX30’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.3 feet).
The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 250 pounds less than the Infiniti QX30.
The design of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen amounts to more than styling. The Golf SportWagen has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the QX30 (.31 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Golf SportWagen get better fuel mileage.
As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Golf SportWagen SE is quieter than the QX30 Essential AWD (40 vs. 41 dB).
The Golf SportWagen has 5.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (94.3 vs. 88.8).
The Golf SportWagen has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.
The Golf SportWagen has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the QX30 with its rear seat up (30.4 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The Golf SportWagen has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (66.5 vs. 34 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 QX30’s liftover is 28.1 inches.
The Golf SportWagen uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The QX30 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.
The power windows standard on both the Golf SportWagen and the QX30 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 QX30 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 QX30’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
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 QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Volkswagen Golf comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Infiniti QX30 isn’t available as a four door.
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 QX30 isn’t in the top three.
The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The QX30 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The QX30 has never been chosen.
The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the Infiniti QX30 by over five to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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