2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The 2 Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Golf R doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the Golf R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf R was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The 2 Series comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. BMW will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf R.

The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Golf R’s (12 vs. 10 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Golf R.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The battery on the 2 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 2 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Golf R’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Golf R isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The M240i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (335 vs. 288) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the Golf R’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the M240i is faster than the Volkswagen Golf R (automatics tested):

2 Series

Golf R

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

13.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

106 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

153 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Golf R doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 2 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Volkswagen only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Golf R Auto.

Transmission

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The BMW 2 Series comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf R.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 2 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Golf R.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The 2 Series stops shorter than the Golf R:

2 Series

Golf R

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

157 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Golf R doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 2 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Golf R’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Golf R (105.9 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series is 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf R.

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the Golf R’s (59.5% to 40.5%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

The 2 Series Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the Golf R pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The 2 Series Coupe has 1.7 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Golf R.

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The Golf R’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series. The Golf R doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The engine in the 2 Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Golf R. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the 2 Series, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Golf R doesn’t offer a memory system.

If the front windows are left open on the 2 Series w/Comfort Access the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Golf R can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The 2 Series’ available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf R’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

When the 2 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Golf R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Golf R has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the 2 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Golf R doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 2 Series offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Golf R doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Golf R doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

The BMW 2 Series comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Volkswagen Golf R isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The 2 Series is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Golf R doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/11

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Golf R isn’t in the top three.

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

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