2020 Chevrolet Sonic vs. 2020 Volkswagen Golf

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 2019/12/08

Both the Sonic and the Golf 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 collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

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

Sonic

Golf

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

152

286

Neck Injury Risk

31%

34%

Neck Stress

262 lbs.

336 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

61 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

36%

43%

Neck Stress

166 lbs.

210 lbs.

Neck Compression

74 lbs.

91 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 Chevrolet Sonic is safer than the Volkswagen Golf:

Sonic

Golf

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

104

185

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

217 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

239

368

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

63 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

197

274

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

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 2019/12/08

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sonic’s warranty.

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 2019/12/08

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

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Sonic’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Golf’s camshafts. If the Golf’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 Sonic’s reliability 12 points higher than the Golf.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

Transmission

© 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 2019/12/08

The Chevrolet Sonic comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Sonic has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Golf doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2019/12/08

The Sonic’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sonic offers optional 17-inch wheels. The Golf’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2019/12/08

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

For better maneuverability, the Sonic LS/LT’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Golf’s (34.5 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Passenger Space

© 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 2019/12/08

The Sonic Sedan has .3 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more front legroom than the Golf.

Ergonomics

© 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 2019/12/08

The Sonic (except LS) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Golf doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sonic’s optional (except LS/RS/5-Door) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Golf doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/12/08

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonic is less expensive to operate than the Golf because it costs $555 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sonic than the Golf, including $78 less for a water pump, $388 less for a starter, $96 less for fuel injection, $262 less for front struts and $148 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Sonic will be $142 to $3257 less than for the Volkswagen Golf.

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

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