2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

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 2019/10/23

The NX Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The NX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf Alltrack only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The NX 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 Alltrack doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the NX Series and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Lexus NX Series weighs 545 to 829 pounds more than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf Alltrack was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the NX Series has a standard 580-amp battery. The Golf Alltrack’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 NX Series’ reliability 18 points higher than the Golf Alltrack.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 26 more horsepower (194 vs. 168) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder. The NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 67 more horsepower (235 vs. 168) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the NX 300 is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

NX Series

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Golf Alltrack Auto (33 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the NX Series 300h’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The NX Series’ standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (15.9 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Transmission

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The Lexus NX Series comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the NX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf Alltrack:

NX Series

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.7 inches

The NX Series stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

NX Series

Golf Alltrack

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the NX Series has larger standard tires than the Golf Alltrack (225/65R17 vs. 205/55R17). The NX Series F Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (235/55R18 vs. 225/45R18).

Suspension and Handling

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

The NX Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Golf Alltrack’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the NX Series’ wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (104.7 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the NX Series is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Golf Alltrack.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Golf Alltrack SEL (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The NX Series has 1.6 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the NX Series’ rear seats recline. The Golf Alltrack’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The NX Series’ cargo area is larger than the Golf Alltrack’s in almost every dimension:

NX Series

Golf Alltrack

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36”/71.5”

41.5”/69.1”

Max Width

53”

50.2”

Min Width

44.3”

39.6”

Height

27”

29.2”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the NX Series’ power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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Standard trailer towing in the NX 300 is 2000 pounds. The NX 300h offers up to a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 50% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The NX Series has a standard 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the NX Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a memory system.

The NX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Golf Alltrack does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The NX Series’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf Alltrack has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

If the windows are left open on the NX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the NX Series has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf Alltrack only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 NX Series’ standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf Alltrack’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

When the NX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Golf Alltrack’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The NX 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 Alltrack offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the NX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

The NX Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Golf Alltrack SEL.

Model Availability

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The NX Series is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the NX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the NX Series will cost $210 less than the Golf Alltrack over a five-year period.

The NX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the NX Series will retain 50.95% to 51.77% of its original price after five years, while the Golf Alltrack only retains 38.44% to 40.76%.

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 2019/10/23

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus NX Series and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus NX Series outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by 47% during 2018.

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

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