2020 Nissan Kicks vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Kicks SV/SR are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking in the Kicks as “Superior.” The Golf SportWagen scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Kicks has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Kicks SR has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf SportWagen only offers a rear monitor.

The Kicks SV/SR’s 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 SportWagen doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kicks and the Golf SportWagen 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 and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kicks the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 105 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf SportWagen was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Kicks 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Golf SportWagen. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Golf SportWagen ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Kicks’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Golf SportWagen’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 66 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kicks’ warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 16 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

On the EPA test cycle the Kicks gets better fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen:

MPG

Kicks

FWD

Auto

1.6 DOHC 4-cyl.

31 city/36 hwy

Golf SportWagen

FWD

Manual

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

Auto

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

AWD

Manual

1.8 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Auto

1.8 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

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

The Kicks 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 SportWagen doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Kicks has larger tires than the Golf SportWagen (205/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).

The Kicks S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf SportWagen S’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Kicks S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S.

The Kicks has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Kicks SR handles at .83 G’s, while the Golf SportWagen SE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Golf SportWagen’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

The Kicks is 10.5 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the Kicks easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Kicks has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Golf SportWagen uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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The Kicks has 2.1 inches more front headroom and 2.5 inches more front legroom than the Golf SportWagen.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

The Kicks SV/SR 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 SportWagen doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kicks has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf SportWagen 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 Kicks’ available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf SportWagen’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Kicks has standard extendable sun visors. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Kicks SV/SR’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

Insurance will cost less for the Kicks owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kicks will cost $245 to $1130 less than the Golf SportWagen over a five-year period.

The Kicks will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Kicks will retain 47.01% to 47.03% of its original price after five years, while the Golf SportWagen only retains 38.88% to 42.79%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Kicks will be $1831 to $7870 less than for the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/29

The Nissan Kicks outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by 63% during the 2019 model year.

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

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