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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System in the Corolla Hatchback as “Superior.” The Golf SportWagen scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf SportWagen last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Golf SportWagen’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hatchback’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Corolla Hatchback’s 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.
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 Corolla Hatchback’s reliability 44 points higher than the Golf SportWagen.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.
The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 21 more horsepower (168 vs. 147) than the Golf SportWagen’s standard 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen FWD Auto with its standard engine (32 city/41 hwy vs. 27 city/36 hwy).
The Corolla Hatchback offers an optional 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.
The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.
For better stopping power the Corolla Hatchback’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf SportWagen:
For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback has larger standard tires than the Golf SportWagen (205/55R16 vs. 195/65R15).
The Corolla Hatchback SE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Golf SportWagen S’ standard 65 series tires. The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Golf SportWagen SE’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corolla Hatchback SE has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Golf SportWagen S. The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Golf SportWagen SE.
The Corolla Hatchback is 7.6 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the Corolla Hatchback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Corolla Hatchback has .8 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf SportWagen.
The Corolla Hatchback’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf SportWagen 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 Corolla Hatchback 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Golf SportWagen can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’s 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 Corolla Hatchback has standard extendable sun visors. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s 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. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
The Corolla Hatchback’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.
The Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Golf SportWagen’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Corolla XSE Auto offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla Hatchback as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Toyota Corolla outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by over 8 to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.