2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2019 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 2019/10/15

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 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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla Hatchback 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, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

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 “Good” 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 Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Golf was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Golf.

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hatchback’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 2019/10/15

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’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 Corolla Hatchback’s reliability 25 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 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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (168 vs. 147) than the Golf’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Volkswagen Golf (manual transmissions tested):

Corolla Hatchback

Golf

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.1 sec

22.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

88 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 2019/10/15

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Golf Auto (32 city/41 hwy vs. 29 city/37 hwy).

Transmission

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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 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 doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Corolla Hatchback’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf:

Corolla Hatchback

Golf

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11.3 inches

The Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the Golf:

Corolla Hatchback

Golf

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

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 2019/10/15

For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback has larger standard tires than the Golf (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 S’ standard 65 series tires. The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Golf SE’s optional 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 S. The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Golf SE.

Passenger Space

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The Corolla Hatchback has .8 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf.

Ergonomics

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The Corolla Hatchback’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf 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 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 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’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Golf doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 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 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 doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

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 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 2019/10/15

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla Hatchback is less expensive to operate than the Golf because it costs $582 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla Hatchback than the Golf, including $214 less for a water pump, $84 less for a muffler, $27 less for front brake pads, $225 less for a starter, $88 less for front struts and $74 less for a power steering pump.

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 2019/10/15

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Corolla Hatchback and the Volkswagen Golf, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by over 8 to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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