2020 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2020 Honda Fit

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 2020/06/03

The Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Fit doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To help make backing safer, the Golf’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Fit doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the Golf’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Honda Fit has a metal gas tank.

The Golf has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Fit doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Golf and the Fit 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

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

Golf

Fit

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Fit:

Golf

Fit

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head injury index

243

651

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

25 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.55/.53

.82/.51

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 Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Honda Fit:

Golf

Fit

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

206

Abdominal Force

217 G’s

217 G’s

Hip Force

310 lbs.

391 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

63 G’s

81 G’s

Hip Force

588 lbs.

594 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

274

305

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Golf the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fit was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The Golf comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fit’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Golf’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Fit’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Golf for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fit.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Golf has a standard 480-amp battery. The Fit’s 340-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The Golf’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder produces 19 more horsepower (147 vs. 128) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 113) than the Fit Auto’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Golf’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder produces 17 more horsepower (147 vs. 130) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 114) than the Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Golf is faster than the Honda Fit (manual transmissions tested):

Golf

Fit

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

22.7 sec

23.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

125 MPH

118 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Golf Auto’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 Fit doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Golf has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (13.2 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Golf

Fit

Front Rotors

11.3 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

7.9” drums

The Volkswagen Golf has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fit. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Golf stops much shorter than the Fit:

Golf

Fit

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Golf has larger tires than the Fit (205/55R16 vs. 185/60R15).

The Golf’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fit LX’s standard 60 series tires.

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

The Volkswagen Golf’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Fit only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Golf has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Honda Fit has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Golf has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Golf flat and controlled during cornering. The Fit’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Golf’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the Fit (103.8 inches vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Golf is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Fit.

The Golf’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.6% to 40.4%) than the Fit’s (60.9% to 39.1%). This gives the Golf more stable handling and braking.

The Golf TSI handles at .86 G’s, while the Fit EX pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The Golf has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fit.

Cargo Capacity

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The Golf has a much larger trunk than the Fit with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 16.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The Golf uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fit uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The engine computer on the Golf disables the starter while the engine is running. The Fit’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The power windows standard on both the Golf and the Fit have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Golf is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Fit prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Golf’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fit’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Fit can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Golf’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fit’s power window (except driver window) switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Golf’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Fit LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Fit EX/EX-L’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Golf to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Fit doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Golf’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Fit EX-L.

The Golf’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Fit doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Golf has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Fit doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Golf and the Fit offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Golf has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fit doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Golf owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Golf with a number “1” insurance rate while the Fit is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Golf is less expensive to operate than the Fit because typical repairs cost less on the Golf than the Fit, including $59 less for fuel injection, $73 less for a fuel pump and $68 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/06/03

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen Golf and the Honda Fit, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and the Volkswagen Golf won out over the Honda Fit EX.

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 14 years. The Fit hasn’t been picked since 2013.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Fit has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the Honda Fit by 6% during 2019.

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

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