Greene Ford Compares 2018 Ford Focus VS 2018 Volkswagen Golf Near Cumming, GA

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2018 Ford Focus

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VS

2018 Volkswagen Golf

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the Focus and the Golf SportWagen have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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

 

Focus

Golf SportWagen

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

201

286

Neck Injury Risk

31.3%

34%

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

336 lbs.

Neck Compression

54 lbs.

61 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

256

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

39.5%

43%

Neck Stress

173 lbs.

210 lbs.

Neck Compression

41 lbs.

91 lbs.

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

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 Ford Focus is safer than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen:

 

Focus

Golf SportWagen

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

185

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.2 inches

Hip Force

293 lbs.

310 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

347

368

Spine Acceleration

60 G’s

63 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

274

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

45 G’s

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

Warranty Comparison

The Focus comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf SportWagen.

There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Focus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a standard 590-amp battery. The Golf SportWagen’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 4 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Focus 4 cyl. is faster than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (automatics tested):

 

Focus

Golf SportWagen

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

3.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5 sec

5.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SE Sedan SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen FWD:

 

 

Focus

Golf SportWagen

 

 

1.0 turbo 3 cyl./6-spd. Manual

30 city/40 hwy

25 city/34 hwy

1.8 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

 

1.0 turbo 3 cyl./6-spd.Auto

27 city/38 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

1.8 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/38 hwy

n/a

 

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SEL/Titanium Auto 4 cyl. gets better highway fuel mileage than the Golf SportWagen FWD Auto (24 city/34 hwy vs. 24 city/33 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Focus 1.0 ECOBoost’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 SportWagen doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Focus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Focus stops much shorter than the Golf SportWagen:

 

Focus

Golf SportWagen

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Focus Titanium offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Golf SportWagen, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

The Focus’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Focus SE Hatchback 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.

The Focus Titanium Hatchback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Golf SportWagen S (26.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Focus Hatchback is 7.9 inches shorter than the Golf SportWagen, making the Focus easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Ford Focus amounts to more than styling. The Focus has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .295 Cd. That is lower than the Golf SportWagen (.31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Focus get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Focus uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Focus Hatchback is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the Golf SportWagen is rated a Small Station Wagon.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus automatic offers a 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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Focus’ available exterior PIN entry system. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Focus 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the Focus’ optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Golf SportWagen doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations Comparison

The Focus was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 18 years. The Golf has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Focus outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by over two to one during 2017.

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