2011 Toyota
Prius Four
vs. 2011 Volkswagen
Golf

2011 Toyota Prius Four

9.8

starting from

$28,080

Reasons to buy the Toyota Prius Four

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Fantastic city fuel efficiency
51 mpg
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Is a hybrid
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Tighter turning radius
17.1 ft
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Fantastic range in the city
607 miles
2011 Volkswagen Golf

9.3

Runner-up

Volkswagen Golf

starting from

$18,765

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Golf

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Average number of gears
5
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Better suspension
Independent
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OK performance
17.5 lb/hp
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Average 0-60 time
8.6 seconds
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 7.8
2011 Toyota Prius Four Winner: Prius Four
[details]
  • Almost the same
Performance 9.2 vs 10.0
2011 Volkswagen Golf Winner: Golf
[details]
  • Almost the same, 5 vs Continuously variable
  • The Golf 's power-to-weight ratio is more than 20% better, providing a sportier ride, 17.5 lb/hp vs 22.7 lb/hp
  • Around 30% more powerful, 170 HP @ 5,700 RPM vs 134 HP @ 5,200 RPM
Practicality 10.0 vs 9.2
2011 Toyota Prius Four Winner: Prius Four
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • A single tank lasts around 20% longer, 571 miles vs 478 miles
  • The Prius Four has 1 more cupholder, 4 vs 3
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.5
2011 Toyota Prius Four Winner: Prius Four
[details]
  • Almost the same
Safety Features 10.0 vs 9.7
2011 Toyota Prius Four Winner: Prius Four
[details]
  • The Prius Four has 1 more airbag (including Knee), 6 vs 5
Cost 10.0 vs 9.8
2011 Toyota Prius Four Winner: Prius Four
[details]
  • Gets more than 2x more miles per gallon in the city, 51 mpg vs 23 mpg
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Road Tests 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a very low top speed
Overall 9.8 vs 9.3

Luxury Features

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Not Available Leather comes standard on the Prius Four; the Golf only offers cloth seats

Performance

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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Horsepower 134 HP @ 5,200 RPM vs 170 HP @ 5,700 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears Continuously variable vs 5 The Golf has an OK number of gears, while the Prius Four has very few
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Transmission Automatic transmission vs Manual transmission The Prius Four's automatic transmission is convenient for stop-and-go traffic
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 22.7 lb/hp vs 17.5 lb/hp The Golf has OK performance while the Prius Four gives sluggish performance
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 17.1 ft vs 35.7 ft The Prius Four turns on a dime, and the Golf is comparable to most other vehicles

Practicality

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 571 miles vs 478 miles The Prius Four has good highway range and the Golf is reasonable
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Cargo space 21.6 ft3 vs 15.0 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 51.7 ft3 vs 51.3 ft3 The Prius Four has average-sized front seats, while the Golf is very cramped
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Not Available The Prius Four offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Golf
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Cupholders 4 vs 3 OK number of cupholders
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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Number of speakers 8 vs 8 Average number of speakers
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs No Neither offers speed-sensitive volume
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Standard vs Not Available Have your pick of music from around the world with the Prius Four's satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Safety Features

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 6 vs 5 The Prius Four has a good number of airbags, but the Golf is just OK (missing Knee)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Cost

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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MSRP $28,080 vs $18,765 The Golf has a great price and the Prius Four is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 51 mpg vs 23 mpg The Prius Four gets great city mileage, and the Golf gets OK mileage
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 36,000 mile Shorter basic warranty
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 3 year Shorter-lasting basic warranty

Crash Test Ratings

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test 5 stars vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test 5 stars vs Unknown

Road Tests

Toyota
Prius Four
2011 Toyota Prius Four
2011 Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen
Golf
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0-60 mph 10.6 seconds vs 8.6 seconds The Golf 's 0-60 time is average for this class of vehicle, but the Prius Four is sluggish
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Braking distance at 60mph 133 ft vs 131 ft The Golf 's braking ability is average for this class of vehicle, but the Prius Four is quite bad
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1/4 mile 18.0 s s @ 79.0 mph mph vs 16.6 s s @ 86.0 mph mph The Golf 's 1/4 mile time is average, but the Prius Four's is quite bad
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Lateral acceleration 0.82 g vs Unknown
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Top speed 112 mph vs 125 mph Both have a very low top speed

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Toyota Prius Three 2011 Honda Fit Sport Prius Three vs Fit Sport
2011 Toyota Prius Four 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Prius Four vs Camry Hybrid
2011 Toyota Prius Four 2011 Toyota Corolla Prius Four vs Corolla
2011 Toyota Prius Four 2012 Ford Fusion SE Prius Four vs Fusion SE
2011 Toyota Prius Two 2011 Toyota Yaris Prius Two vs Yaris
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Golf vs Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2011 MINI Cooper Golf TDI vs Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Golf vs Tiguan SE 4Motion
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2012 Ford Fiesta SE Golf vs Fiesta SE
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Golf vs Passat TDI SEL Premium

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 5 comments

Avatar for David David (5:12 AM, December 07, 2015)
any updates post-dieselgate?
 
Avatar for HelloHowLow HelloHowLow (1:45 AM, September 08, 2014)
I tested drove the Golf TDI S vs the regular Prius. I agree with everything INDY said. I would summarize it like this: even if the Prius manages to get more combined mileage (if it is in city mode driving), the Golf 2015 is more car. If style is something that it counts, driving for hours in a highway, the interior finishing of the Golf 2015 is really nice, handling is also superior than the Prius. The other thing I would like to cite is that the Golf S comes with leatherette and the prius seats are made of cloth. Important distinction to me. Then again, given prices are very similar, I would get the Gold TDI with manual any day over a Prius.
 
Peter (0:33 AM, June 22, 2013)
Indypendent you are just embarassed because everyone said the golf was great so you bought one and are now trying to justify your crap purchase.
 
INDYpendent (7:27 PM, May 29, 2012)
 

This is the most pathetic comparison between the Prius and
the Golf TDI that I have ever seen!  The
Golf is relatively quick 0-60 with a published time of 8.4, but recorded times
below 8.0.  The engine power in your
review only references HP, where the Golf is only about 6 more than the Prius,
but you forgot to mention that the TDI generates 236 ft-lbs of torque.  This review also neglects to mention the fact
that transmission options for the Prius are limited to one, a horrible CVT
that, through a series of rubber bands and messy hydraulic fluid manage to suck
up 30% of the driveline power before it ever makes it to the road.  The Golf TDI is available with either a fantastic
6-speed manual (for real drivers) or a 6-speed automated manual DSG transmission
with paddle shifters (for the sissies that don’t know how to drive a true
manual).  The DSG is an actual
gear-driven transmission with a dual clutch system, no rubber bands, no
hydraulic fluid, and no torque converter. 



The fuel mileage cited in this review only addresses city
driving, indicating that the Prius achieves 21 more miles per gallon than the Golf;
what a crock!  The EPA estimates on the
Golf are far below reality.  Typical city
driving in the Golf TDI are in the upper 30s to low 40s.  And the highway driving blows the Prius out
of the water.  Typical cruise-control driving
at highway speed limits yield MPGs in the upper 50s to low 60s, where the Prius
drops to an embarrassing 35 MPG!  Overall
driving in a Golf TDI combining city and highway produces an average of about
48 MPG with “real world driving”; a pathetic little Prius can only match the
Golf TDI when driven like a little girl.


For anyone legitimately comparing these two vehicles I highly
recommend going out and taking them both for a ride.  The VW Golf TDI is built like a tank, has
gobs of torque, handles like a sports car, is whisper quiet, has a truck-load
of cargo space, and gets fabulous fuel mileage. 
Toyota has not yet built a Prius that can hold a candle to VWs offering
to the fuel efficient car market.


 
Grifter116 (2:48 AM, April 05, 2012)
Who puts this data together? The 2012 Golf TDI does 0-60 in 8.4 seconds, and not 9.4. The Golf does come with a sunroof as an option. The Golfs automatic transmission is actually a DSG unit with paddle shifters (according to you, there are none) The Golf does have knee airbags (according to you it doesn't)