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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Small family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (4 x 4 for the Subaru and front in the case of the Volkswagen). The first one has a Subaru-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 125hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 8-valves 115hp engine designed by Volkswagen.Safety
Unfortunatelly, neither of the two vehicles was submitted to the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. This makes it virtually impossible for me to pick one over the other and I'm generally against buying such cars as the safety should really always come first. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Japanese car offers a marginal difference of 6% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, all the models observed together. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Subaru with an average rating of 4.3, and models under the Volkswagen badge with 4.2 out of 5. Unfortunatelly, I don't have enough insight that would allow me to comment in more details on the specific models level. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Japanese car rank it on average as 2.7, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.1 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Subaru is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 191 kilometers per hour, 3km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the German car, averaging around 6.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (46 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 44% difference compared to the Japanese car!
Volkswagen appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Japanese car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with Subaru being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the Volkswagen. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.