2015 Volkswagen Golf: A Smart Little Car
The Volkswagen Golf has emerged from the long ago days of the Rabbit to become not just a boring tiny hatchback model that lacked performance into a smart and versatile vehicle that offers both two-door and four-door configurations as well as the hatchback and even has a nice amount of performance from the highly engineered power plants found in Volkswagen vehicles. Even with all of these great offerings the Golf maintains its fun to drive personality and attributes that many loyal fans have enjoyed for a very long time.
The Golf is certainly a bit against the grain overall by being a German offering in a class that is dominated by Asian and domestic vehicles for both new and used cars. It also is a hatchback when configurations from other automakers move up to the sedan versions. As a new generation of Golf begins the 2015 model is fully redesigned to be 2.5 inches longer than before and a half-inch wider. Offering the creature comfort and cargo space of larger mid-sized sedans, the Golf comes in weighing eighty pounds less than before and featuring the new turbocharged engine lineups.
Driving the Volkswagen Golf offers a sharply responsive steering that whips the car in and out of traffic and expertly handles any winding or curvy road on the highway. In fact the steering is so good owners will be searching for the most challenging roads to give this car a real workout and themselves a great driving experience. The suspension is expertly tuned to keeps this excellent little car stuck to the road and handles the road imperfections like a luxury vehicle. Inside the Golf isn’t the quietest engine on the market, but it is quiet enough to enjoy musical selections rather than the road noise from outside the vehicle.
The Golf offers three engine configurations to choose from to offer something for every owner to enjoy. Starting with the 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that brings in 170 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine can be matched up with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission for owners to enjoy. The fuel efficiency for this very nice base engine is 26 city/37 hwy mpg for the manual transmission and 26 city/36 hwy mpg for the automatic.
Second in the lineup is the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder that is found on the GTI models that comes in with 210 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Adding the performance pack increases the horsepower of this engine to 220 giving a bit more power to enjoy. This engine is paired up with either a six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed DSG automatic bringing in fuel efficiency numbers of 25 city/34 hwy mpg for the manual and 25 city/33 hwy mpg for the automatic.
At the top of the engine heap is the 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline four-cylinder engine found on the TDI models that reaches 150 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Using the same transmission set up as the GTI, this powertrain will come in with 31 city/42 hwy mpg for the manual transmission but has not been EPA rated for the automatic yet. The 1-8-liter engine can run on regular fuel with the 2.0-liter GTI needs premium fuel and the TDS of course requires diesel to perform.
From the inside, the Golf continues to offer Volkswagen upscale styling with high-quality materials and soft touches all over the interior of the vehicle. The trim is an interesting color of piano black that offsets any of the trim material colors chosen. The legroom and cargo space have both been increase and offers plentiful space for adults in all five seats as well as a massive 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space to allow a family of five to enjoy the ride and take all their stuff on a vacation. The rear seat folds in a 60/40 fashion allowing even more space for stuff to fill the vehicle.
Form the outside the Golf is still recognizable even though new metal and trimmings have been added. With a steep angle from the hood to the roof and easy to enjoy lines across the sides, the car appears to have a ready to pounce stance that mimics panthers in the wild. By not adding a ton of trimmings to the outside the price stays a bit lower, and the outside is certainly nice enough to not need them. The wheels do add to the fun feel with a multi-spoked look that makes the car appear more upscale on the road.
The standard features offered for the Golf include power windows and door locks, air conditioning, a touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius XM satellite radio and an iPod integrated interface for the base models. The S model adds aluminum-alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette upholstery, steering wheel controls and cruise control. The four-door models have partial power front seats and the SE model adds a rearview camera and a Fender premium audio system. The top end SEL model adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system and sport comfort seats that are 12-way power adjustable.
The optional features offered for the Golf include the Fender audio system, forward collision warnings, front and rear park-distance controls, an adaptive damping system, a performance package that includes larger brakes, and any of the automatic transmissions are optional features for each trim level allowing owners to enjoy the added engineering of these awesome transmission systems.
As a reasonably priced and easy to love vehicle, the Golf starts out at a price just below $18,815 that puts it right in line with its competition. Moving up to the S model will bring an asking price of $19,815 for the two-door model and $21,815 for the four-door version. The SE model will come in at a starting point of $25,315 and the SEL begins at $28,815. Adding the diesel engine increases the price by about $1,000 and the GTI will being around $25,215 and reach up as high as $31,515. With this range of pricing, the Golf has a price and features package that will please almost any shopper in the market.