Looking for a compact car that’s fun to drive? You don’t have to look at the pricy ones. The latest Volkswagen Golf offers satisfying driving experience with its comfortable seats, torque-y diesel engine and a nice array of cabin tech, among others. Check it out.
NEW FOR 2014 GOLF
- discontinuation of the 2-door variant, 2.5L Convenience Package and TDI Tech Package
- special-edition GTI trims
UNDER THE HOOD
A 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that generates 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque motivates the 2014 Volkswagen Golf. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission only. Meanwhile, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four uses diesel and makes 140 horsepower and a whopping 236 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual. A 6-speed automated manual or DSG is an option.
The Golf can run 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on a highway with the 2.5-liter engine, EPA says. With a diesel engine, the compact car can manage 30/42 mpg.
ON THE ROAD
The base 5-cylinder engine provides the Golf with a lot of power. Unfortunately, such power is not translated to great performance. The TDI delivers plenty of torque, making the Golf a quick vehicle. It also turns in great fuel economy—like a hybrid vehicle does—without compromising performance.
The Golf has nimble handling and its ride is actually one of the most balanced in the class. Some reviewers wrote that the TDI model has a firmer ride than the base. But all Golfs are good and comfortable daily-commute buddies.
INSIDE THE 2014 GOLF
For its less-than-$20,000 starting price, it’s remarkable that the Golf has low-gloss, high-quality materials inside. These make the cabin feel and look premium. And you get such vibe without paying so much.
But unlike other cars in the segment, the Golf does not provide plenty of storage spaces. Many reviewers also complained about the small navigation screen.
Nevertheless, the Golf offers comfortable and supportive front seats which are standard with 8 possible adjustments. That is not typical in the class. The backseat also provides ample room for adult passengers. In addition, the cargo space is 15.2 cubic feet. It expands to a generous 46-cubic-foot when the rear seatbacks are folded down.
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf has four models. The Golf 2.5L automatically gets daytime running lights, heated power side mirrors, 15-inch steel wheels, cruise control, trip computer, 2 key fobs, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system, 6 airbags, 8-way manually adjustable front sport seats with lumbar support, 60/40 split folding rear seat with center armrest and pass-through, metallic interior trim, cloth door inserts, and black cloth seating surfaces.
Convenience and Sunroof Package adds a roof-mounted satellite radio antenna, power sunroof, upgraded audio system (with HD radio, iPod cable and touchscreen display), heated front seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel, brake handle and shift knob.
The TDI model has most of the standard features that go with the base 2.5L. It also includes window diversity antenna, headlights-on warning tone, 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system (with satellite radio, Bluetooth and iPod cable), heated front seats with lumbar support, and leather-wrapped shift knob and multifunction steering wheel.
With Sunroof and Navigation Package, TDI models also get navigation system and a power sunroof.
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