What it is: The Golf is Volkswagen’s compact car that they have now been making for more than 40 years. The current model has been produced for a few years but due to already having very modern styling, fits right in with newly designed competitors.
The Golf comes in several versions: the standard Golf, Golf GTI, e-Golf and Golf R. From there, you can typically choose either a two- or four-door version. All models come with a hatchback design. My test model was the GTI, which is a sports-focused version of the Golf. The big feature of the GTI is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 210 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. This is quite a punch to move the hot hatchback around. 
I usually don’t talk too much about the visual aesthetics of a car, but I found the cloth interior particularly charming with a black plaid pattern with white and red accents. I found it initially unusual, but grew to love it quickly. It gives an interesting twist on a very German and modern interior which can often be devoid of much personality. The other unique visual accent was the wheel design. I think that they look like five-spoke machete blades spinning around. They didn’t grow on me as much as the plaid, but they are certainly unique.
The driving performance is fun, but is not a screamer like many of the V8 sports cars that are available out there. While a six-speed manual transmission is standard, an $1,100 automatic is available. Both provide plenty of fun and while I missed the manual in my test model, I likely wasn’t missing much. 
The four-door hatchback design is great at maximizing storage space so you’ll have plenty of room for gear or groceries. Going with four doors also allows plenty of room for backseat passengers. Both the two- and four-door models cost roughly the same, which is nice. 
MPG: 25 city/33 highway/28 combined
Price: $26,695 base price. $27,515 as-tested. 
Upsides: Modern design. Fun to drive. 
Downsides: More expensive than competitors. 
Wrap-up: The Golf has grown into a wonderful modern compact hatchback. You can get a more economy-focused non-GTI model, but the GTI is definitely the car to purchase. It’s hard to find this much fun and style at a price point in the mid-$20,000 price range. Volkswagen has done a great job making a very balanced vehicle. The Golf GTI provides style, fun and plenty of practicability for a good price.

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location