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Volkswagen Golf Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf ranks 1 out of 27 Affordable Compact Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Golf, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is ranked:

Critics love the 2015 redesigned Volkswagen Golf's nimble handling, large cargo space and superior cabin quality.

With the best combination of positive reviews and long-term ownership costs in its class, the Volkswagen Golf is our 2015 Best Compact Car for the Money. Its combination of space, safety and reliability ratings, as well as its available family-friendly features, help the Golf earn the 2015 Best Compact Car for Families award. 

Though the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the 2015 VW Golf could deliver a little more passing power, according to test drivers, they say it is plenty strong in most situations. On the other hand, they love the turbodiesel Golf TDI for its excellent low-end power and outstanding fuel economy. A manual transmission comes standard, but some reviewers favor the available automatic transmission for its rapid shifts. The base 2015 Golf gets an EPA-estimated 25/37 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to what many compact cars get. Meanwhile, the Golf TDI gets up to 31/45 mpg, which is exceptional for the class. Critics praise the 2015 Golf for its controlled handling, noting that it stays planted through turns. Many also appreciate its strong brakes, accurate steering and comfortable ride.

Compared with other affordable small car interiors, automotive writers find the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen Golf's cabin more upscale, and they add that the interior is awash in high-end materials. The front seats are comfortable and supportive even on long drives, according to test drivers, and they note the back seat is uncharacteristically spacious. The Golf provides 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is generous for the class. Test drivers appreciate the Golf’s user-friendly touch-screen audio system. However, some note that the audio system's display is on the small side, and that the Golf isn’t available with features like blind spot monitoring and smartphone app integration, which are becoming more common in the class. The base 2015 Golf comes standard with an iPod adapter, Bluetooth, satellite radio and an audio system with a 5.8-inch touch-screen display. Available features include a sunroof, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, navigation and a Fender audio system.

  • "If you're looking for a well-rounded, sophisticated car in this segment, you should give the new Golf a go." -- AutoTrader  
  • "Drives in each of the models proved the point mentioned earlier: that VWs are a cut above. Solid steering feel, muted thumps over bumps, quietness, ride composure, and interior design and materials all befit a car with a premium nameplate." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Small qualms aside, the new 2015 Golf is an impressively solid little hatch. It suffers none of the cheapening that afflicts the Jetta, and instead offers better features and a better driving experience than before. Buyers will actually feel the value in this car, and that bodes well for a brand hoping to sell more cars in America." -- Motor Trend 
  • "The Golf offers tremendous utility and good fuel economy, a fun-to-drive spirit, and one of the best interiors in its class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "By all accounts, the Golf should be a success, as the little hatchback is undeniably towards the front of the pack in the small car segment." -- Autoblog 

Volkswagen Golf Pictures & Videos

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Other Cars to Consider

The Mazda3 gets great fuel economy, and reviewers note that it offers particularly athletic handling for the class. Like the Golf, test drivers agree that the Mazda3’s cabin is upscale for a compact car, and many appreciate its user-friendly tech features.

The Ford Focus also pleases reviewers with its engaging driving dynamics, as well as its striking cabin design and high-quality materials. The Focus is available as a sedan or a hatchback, and the high-performance Focus ST stands out as one of the most powerful cars in the class.

Compare the Golf, Mazda3 and Focus »

Details: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf has front-wheel drive and is available as a two- or four-door hatchback. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard on the base Golf, while a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The Golf is fully redesigned for the 2015 model year, and is available in Launch Edition, S, SE and SEL trims.

See 2015 Volkswagen Golf specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/9/15

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