2017 Volkswagen Golf

Pros: Fine ride and handling balance; distinctive European feel; classy materials, high-quality fit and finish; versatility of hatchback body style; good fuel economy

Cons: So-so rear visibility; somewhat steep pricing for the class; not as feature-rich as many rivals, particularly in terms of infotainment content

CG Says: Volkswagen Golf’s bodystyle and trim selections have been slimmed down for 2017. The two-door hatchback has been killed. The Base model has been dropped, while SE and SEL are replaced by a new Wolfsburg model. The electric e-Golf has more horsepower and driving range, along with front and rear styling tweaks for 2017. Adaptive cruise control, pedestrian monitor, blind-spot alert, and lane-keep assist are newly available for e-Golf, which is still offered in SE and SEL trims. Golf is a compact four-door hatchback. The Golf hatchback is also available in sporty GTI and R versions. There are also two Golf wagons: Golf SportWagen and all-wheel-drive Golf Alltrack. (See separate reports for Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, and Golf Alltrack.) Gas-powered Golfs have a 170-horsepower turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automated-manual transmission. The e-Golf has a 132-hp electric motor and a single speed transmission. VW claims the e-Golf has a driving range of up to 124 miles. Available features include panoramic sunroof, keyless access and starting, rain-sensing wipers, autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot alert. Golf was redesigned for 2015. This generation VW Golf did not get a radical update, but it delivered tangible improvements inside and out that keep it competitive in its class. Though the Golf is not without its quirks, no other compact hatchback can match its upscale European feel. The all-electric e-Golf is an interesting variation, but it is not exempt from the typical electric-car downsides of a limited driving range and a considerable price premium.

The Facts
Class Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Mexico
Base Prices S: $19,895
Wolfsburg: $21,595
e-Golf SE: $28,995
e-Golf SEL: $35,595

Base Engine
1.8-liter 4-cylinder
Std. Transmission
5-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)

Optional Engine
electric motor
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range (MPGe)
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf