Pros: Fine ride and handling balance; distinctive European feel; classy materials, high-quality fit and finish; versatility of hatchback body style; good fuel economy, especially with available diesel engine
Cons: Cramped back seat; steep pricing on diesel models; feels a bit long in the tooth (a new Golf is coming soon as a 2015 model)
CG Says: The Volkswagen Golf loses its 2-door hatchback body style as it enters the final year of the current generation. An all-new Golf is set to debut as a 2015 model. The Golf may seem quite sober, but this high-quality compact car is fun to drive and exudes European breeding. It’s comfortable, mechanically refined, hatchback practical, and solidly built. An added attraction is the turbodiesel engine with its stellar real-world fuel economy. Even so, the TDI’s price premium over gasoline-powered 2.5 models will take a while to recoup, and no Golf is bargain-priced.