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By Cars.com Staff
July 25, 2011
Volkswagen updated its compact hatchback for 2010, giving it smoother exterior styling, cabin revisions and a diesel engine. It's related to the performance-oriented GTI, which was also redesigned then. The five-seat Golf competes with the Mazda3 hatchback, Toyota Matrix and Mini Cooper.
New for 2012 The base TDI model has new 17-inch aluminum wheels, but other than a shuffling of the car's packages and options, there are no other significant changes for 2012.
Exterior Abandoning Volkswagen's once-ubiquitous plunging grille, the Golf's bumper separates the grille and air dam. Around back, the taillights have darkened lenses and white reflectors at their base. Other exterior features include:
Standard 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers
Standard body-colored mirrors and door handles
Optional 17-inch alloy wheels
Interior Whether you get a two- or four-door model, the Golf seats five people. Both front seats have standard height adjusters. Although many areas were upgraded versus the Golf's late-2000s predecessor, the Rabbit, the overall layout isn't all that different. Interior features include:
Standard power locks and side mirrors with keyless entry
Standard one-touch power windows
Standard air conditioning and cruise control
Standard CD stereo with auxiliary jack
TDI models have a touch-screen stereo and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
Optional Dynaudio stereo
Optional moonroof and heated seats
Under the Hood The front-wheel-drive Golf 2.5L is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine. TDI models get a turbocharged four-cylinder diesel. With manual transmissions, VW says the five-cylinder and diesel Golfs can hit 60 mph in 7.8 and 8.6 seconds, respectively. The TDI, like most diesels, gets roughly 30 percent better overall fuel economy than the gas-powered model. Mechanical features include:
2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque
Five-speed manual or six-speed automatic (2.5L)
TDI gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel with 140 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque
Six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic (TDI)
Sport-tuned suspension (TDI)
Safety Safety features include:
Standard antilock brakes
Standard traction control and electronic stability system
Standard front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags
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