• (3.6) 12 reviews
  • MSRP: $549–$6,553
  • Body Style: Hatchback
  • Combined MPG: 27-45
  • Engine: 115-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2001 Volkswagen Golf

Our Take on the Latest Model 2001 Volkswagen Golf

2001 Volkswagen Golf Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Curtain-type airbags that protect the heads of passengers in side collisions will become standard on the Golf and GTI later in the 2001 model year. This feature gives these modestly priced cars a component usually found on more expensive vehicles.

Side-impact airbags for the front seats and antilock brakes are standard.

The Golf and the sporty GTI are hatchbacks built from the same design as the Jetta sedan, and both use the same front-drive platform and engines. All were redesigned for the 1999 model year.

The Golf gets two- and four-door styling, while the GTI comes only as a two-door. Both versions measure 163 inches long — 5 inches shorter than the Ford Focus hatchback and 9 inches shorter than the Jetta sedan. Styling for both the Golf and GTI is the same as the Jetta’s design except at the rear, where the Jetta is longer and has a regular trunk.

The upright design allows the driver and passengers to sit more vertically than in most small cars, and there is adequate space for four adults. The cargo area behind the rear seat holds 18 cubic feet, and the rear seatbacks are split on all models and fold for additional space.

All models have standard air conditioning, power door locks, a cassette player and a manual tilt/telescoping steering column.

Under the Hood
Consumers can choose from four engines, but their availability is confusing even with a scorecard because of Volkswagen’s alphabet-soup nomenclature. A 115-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard in the Golf GL and GLS and the GTI. A turbocharged 1.9-liter, direct-injection, four-cylinder diesel with 90 hp is optional on the Golf GL and GLS models.

A couple more-potent engines are available on the GTI: a turbocharged 150-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a 172-hp 2.8-liter V-6. The 1.8-liter turbo also is optional on the Golf GLS. All engines come with the choice of a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission except the V-6, which comes only with the manual.

Driving Impressions
Volkswagen is back on top in the United States, with growing sales and young buyers flocking to VW showrooms. The European heritage, functional design and fun-to-drive nature of the Golf and GTI make them versatile enough to be the only car for a couple or a small family, and cool enough to warrant consideration by kids.

The 2.0-liter gas engine has adequate zip, and the turbo and V-6 engines are energetic and entertaining. The diesel is surprisingly quiet and quick, and it delivers impressive fuel economy — 42 mpg city and 49 mpg highway with the manual transmission, according to the EPA.


Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 12 reviews

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Most Bang for Your Buck

by Jaydeeeeeeeeeeee from Germantown, Maryland on May 2, 2017

Great car to start learning stick shift. VERY RELIABLE and DIRT cheap to repair. As long as you don't do any types of modifications on the car it will serve you greatly.

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7 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2001 Volkswagen Golf trim comparison will help you decide.

Volkswagen Golf Articles

2001 Volkswagen Golf Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 9 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years