2012 Volkswagen Golf

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$17,995

starting MSRP

2012 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Volkswagen Golf

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Diesel efficiency, performance
  • Nimble handling
  • Interior roominess
  • Premium cabin materials
  • Comfy front seats

The bad:

  • TDI's firm ride
  • Automatic transmission's upshift urgency (TDI)
  • Telescoping steering wheel could extend farther
  • Over-left-shoulder visibility in two-door

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 Volkswagen Golf trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Diesel (TDI) gets 42 mpg highway
  • Two- or four-door hatchback
  • Gas or diesel engine
  • Manual or automatic
  • Simplified packages for 2012

2012 Volkswagen Golf review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

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

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.4
  • Reliability 4.9

Most recent consumer reviews

4.9

Fun and reliable

I just turned 40k on my base model. Beside the normal oil changes, I recently replaced the Continental tires with the same tires ! I have owned many cars in my life, but never enjoyed any of them as much as this little hot hatch !

4.4

Great dependable car for jumping in and going.

great worry free car. it just starts and goes without any hassle. comfortable perfect for heading to the beach or commuting. I deal owners are young female, young small family, commuter.

4.9

Fun car to drive

I have owned many cars in my life, and several were high end and some were older vw’s. But this VW golf gives the most enjoyment of any car I have owned !

See all 34 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volkswagen
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
MY 2015-MY 2017 vehicles/75,000 miles; MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles; MY 2020 and newer vehicles/75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Vehicles purchased on or after 1/5/21: MY 2017 & older, 2 yrs/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2018-19, 1 yr/12,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2020 & newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty
Dealer certification required
100-plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 2012 Volkswagen Golf articles