2015 Volkswagen Golf

 
 
2015 Volkswagen Golf
 

2015 Volkswagen Golf

MSRP 
$19,815
Invoice 
$19,145
Target 
 
 

Vehicle Highlights

  • Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 37 mpg Hwy
  • Engine: 1.8 L Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4, 170 HP
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Doors: 2

View More Features and Specifications

Warranty

  • Basic Warranty: 3 Years / 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Warranty: 5 Years / 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance: 3 Years / 36,000 Miles

A vehicle's warranty can significant impact your maintenance costs after you drive off the dealer's lot, and it's important to understand the different parts. Typically, a new car warranty includes a Basic warranty, which covers everything except the wear items such as brakes and tires; and a Drivetrain warranty, that covers all the parts that make the car move, such as the engine and transmission

Select options for 2015 Volkswagen Golf

Est Target Price With Options

$19,815

Est. Savings Of MSRP Price

$0

 
Paint Scheme
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Port Installed Options
Unselected $60 $80
Unselected $100 $130
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Unselected Includes: set of 4 Monster mats and heavy duty trunk liner w/CarGo Blocks $185 $235
Unselected Includes: set of 4 Mojo mats and heavy duty trunk liner w/CarGo blocks $185 $235
Unselected Includes: For securing items in the cargo bin $80 $100
Unselected Includes: booster cables, warning triangle, LED flashlight, multi-tool, work gloves, PVC tape, blanket, poncho, whistle, cable ties and bandages $65 $85
Unselected $200 $240
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Seat Trim
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Specifications for 2015 Volkswagen Golf

Standard Equipment

  • Safety Options
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
    • Side Impact Beams
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
    • Car-Net Emergency S.O.S
    • Low Tire Pressure Warning
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
    • Side Curtain Protection Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
    • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
    • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Entertainment Features
    • Radio: 5.8" Touchscreen AM/FM Audio w/CD -inc: MP3 playback, SiriusXM satellite radio (limited subscription), Bluetooth connectivity w/mic and voice control and Media Device Interface (MDI)
    • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
    • Audio Theft Deterrent
    • Wireless Streaming
    • Integrated Roof Diversity Antenna
  • Exterior Features
    • Wheels: 15" Lyon Alloy
    • Tires: P195/65R15 AS
    • Steel Spare Wheel
    • Full-Size Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
    • Clearcoat Paint
    • Body-Colored Front Bumper
    • Body-Colored Rear Bumper
    • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
    • Body-Colored Door Handles
    • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
    • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
    • Light Tinted Glass
    • Variable Intermittent Wipers
    • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
    • Black Grille
    • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
    • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
    • Aero-Composite Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps
  • Interior Features
    • V-Tex Comfort Seats -inc: manually adjustable front seats w/Easy Entry and adjustable lumbar support
    • Leatherette Front Seats w/Leatherette Back Material
    • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Leatherette Rear Seat
    • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
    • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
    • Fixed Rear Windows
    • Car-Net Selective Service Internet Access
    • 5 Person Seating Capacity
    • Leather Steering Wheel
    • Front Cupholder
    • Rear Cupholder
    • Compass
    • Valet Function
    • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
    • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
    • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Fuel
    • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
    • Manual Air Conditioning
    • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
    • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
    • Driver Foot Rest
    • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
    • Full Cloth Headliner
    • Cloth Door Trim Insert
    • Leather Gear Shift Knob
    • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
    • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
    • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
    • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
    • Carpet Floor Trim
    • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
    • Rigid Cargo Cover
    • Cargo Space Lights
    • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
    • Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Refrigerated/Cooled Box Located In The Glovebox, Driver And Passenger Door Bins
    • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver And Passenger 1-Touch Up/Down
    • Delayed Accessory Power
    • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
    • Systems Monitor
    • Redundant Digital Speedometer
    • Trip Computer
    • Outside Temp Gauge
    • Analog Display
    • Manual Anti-Whiplash Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
    • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru
    • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
    • Perimeter Alarm
    • Immobilizer III Engine Immobilizer
    • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Air Filtration
  • Mechanical Features
    • Engine: 1.8T 4 Cylinder Turbocharged
    • Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
    • Front-Wheel Drive
    • 3.39 Axle Ratio
    • Engine Oil Cooler
    • 60-Amp/Hr 480CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
    • 140 Amp Alternator
    • 4123# Gvwr 1083# Maximum Payload
    • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
    • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
    • Electric Power-Assist Steering
    • 13.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
    • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
    • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control

Tech Specs

  • Brakes Features
    • Brake ABS System - 4-Wheel
    • Disc - Front (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Disc - Rear (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 11.3
    • Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 10.7
  • Cargo Area Dimensions Features
    • Cargo Volume with Rear Seat Up (ft³) - 22.8
    • Cargo Volume with Rear Seat Down (ft³) - 52.7
  • Electrical Features
    • Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) - 480
    • Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) - 140
  • Engine Features
    • Engine Type - Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
    • Displacement - 1.8 L/110
    • Fuel System - Direct Gasoline Injection
    • SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM - 170 @ 6200
    • SAE Net Torque @ RPM - 200 @ 1600
  • Exterior Dimensions Features
    • Wheelbase (in) - 103.8
    • Length, Overall (in) - 167.5
    • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) - 70.5
    • Height, Overall (in) - 57.2
    • Tread Width, Front (in) - 61
    • Tread Width, Rear (in) - 59.8
    • Min Ground Clearance (in) - 5.4
  • Fuel Tank Features
    • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal) - 13.2
  • Interior Dimensions Features
    • Second Shoulder Room (in) - 53.9
    • Passenger Capacity - 5
    • Passenger Volume (ft³) - 93.5
    • Front Head Room (in) - 38.4
    • Front Leg Room (in) - 41.2
    • Front Shoulder Room (in) - 55.9
    • Second Head Room (in) - 38.1
    • Second Leg Room (in) - 35.6
  • Mileage Features
    • Fuel Economy Est-Combined (MPG) - 30
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG) - 25
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG) - 37
  • Steering Features
    • Steering Type - Rack-Pinion
    • Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb (ft) - 35.8
  • Summary Features
    • Vehicle Name - Volkswagen Golf
    • Body Style - Hatchback
  • Suspension Features
    • Suspension Type - Front - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear - Multi-Link
    • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) - Multi-Link
  • Tires Features
    • Front Tire Size - P195/65HR15
    • Rear Tire Size - P195/65HR15
    • Spare Tire Size - Full-Size
  • Transmission Features
    • Drivetrain - Front Wheel Drive
    • Trans Type - 5
    • Trans Description Cont. - Manual w/OD
    • First Gear Ratio (:1) - 3.78
    • Second Gear Ratio (:1) - 2.12
    • Third Gear Ratio (:1) - 1.27
    • Fourth Gear Rato (:1) - 0.87
    • Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) - 0.66
    • Reverse Ratio (:1) - 3.60
    • Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) - 3.39
  • Vehicle Features
    • EPA Classification - Compact Cars
    • Annual CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year - 6.0
  • Weight Information Features
    • Base Curb Weight (lbs) - 2901
  • Wheels Features
    • Front Wheel Size (in) - 15 X 6.5
    • Rear Wheel Size (in) - 15 X 6.5
    • Spare Wheel Size (in) - Full-Size
    • Front Wheel Material - Aluminum
    • Rear Wheel Material - Aluminum
    • Spare Wheel Material - Steel

2015 Volkswagen Golf Photos & Colors

Photos

Below are pictures of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. Select the picture you want to view below

Available Colors

Below are the available colors for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. Select the color to see a close-up view.

  • Black Night Blue Metallic Platinum Gray Metallic Pure White Silk Blue Metallic Tornado Red Tungsten Silver Metallic
  • Black
  • Night Blue Metallic
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • Pure White
  • Silk Blue Metallic
  • Tornado Red
  • Tungsten Silver Metallic

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Introduction

Redesigned and improved from the platform up, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Volkswagen GTI mark the beginning of the seventh generation of these compact, front-wheel-drive cars. The all-new 2015 Golf is bigger, lighter and more powerful and starts at a slightly lower price compared with 2014 models.

Volkswagen sees the Golf lineup as the core of its brand, and as such, has spawned a number of variants and powertrains: Gasoline-powered Golf TSI and peppy GTI models come in two- and four-door body styles, and the four-door Golf TDI offers efficient diesel power. These are to be followed with the all-electric Golf-e, the high-performance, 290-hp Golf R, and the roomy SportWagon, the latter of which rides on the Golf platform with the body of a more traditional station wagon.

All gasoline-powered 2015 Golf models use an updated version of VW's 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, good for 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. And while other carmakers seem to be dropping manual transmissions, Volkswagen keeps its standard 5-speed manual as well as an optional 6-speed automatic. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated 25/37 mpg City/Highway with the manual and 25/36 mpg City/Highway with the automatic.

Whether in two- or four-door styles, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is fun to drive, with a ride that's firm but still comfortable.

The Golf TDI Clean Diesel uses an updated version of VW's turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected inline-4, which makes 150 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (DSG). It's smooth and quiet, and achieves good fuel economy, as expected from a diesel: 31/45 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission. Volkswagen dropped the starting price of the 2015 Golf TDI by more than $3,000 compared with the previous model, but not without compromises. For one, the Golf TDI loses its sportier (and more expensive) multi-link rear suspension in favor of a less sophisticated torsion beam rear setup, which we found to be much less composed on the road. On the plus side, the new packaging also allows more space than before, bringing total cargo capacity in line with other 2015 Golf models.

The GTI, which Volkswagen claims inspired the hot hatch segment, is as good as ever with its 210-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged power plant, bigger brakes, sport-tuned suspension and precise steering. A new performance package adds even more agility and grip thanks to an electronically controlled electronic slip differential, the first of its kind on a front-wheel-drive vehicle. Fuel economy understandably slips a bit compared to its tamer Golf counterparts, at 25/34 mpg City/Highway with the manual and 25/33 mpg City/Highway with the automatic.

Underneath all these models lies a new architecture, VW's MQB platform, which is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of powertrains and body shapes from the ground-up, instead of forcing engineers to shoehorn in modifications that can take up space (such as the battery pack in the electric e-Golf).

Inside, all 2015 Golf models get comfortable seats, a tasteful interior with thoughtfully placed controls, a new standard touchscreen and plenty of space for people and cargo. We found even the tallest drivers are comfortable in the back seat, with ample headroom and sufficient legroom. Cargo space measures 22.8 cubic feet, and the Golf's boxier shape allows stuff to be stacked nearly all the way to the roof.

Competitors to the 2015 Volkswagen Golf include hatchback versions of the Ford Focus, Kia Forte, Mazda3, and the Hyundai Elantra GT. Alternatives to the GTI include the Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Si. Golf TDI models are in a class by themselves; looking for diesel power would have to go to a four-door sedan like the Chevrolet Cruze diesel, or step up to a more expensive luxury vehicle like the BMW 328d SportWagen.

Lineup

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4 that makes 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.

Golf Launch Edition ($17,995) comes only in the 2-door body style with a 5-speed manual transmission. Standard features include manually operated air conditioning, cloth upholstery, power windows/door locks/outside mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manually adjustable seats with lumbar, Bluetooth connectivity, touch screen display, audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability and iPod integration, rear wiper, split folding rear seats with center armrest and pass-through, dual exhaust tips and 15-inch steel wheels.

Golf S is available as a 2-door with a 5-speed manual transmission ($18,995) or with a 6-speed automatic ($20,095). A 4-door body style is equipped with the automatic transmission only ($20,695). Additional standard features include leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls, leather-wrapped shift knob and handbrake lever, cruise control and VW Car-Net connected features. Wheels are 15-inch alloys. Four-door Golf S models can also come equipped with a power sunroof.

Golf SE ($24,495) is available only as a four-door model and comes with the 6-speed automatic transmission, heated front seats, Fender premium audio system, rain-sensing headlights, heated front washer nozzles, automatic headlights, front foglights and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Golf SEL ($26,995) also comes exclusively in the 4-door style with the automatic transmission and adds automatic climate control, keyless entry, pushbutton start, sport comfort seats with 12-way power driver's seat, ambient lighting with LED interior reading lights and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Golf TDI models are available in the four-door body style only and are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected inline-4, which makes 150 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque.

Golf TDI S models include all standard features found on Golf S, with a choice of either a five-speed manual ($21,995) or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission ($23,095).

Golf TDI SE models can be equipped with a 6-speed manual ($25,495) or DSG ($26,595) add the Fender premium audio system, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, front foglights, rearview camera, heated front washer nozzles a power sunroof and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Golf TDI SEL manual ($27,995) and DSG ($29,995) trims add automatic climate control, keyless entry, pushbutton start, sport comfort seats with 12-way power driver's seat, ambient lighting with LED interior reading lights and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Options include the Driver Assistance Package ($695), which adds front and rear parking sensors and forward collision warning.

GTI models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that produces 210 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. It's available in a 2-door body style with a 6-speed manual ($24,395) or 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual, or DSG ($24,995), or as a 4-door with the same manual ($25,495) or DSG ($26,095) gearboxes. Standard features on the GTI include manually operated air conditioning, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats with lumbar support (4-door models get partial power front seats), power windows/door locks/outside mirrors, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls, leather-wrapped shift knob and handbrake lever, ambient lighting with LED reading lights, adjustable driving modes, cruise control, touchscreen display, audio system with CD player, satellite radio capability and iPod interface, Bluetooth connectivity, VW Car-Net connected services, split-folding rear seats with center armrest and pass-through, a lowered sport suspension, dual chrome-look exhaust tips, rear spoiler, red brake calipers and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Golf GTI SE 2-door manual ($27,395), 2-door automatic ($28,495), 4-door manual ($27,995) and 4-door automatic ($29,095) add leather upholstery, keyless entry, pushbutton start, the Fender premium audio system, a power sunroof, rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights. Four door models get partial power seats.

Golf GTI Autobahn manual ($29,595) and automatic ($30,695) models add automatic climate control, a 12-way power driver's seat and navigation.

Options for the 2015 Volkswagen GTI include a Performance Package ($1,495), which bumps up horsepower by 10 hp for a total of 220 hp and adds larger brakes and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential which electronically adjusts power to wheels while cornering for increased grip.

Safety equipment on all models includes dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side impact airbags, side air curtain airbags, antilock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control and hill-hold assist.

Walkaround

While the 2015 Golf is fully redesigned, exterior changes are subtle. The front end is slightly lower and wider, with a shorter front overhang. Headlights are narrower, with standard foglamps on upper trims, and new LED running lights are optional.

Underneath all Golf models is a new architecture, VW's MQB platform, which is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of powertrains and body shapes from the ground-up. Compared with the previous generation, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is about two inches longer, an inch lower and ever-so-slightly wider, riding atop a wheelbase that's stretched by more than two inches. The front wheels sit 1.7 inches farther forward, making the Golf appear to sit farther back on its haunches and giving it a sportier, more aggressive stance.

Volkswagen says the new shape also helps the Golf achieve better aerodynamics; the drag coefficient has been improved from 0.32 to 0.29. A lower number is better, as it helps the car slip more easily through the air, improving performance and fuel economy.

From the side, the longer hood is evident, as is its lower stance. The side body crease that runs from behind the front wheel arches and just below the door handles is crisper and sharper.

In the rear, the back end is flatter, framed by narrower, more angular tail lamps. The rear window opening is sits slightly higher up. The lower rear bumper is also more angular, framing the license plate housing in twin symmetrical bulges. Both TSI and TDI models get twin tailpipes on one side.

GTI models are differentiated by a unique mesh front grille and bold horizontal lines across the foglamp housings, side skirts, a roof spoiler and red calipers. In back, the GTI gets a unique rear diffuser and twin chrome exhaust tips, one on either side.

Interior

As always, the interior of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf exudes an air of simple elegance. Some might call it austere, but we like the controls and trim pieces that blend in unobtrusively with their surroundings, especially in black. That's quite a contrast from other car makers, who seem to overwhelm the eye with varying shades of trims and textures in the cabin, and, in the case of some, try too hard with gimmicks like cupholders that change color.

Controls are canted slightly toward the driver, and the instrument cluster has a classic white-on-black numbering that's easy to read. An information screen sits between the tachometer and odometer and allows drivers to easily see various functions by toggling through a control on the steering wheel. We were slightly bothered by the odd slant of the instrument cluster, however, which is angled upward.

In our test car, the instrument panel was wrapped in a pleasing, soft-touch material that was textured just enough to give it interest, with a soft matte finish that made it look high-end and also prevented glare. The center stack, gearshift surround and dash came trimmed in a tasteful, low-gloss brushed aluminum-look trim.

A new standard color touch screen sits in the center stack, flanked on either side by rows of buttons that control audio, phone and vehicle information functions. The buttons allow quick access to each function, without looking cluttered. While the screen is a nice addition on base models, we would like to see a larger screen for the more expensive trims and the GTI, especially on cars equipped with navigation. Below, three perfectly symmetrical knobs operate the climate control functions.

On cars equipped with pushbutton start, the button sits on the center console, rather than next to the steering column like in some cars. This felt a bit unnatural, but we think owners would get used to it relatively quickly. Traditional ignition keys are used on some models, with a key that flips out of the fob; and you're never looking for the key.

We were pleased to find that all 2015 Volkswagen Golf models come standard with iPhone connectivity, and use Apple's newest Lightning plug. Though, when our iPhone 5s was plugged in, we were disappointed that our phone's navigation audio commands did not come through the car's speakers, as it does with other brands such as Hyundai, Nissan and most luxury brands. The Golf's optional built-in navigation works fine, though we found the female voice somewhat grating.

A premium audio system comes on SE and SEL trims is made by Fender, the same company of guitar fame. If you like your music loud, the Fender system will deliver, but at low to moderate volumes, we didn't find it remarkable. In fact, it was especially hard to hear in the GTI due to all the road noise.

Front seats are comfortable, and getting in and out of the car is easy, even for our six-foot-five driving companion. Side bolsters hold occupants firmly around the corners and fit a range of body styles and sizes, though our tall colleague mentioned after some time he was feeling a tad pinched in the hips. Standard upholstery on our test car was Volkswagen's V-Tex leatherette, which was comfortable and appears as if it would hold its shape long-term, though it would be hard-pressed to mistake it for real leather. Our SE model was equipped with partial power seats; fore-and-aft adjustments are manual, while recline functions are automatic. We find this combination a bit strange and would prefer either all-manual controls like those found on the Golf S 2-door, or the 12-way full power seats that come on SEL trims.

Despite the 2015 Golf being longer than its predecessor, front legroom remains stays the same at 41.2 inches. In the rear, the Golf gains only one-tenths of an inch in legroom at 35.6 inches. And because it's about an inch lower, the Golf loses some headroom compared with the outgoing model: about an inch in front, and about a half-inch in the rear. Still, the Golf's boxy shape makes it plenty roomy, and we got no complaints in that department even from our very tall driving companion, who fit fine behind the (much shorter) driver.

Outward visibility is excellent, unimpeded except for the large C-pillars (the rearmost roof supports).

Storage space is plentiful in the Golf, with twin cupholders in the center console, and wide, deep front door pockets that can hold giant water bottles and coffee mugs. Rear passengers get a fold-down center console, when a fifth passenger isn't in the center seat.

Cargo space measures 22.8 cubic feet in all models. This is especially significant in the TDI model, which previously could carry only 15.2 cubic feet (due to the position of the diesel system's urea tank in the rear of the car). The tradeoff, comes in the form of a new, space-saving torsion beam suspension, which slightly sacrifices driving dynamics. A split folding rear seat is standard, as well as a center pass-through, which allows multiple cargo and passenger configurations.

Compared to the four-door Ford Focus hatchback, the Volkswagen Golf offers slightly more rear legroom but falls short of the Focus's 23.8 cubic-foot trunk. The Kia Forte hatchback gets more headroom, slightly more rear legroom and and 23.2 cubic feet of trunk space. Mazda3 hatches slightly more rear legroom with 35.8 inches, but have slightly less headroom in the front and rear the least amount of trunk space at 20.2 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is both sophisticated and fun, with European road manners that make it pleasurable to drive around town and on the highway.

Though all models now use four-cylinder engines, there is ample power for most driving needs. Golf TSI models use an updated version of VW's 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, good for 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. On our TSI test car with the automatic transmission, acceleration was smooth and shifts were timely. There is a brief moment of hesitation at tip-in, followed by ample thrust. But we wouldn't call it turbo lag; this is typical for all newer cars tuned to maximize fuel economy. In sport mode, the transmission holds gears longer, providing plenty of thrust during our test drive through the hilly roads of Northern California.

In TSI models, the ride is firmly sprung, but not uncomfortable. Rebound is smooth and quick when going over train tracks and potholes. Over rougher road, a rear multi-link suspension helps to keep everything in check.

Fuel economy is a fairly admirable 25/37 mpg City/Highway with the manual and 25/36 mpg City/Highway with the automatic, according to EPA estimates.

Golf TDI models use a revised version of VW's turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected inline-4, which makes 150 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. We found our TDI test car exceptionally quiet on startup, and the clattering typical of a diesel engine was only obvious when driving at low-to-moderate speeds on demanding roads.

Our Golf TDI model was equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. Clutch engagement is smooth and shift throws are comfortable, but like all cars that now use cable linkage, it feels soft compared to stick shifts of old. In most situations the transmission responds just as it should, though we'd often have to downshift to first gear at parking-lot speeds, where in many cars second would suffice. We also felt caught between second and third gears at moderate speeds through winding uphill roads: the engine whirred along at the top of its limits in second, but failed to provide enough oomph in third. As a result, we found ourselves shifting back and forth around nearly every turn. If you like the driver engagement of a manual, this car will give you that and then some. If not, stick to the automatic.

To create more trunk space (and perhaps to cut costs), Golf TDI models no longer have the sportier and more expensive multi-link rear suspension found on other Golf models, and instead use a less sophisticated torsion beam rear setup. Driving around town, the difference was negligible, but we found the car became unsettled and was much less composed around hard corners and on uneven, undulating surfaces.

While it may not deliver the best ride quality of the lineup, the Golf TDI excels in fuel economy, with 31/45 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission.

On both models, the Golf's brakes work well. On the previous generation Golf, we dug into the brake pedal repeatedly on Germany's Autobahn to slow down from triple-digit speeds. This time, though our drive was at much lower speeds, we felt just as confident. Pedal feel is solid, and braking feels stable.

The 2015 Golf GTI is sporty yet still refined, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 210 hp and a hearty 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Not only is the GTI more powerful than before, it's also about 80 pounds lighter, which makes the GTI feel plenty zippy around town and on the highway. Suspension in the GTI is firmer and feels flatter through the corners than the standard Golf, which also makes it more comfortable for aggressive driving.

An optional Performance Package for the GTI boosts power to 220 horsepower and adds bigger brakes and a new torque-sensing electronically controlled limited-slip differential. As its description suggests, the limited-slip differential improves stability and grip via electronic, rather than mechanical, means.

The electric steering in the GTI feels heavy, which will satisfy those who equate high steering effort with sportiness. Though our opinion, artificially creating a heavy steering feel isn't necessary to enjoy a jaunt around town or some weekend canyon carving.

The exhaust note on the GTI is satisfying, and one can hear it adequately through the cabin, though it has quite a bit of competition in the form of road and tire noise. In fact, we found the GTI so noisy at highway speeds, we had to considerably raise our voices (or the volume of the stereo system) to hear anything.

Fuel economy for the 2015 Volkswagen GTI is rated at 25/34 mpg City/Highway with the manual and 25/33 mpg City/Highway with the automatic.

Summary

The Volkswagen Golf is a versatile, fun-to-drive car available in a variety of body styles and powertrains. The standard Golf offers German refinement at Honda prices. The Golf TDI achieves excellent fuel economy and has more cargo space than before, though ride quality is slightly compromised. The GTI is sporty yet refined, with increased power and less weight over its predecessor.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Laura Burstein filed this report after her test drive of the Volkswagen Golf and GTI in San Francisco.

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Vehicle Price: The total vehicle price including options, destination charge & rebate $
Down Payment: Your upfront cash down payment $
Trade-In: The current value of your trade-in vehicle $
Amount Owed on Trade-In: The total loan balance still outstanding on your trade-in $
Sales Tax: Your local sales tax rate %
Interest Rate: The estimated interest rate on the loan %
Term: The length of the loan (in months). Longer Terms allow for lower monthly payments.
Your Monthly Payment: Calculated Monthly Payment
Other 2015 Volkswagen Golf styles
2015 Volkswagen Golf 2dr HB Auto TSI S
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Auto TSI S
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Auto TSI S w/Sunroof
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Auto TSI SE
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Auto TSI SEL
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB DSG TDI S
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB DSG TDI SE
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB DSG TDI SEL
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Man TDI S
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Man TDI SE
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Man TDI SEL
2015 Volkswagen Golf 4dr HB Man TSI S w/Sunroof

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2015 Honda Civic Coupe 2dr Man LX
2015 Kia Forte Koup 2dr Coupe Man EX
2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door 4dr HB S
2014 Scion tC 2dr HB Man Anniversary Edition
2014 Hyundai Elantra Coupe 2dr PZEV

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About These Prices

As you know, pricing cars is particularly complicated. One of our duties at CarQuotes.com is to help our customers comprehend this process better.

Three important prices we may show on a particular vehicle

CarQuotes.com Estimated Target Price is for research purposes only. It reflects a typical, negotiated price (before taxes and other customary fees and charges, such as dealer documentation fees, tire and battery disposal fees, license and registration, and where applicable, finance charges) generally found for the vehicle that you selected. The Estimated Target Price is NOT a price quote from CarQuotes.com or any other dealer. If you request a price quote from a dealer via CarQuotes.com displaying an estimated target price, your price may differ.

Invoice is commonly known as the published amount that the dealer paid the manufacturer for the vehicle. This may or may not represent a close relation to the dealer’s actual cost, but can be beneficial as a benchmark. This figure is available on many other web sites however CarQuotes.com adds an estimate of local and regional fees from manufacturer to the dealers to this price, which makes it very close to the actual invoice amount for cars at your local dealer.

MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. This is a proposed price only. For most vehicles, the CarQuotes.com price is below this amount. Some high demand cars may be priced over this amount.

Estimated Target Price

The CarQuotes.com Target Price is to be used as a general guide that reflects a typical, market price (before taxes and other customary fees and charges) generally found for the vehicle that you selected. This price is based on our research and estimates of supply and demand in the marketplace. There are many factors that go into the final price of a particular vehicle including local supply and demand. Your final price may differ.

CarQuotes.com Estimated Target Prices include

The ’base’ price of the vehicle
All options that you select
Base Destination Charges — this is a charge that is added to the base price for every vehicle
Any related Estimated Manufacture to Consumer Cash Rebates. Note: rebates are subject to change at any time. Please make sure to confirm any consumer Cash rebates with your dealer representative at the time of purchase.

CarQuotes.com Estimated price(s) do NOT include any of the following:

Local taxes, license fees and other local fees, such as dealer documentation fees, tire and battery disposal fees, and where applicable, finance charges — these fees are also excluded from Dealer Invoice and MSRP and would be excluded from most advertisements you might see.
Random ’special qualification’ rebates — i.e., for new college grads only; for customers trading in a specific type of car.  Ask your dealer Representative for more information on ’special qualification’ rebates.

CarQuotes Estimated Dealer Price

The Estimated CarQuotes Dealer Price is an estimate of the pricing presented to CarQuotes members from CarQuotes Authorized Dealers in your area, and is calculated by subtracting an estimated savings value from the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") as well as a value that relates to invoice for the "ideal vehicle" you configured. Dealer documentation, administrative or similar processing fees are not included in the price estimate. Any vehicle configured on the CarQuotes website is an "ideal vehicle" and may not exist at a CarQuotes Authorized Dealer or any other partner dealer. Each Dealer attempts to match a member’s vehicle preferences with the best possible selection from current, in-stock inventory.

Estimated Savings

The Estimated Savings represents the estimated amount of savings off of MSRP available to you from CarQuotes Dealers for a vehicle consistent with your configured preferences plus any customer incentives currently available.  This is also true when it comes to CarQuotes estimated target prices. Your actual savings will depend on several factors including market conditions, the style of vehicle you select, installed options, dealer coverage, and applicable manufacturer incentives. Each dealer sets its own pricing.

Advertised Rebates, Special Manufacturer Financing or Leasing Programs

In most cases, you must choose between these programs OR a customer rebate or a special manufacturer-to-dealer incentive that may or may not already be included in your CarQuotes.com Target Price. So, your final price may go up if you take advantage of special manufacturer financing. Credit Union members should contact their Credit Union loan department to determine what type of loan and financing options are right for you.

Please note that CarQuotes.com strives to include identified manufacturer incentives within the CarQuotes.com Target Price. CarQuotes.com does not administer these programs, which are subject to and often change without notice. Eligibility for these programs is subject to verification by a licensed auto dealer.

Ask your dealer representative for complete manufacturer program details for your area, and how participation in these programs will affect your price.

Base Vehicle

The base vehicle is the vehicle before any optional equipment or destination fees have been added. All of the standard features are included in the base vehicle.

Options

This is the total charge for all optional equipment included in the configuration of your virtual vehicle. The Options charge varies depending on whether it is calculated based on the Factory Invoice or MSRP. Options are not included in the base vehicle price and are not considered standard features.

Regional Fees

A Regional Fee is the fee a manufacturer charges a dealer to advertise and promote the vehicle in the dealer’s market. CarQuotes also includes estimated manufacturer preparation charges (manufacturer charges to the dealer to cover any work done on the car prior to delivering it to the dealership) and fuel charges (the charge for the fuel in the tank when the buyer purchases the vehicle) in this total. CarQuotes attempts to include regional ad fees in its Factory Invoice calculations; other sites at times do not.

Destination Fees

These are the amounts that manufacturers charge to deliver a vehicle from the factory to the dealership.

Customer Incentives

Customer incentives are also commonly known as customer cash or bonus incentives. These incentives are offered by manufacturers as a way of enticing buyers into purchasing a vehicle.

 

Note: Dealer Invoice amount might not be the amount that the dealer paid to the manufacturer

Dealer Invoice price may or may not bear close relation to a dealer’s actual cost for the vehicle. In some cases, a cost for a vehicle may be significantly less than the invoice price originally paid for the vehicle. Any difference between invoice price and the dealer’s final cost may be caused by many factors including factory refunds, rebates, allowances, or incentives which the manufacturer or distributor may provide to the dealer.

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