The Volkswagen Golf has quietly reached iconic status, as its concept dates back to 1974. The 2013 Volkswagen Golf is the sixth generation Golf, and is available in either a two-door or four-door model. Buyers can also choose between two different engines, including a Turbo option. Volkswagen has actually already released the seventh generation Golf in Europe, and it will go on sale in the United States for the 2014 model year. While it is likely that many prospective buyers will wait for the seventh generation model to arrive, the main advantage to purchasing the 2013 Volkswagen Golf is that dealers are likely to offer discounts in an effort to entice buyers. Those looking for an inexpensive subcompact car may want to consider other options, but the 2013 Volkswagen Golf has a style all its own that should continue to appeal to the Golf’s loyal following.
New For 2013
Volkswagen has already pulled the cover off the seventh-generation Golf, but we’re not ready to pass along the details—yet. You see, the new car goes on sale in Europe a full year before it arrives in America, so we have until early 2014 before these Golfs show up in dealerships. The current Golf remains a great buy, just don’t be disappointed when you’re driving “the old model” within a couple months of your purchase.
The exterior of the 2013 Volkswagen Golf is something of a throwback to the circular hatchbacks of prior generations. The car is sporty in its smallness, and the cute design has attracted a sizeable following, which is largely responsible for the car remaining on the market for so many years. Buyers can choose from a total of six different color choices, including a playful tomato red color. Another sporty touch is that the ground clearance is just 5.4 inches off the ground. The base trim offers just 15-inch wheels, although sportier 17-inch ones are also available.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf has a compact interior. Still, the car actually offers decent legroom for both front and rear passengers. Those in the front receive 41.2 inches of legroom, while rear passengers are offered an adequate 35.5 inches. The decent amount of room in the rear actually makes the 2013 Volkswagen Golf a viable option for families, particularly those that live in the city and need a small car. The four-door option is a must for families, while young couples can likely make do with the slightly less expensive two-door option. The Golf has 15.2 cubic feet of luggage space, and 46.0 cubic feet in total. The storage space also benefits from the inclusion of two seatback storage pockets.
Volkswagen has included a sizeable amount of interior features, which help explain the price tag, which begins at almost $19,000. Drivers in the front receive lumbar support, and the 2013 Volkswagen Golf is also equipped with power windows and locks. A sunroof is standard, in addition to heated door mirrors. An exterior temperature display is a handy touch, and remote keyless entry is another convenient feature.
Entertainment features include standard satellite radio, as well as MP3 capability. Eight speakers are included. The Turbo option has an optional navigation system, and comes standard with Bluetooth capability.
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf offers many safety features, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded it a Top Safety Pick. The car comes standard with anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. There are also front, side, and side curtain airbags. Illuminated entry also comes standard. There is also a panic alarm, and a theft-deterrent alarm, both of which should help protect against theft.
The driving experience of the 2013 Volkswagen Golf varies drastically depending on the engine. There are two engines to choose from. The most cost efficient is the 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. It comes with 170 horsepower, and 177 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, Volkswagen also offers a TDI Turbo option that is more powerful but also more expensive. The Turbo comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It offers 140 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque.
The Turbo is undeniably the more enjoyable and responsive car to drive. However, buyers will have to decide whether the substantial price hike is justified. The 2.5-liter base engine lacks responsiveness and is not nearly as smooth as the TDI Turbo option, but it is priced at roughly $7000 less than the Turbo. Fuel economy on both models is quite strong. Drivers can expect to receive between 19-30/27-42 mpg city/highway. It should be noted that the totals for the Turbo are at the higher end of the spectrum, as it receives substantially greater fuel economy. However, any improvements in fuel economy are more than offset by both the price hike and the fact that the Turbo requires diesel fuel, which is generally more expensive than gas.
Regardless of the engine, the 2013 Volkswagen Golf is an excellent car for the city. The 17.9-inch turning radius deftly handles sharp corners and the lack of power on the 2.5-liter model is unlikely to pose much of a problem while city driving. However, buyers should also note that there is no all-wheel drive option. While this does improve the fuel economy totals, the 2013 Volkswagen Golf may not be the wisest option for those who need a car that can make it through difficult winters.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Volkswagen Golf
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Hyundai Elantra
- Subaru Impreza