Buying Guide

2013 Volkswagen Golf

Fair Market Price $11,113 R 4-Door Hatchback

EPA MPG:

23 City / 33 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

Horse Power:

170 @ 5700

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.

Overview

Volkswagen offers four different models making between 140 hp and 256 hp, each of which is available with two or four doors. All Golfs feature a dynamic chassis and responsive steering that make them a joy to drive. Other common traits include exceptional visibility and a spacious, high-quality interior that compares well with cars costing twice as much. The base five-cylinder engine is sufficiently powerful but can’t come close to the 40 mpg achieved by other compacts. Efficiency-minded buyers will want the diesel-powered TDI, a peppy and refined engine that is rated at 30/42 mpg city/highway. The diesel model is pricey, though. The top performer is the Golf R, a $34,000 all-wheel-drive, turbocharged Golf that produces 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. It’s quick and planted, but we prefer the less-powerful front-wheel-drive GTI. The GTI is the only car ever to win our top honor, Automobile of the Year, twice. The Golf R and the GTI use the same 2.0-liter turbo, but the GTI is tuned to be smoother and have a more linear response and minimal turbo lag. Buyers have a choice of four transmissions. Volkswagen’s acclaimed dual-clutch automatic has sophisticated computer programming that mimics the function of a limited-slip diff without adding torque steer. And the GTI’s steering is as good as it gets with front-wheel-drive cars.

Safety

Standard features include ABS; front, side, and side curtain air bags; tire-pressure monitoring; and traction and stability control.

You’ll like:

  • Great handling and steering
  • An engine for every purpose
  • Upscale cabin

You won’t like:

  • Mediocre fuel economy
  • Conservative styling

Key Competitors For The 2013 Volkswagen Golf

  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Subaru Impreza

Sum Up

Biding its time.

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