Buying Guide

2015 Volkswagen Golf

Fair Market Price $12,655 TDI SE (Manual) Hatchback
Motor Trend Rating


25 City / 37 Hwy

Horse Power:

170 @ 4500


200 @ 1600

New for 2015

The Volkswagen Golf has been completely revised for the 2015 model year, gaining new engines, fresh styling, additional safety features, and increased connectivity. An all-electric e-Golf is introduced, and the Golf SportWagen replaces the Jetta wagon.

Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Golf is a compact hatchback that comes in two- and four-door variants, with a wide variety of powertrains from the efficient TDI to the high-performance GTI and R models, to the practical SportWagen. The Golf sits below the Jetta as the smallest offering in the Volkswagen lineup.


The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is available in two- and four-door hatchback bodies, in addition to adding a wagon style for 2015. Golf variants are powered by six-speed manuals, six-speed automatics, six-speed twin-clutch automatics, and for the EV variant, a single-speed transmission.

Model: TSI

Engine and transmission: Turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4 – five-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Power (FWD): 170 hp/200 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel economy: 25/37 mpg (manual) – 25/36 mpg (automatic)

Model: TDI

Engine and transmission: Turbodiesel 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Power (FWD): 150 hp/236 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel economy: 30/45 mpg (manual) – 31/43 mpg (DSG automatic)

Model: GTI (hatch only)

Engine and transmission: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Power (FWD): 210 hp/258 lb-ft (or 220 hp with Performance Package)

EPA-rated fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (manual) – 25/33 mpg (DSG automatic)

Model(s): R (hatch only)

Engine and transmission: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Power (AWD): 292 hp/280 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (automatic) – TBD (manual)

Model: e-Golf (four-door hatch only)

Engine and transmission: AC motor – 24.2 kWh battery – single speed transmission

Power (FWD): 115 hp/199 lb-ft

EPA-rated range and charge times: 83 miles – 20-hours (110 volt) or 4-hours (240 volt) or to 80% fast charge in 30 minutes

The e-Golf and Golf SportWagen will both be available in the first quarter of 2015, and have yet to be rated by the EPA. The Golf R, similarly, is launching first with the automatic and has not been rated by the EPA with the manual transmission. Some of the most notable features for the latest Golf include the ability to fully disable the electronic stability control on the Golf R (something not possible on past models), a 5.8-inch infotainment screen, HID headlights with LED daytime running lights (full LED headlights on the e-Golf), Fender premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, intelligent crash response system, and an adjustable load floor in the cargo area.

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf has not been rated by the NHTSA yet, but is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

What We Think

From the practical base 2015 Volkswagen Golf to the exciting Golf R, we like the latest generation that marks the 40-year anniversary of the Golf in the U.S. In a Driven Review of a 2015 Volkswagen Golf SEL, we said, “The interior is spacious, the driving position is superb, and everything looks great. Even better, the standard 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine has an extraordinarily broad powerband even as it delivers 26/36 mpg.”

The most exciting news for the latest Golf R is the ability to turn off the traction control (completely!), which track enthusiasts have been asking for since the model debuted.

The e-Golf keeps all of the things we’ve come to love about the regular Golf (cargo space, versatility, and a relatively exciting driving experience) and merely loses the gasoline-burning part of the equation. The e-Golf is familiar, and an excellent first effort at a zero-emission vehicle for the U.S. market. In a Driven Review of a 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI with the Performance Package one editor said, “I have lots of miles in the GTI Mk5 and Mk6, and this Mk7 feels like an old friend. The sensations of smoothness, refinement, precision, and accessible power that characterized those last two generations are even more finely concentrated in the 2015 GTI. The net effect is that the GTI is simply really easy to drive fast and to drive well. Your palms don’t get sweaty.”

You’ll Like

  • Excellent engines from fuel-efficient to high-performance
  • ESC-off button on Golf R
  • Incredibly well-rounded package

You Won’t Like

  • Can’t get a Golf R with a manual transmission when it launches
  • Can get pricey with options
  • e-Golf will only be available in 11 states (CA, OR, and a few East Coasters)

Key Competitors

  • Ford Focus
  • Kia Forte
  • Mazda3
  • Subaru Impreza



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