Although it's been on sale in Europe for a little over a year, the new sixth-generation Golf arrives in North America for 2010, ditching the cutesy Rabbit nameplate in favor of style, substance, and a diesel option.
The base 2010 Golf is equipped with the same 2.5-liter I-5 as the 2009 Rabbit, and is available in either a two- or four-door hatchback. An entry-level two-door stickers at $18,190 (including a $700 destination charge); adding the six-speed DSG gearbox brings that figure to $19,290. Four-door Golf 2.5 models are available only with the DSG, and start at $19,890. Cars equipped with manual transmissions are rated at 22/30 mpg city/highway; those with the DSG boost the city figure to 23 mpg.
After four years without a diesel offering, the 2010 Golf is again available with Volkswagen's famed 2.0-liter TDI turbo-diesel powerplant. A base TDI two-door hatch, equipped with a six-speed manual transaxle, stickers at $22,690; the four-door adds $600, bringing the admission fee to $23,290. The EPA rates both models at 30/41 mpg city/highway; adding the DSG transmission boosts both figures by 1 mpg, but also adds $1100 of cost.
As was the case with the Jetta, the new Golf TDI models are virtually loaded to the hilt with content. Diesel cars receive a touch-screen music interface, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and parking brake handle, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a slightly lowered suspension.