I have long thought that Volkswagens are overpriced, though their window stickers seem to be coming closer to the norm lately. This base Golf seems reasonably priced at $18,240, but I have to point out that this is the absolute cheapest Volkswagen you can buy in the United States. Think about the features buyers really want like four doors (add $1845) and an automatic transmission (add $1100) and you end up with a $21,185 entry-level car. That price is still on the mark, but it seems to me that Volkswagen should have something to offer in the $16,000 range.
That said, the Volkswagen Golf is a great compact car with excellent comfort and performance. I'll chime in for West Coast editor Jason Cammisa and sing the praises of the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. While many four-cylinders start to feel coarse when displacement crawls over 2.0-liters, the five-cylinder provides a perfect solution. It's incredibly smooth and offers fuel economy and output on par with four-banger competitors.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor