2010 Volkswagen Golf

PZEV FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5 man trans

2010 volkswagen golf Reviews and News

1004 01 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf R+front Three Quarter View
Volkswagen's GTI is the only car in this magazine's history to be voted Automobile of the Year twice. And now there's a hotter version, called the Golf R, on sale in Europe. Volkswagen of America hasn't officially said whether the Golf R is coming here, but that didn't stop us from taking one for a spin.
1004 01 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf R+front Three Quarter View
The "R" badge, you might have guessed, identifies this Golf as the successor to the R32, the four-wheel-drive über-GTI that was sold in the U.S. in two 5000-unit batches: the 2004 Mark 4 R32 and the 2008 Mark 5 R32. This Mark 6 edition very nearly evolved into the R36, with a 300-hp, 3.6-liter VR6 under the hood, until VW engineers started having second thoughts about fuel consumption and emissions. Management stepped away from the narrow-angle V-6 and instead switched to a forced-induction four-cylinder.
The 2.0-liter R engine develops 267 hp - 17 more horses than the last R32 and well above the current GTI's 200-hp output. Thanks to 17.4 psi of boost, it also whips up 258 lb-ft of torque at a leisurely 2500 rpm, and unlike most turbocharged engines, this one is exceptionally linear, responsive, punchy, and refined. Whereas the R32's VR6 was all part-accelerator growl, lift-off rumble, and full-throttle roar, the newly developed four-cylinder won't try to engage your emotions with the odd overrun blat-blat, or even with faint turbocharger whine. It's an efficient engine, and it works very well in combination with the intuitive six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (DSG), but it lacks that aggressive, rev-hungry rawness and the R32's ability to read the throttle foot's intentions.
Like the R32, the Golf R retains all-wheel drive as a key differentiator from the GTI. The additional traction and power help scoot the DSG-equipped Golf R to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, 1.4 seconds ahead of the GTI, according to the factory. The Golf R can be had with two or four doors and a six-speed manual or DSG transmission, although Volkswagen might import it to the States in DSG/four-door form only, as it did with the last R32.
On smooth pavement, the Golf R is a joy to whip to ten-tenths. Or even eleven-tenths - thanks to the latest stability control software, undue lift-off oversteer is as expertly compensated as excessive understeer. Sure, you feel a bit like a passenger when the chips interfere, but the result justifies the means. When exiting a corner molto presto, the Haldex system's clutch engages much more promptly than in lesser 4Motion models, thereby ensuring maximum grip long before the front wheels start to scramble. Although the strong and responsive brakes lack that ultimate-sports-car sharpness and stamina, their performance is remarkable by hot-hatch standards.
We often think that all-wheel drive eliminates torque steer, but there's still plenty of energy flowing through your palms when you boot the Golf R's throttle - even if this car is much better at putting the power down than the front-wheel-drive GTI. Despite sitting about an inch lower than the GTI and benefiting from the optional adaptive chassis control system (which firms the dampers in Sport mode), the sportiest VW can least conceal its age on undulating and twisty roller-coaster terrain. (After all, the Mark 6 Golf is essentially an updated Mark 5.) When pushed hard, the R displays plenty of roll, yaw, and pitch, the yellow stability control warning light flashing rhythmically. The Golf R's movements aren't as Teutonically disciplined as expected, although, to be fair, roadholding and handling were compromised to a certain extent by the soft winter tires fitted on our test car.
1004 02 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf R+rear Three Quarter View
Those tires were mounted on standard, R-specific eighteen-inch wheels. In no way a stripped-out race car, the R is actually stuffed full of extra features. Outside, it's distinguishable by a ground-hugging front air dam, a roof spoiler, and a rear diffuser framing two center-mounted exhaust outlets. Swiveling bixenon headlamps and LED taillights are standard. Inside, there are special touches such as R-specific instrument faces, aluminum trim, power-adjustable sport seats, standard navigation and automatic climate control, and a fat-rimmed steering wheel with the inevitable squared-off bottom.
Still, this four-wheel-drive, dual-clutch, turbocharged, pricey hatchback has stepped into the arena of masters like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. And in that world, the Golf R is probably more of a relaxed cruiser than a high-strung bruiser. The mix of DSG and AWD is tuned for maximum refinement instead of no-holds-barred sportiness. The whole R concept is very much based on offering a higher equipment level rather than being a bare-bones racer. To compete with the likes of the Evo and the STI, VW would need to consider a spicier variant - a bit lighter, a little more powerful, and more focused. Until then, however, Volkswagen has given us a very capable gran turismo dressed in a hatchback body.
The Specs
On sale: Now (Europe only)
Price: $52,000 (base, in Germany, est.)
Engine: 2.0L turbocharged I-4, 267 hp, 258 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel
0910 09 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf+front Three Quarter View
There goes another one -- a Mercedes-Benz S-class, doing at least 100 mph, shoulders aside my Volkswagen Golf TDI on a rain-lashed German autobahn.
0910 09 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf+front Three Quarter View
It's not like I can't keep up, as the diesel-driven Golf will soon prove. But for now, I'm transfixed by the trip computer, which displays a Toyota Prius-like 52 mpg, the result of a long 60-mph cruise. This is not my favored autobahn pace, but fuel-conscious minds back home need to know. And with the world joining hands in recession and energy anxiety, might the frugal-yet-fancy Golf finally speak international hatchback love in a language Americans can understand?
If the Golf is a fixture on every soccer-loving continent (VW has moved more than 25 million over five generations), it's been largely an afterthought here, except among hatchback nerds or GTI fanatics who proclaim its virtues with Jehovah's Witness gusto. "The U.S. is just not a hatchback market," admits Stefan Jacoby, VW's North American CEO. "They've always been seen as low-end entry cars."
The revival of the Rabbit name here didn't help, and that musty moniker has again been shed for 2010. Yet, more than ever, the redesigned Golf's neatest trick is to boggle the minds of Americans who grew up in Dodge Omnis or Chevy Chevettes. Ten minutes in the Golf, and those folks will be amazed that an affordable hatch could look, drive, and feel this good.
The looks are familiar but are crisply updated, including a slim two-bar grille and a lovely, subtle geometry where the hood and headlamps swell into expanded wheel arches. Inside, the Golf shows off rigorous fit and finish yet relaxes with better materials, friendlier climate controls, and a less anvil-like upper dash.
The rest is pure VW, as comforting as a hausfrau dishing up wurst and potatoes: the Euro-sculpted seats in high-quality woven fabric, the upright driving position, the sober logic of the controls. In the Golf's traditional analog realm, the arrival of a touch-screen navigation system is like seeing Madonna playing Oktoberfest. Some things never change, though: VW's rotary hand crank to adjust the front seatback is still an awkward reach, but the knob itself is no longer carpal-tunnel stiff. Exterior and interior dimension changes are minimal. The Golf's rear seats still accept two gangly adults, with a center three-point belt for a theoretical third.
Propulsion choices are a gasoline 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque or a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder with 140 hp and 236 lb-ft -- torque that's fully online at 1750 rpm. It's here that things get tricky, but the choices are simple, in a way that won't please all Golf fans.
With either two or four doors, the gasoline-powered Golf is fastest to 60 mph. VW estimates 7.8 seconds with the five-speed manual and 8.1 seconds for the six-speed Tiptronic automatic, versus 8.6 seconds for the diesel with either the standard six-speed manual or the dual-clutch, paddle-smacking DSG automatic.
0910 16 Z+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+front Three Quarter View
The diesel-only DSG and six-speed are the first clues to VW's marketing mind-set: All the good stuff to flatter VW's diesel loyalists but none for the little piggies who pump gasoline, with the EPA estimating city/highway mileage at 23/30 mpg for the automatic 2.5 and 30/42 mpg for the DSG diesel. For the two-door diesel, which starts at $22,690 (add $1100 for DSG), an all-or-nothing equipment level is reminiscent of some Lexus hybrids -- dangling the fuel-saving carrot only to beat prospects with a pricey stick of features that not all will want.
Buyers of the Golf 2.5, whose $18,190 base price undercuts the TDI's by a hefty $4500, are similarly forced into the economy box. Nearly all the sporty or deluxe goodies - from the diesel's standard sport suspension, seventeen-inch wheels, leather-clad, multifunction steering wheel, uplevel audio, foglamps, plus optional DSG, nav system, and xenon headlamps - aren't available on the gasoline version.
The engines also give aural aesthetes a Sophie's Choice: the drone of the five-cylinder gas engine or the moan of the low-revving diesel. Fortunately, both versions are remarkably quiet inside, the result of serious effort in sound deadening. For the diesel, fuel savings and a federal conservation credit of up to $1700 help soften the sticker's blow. And as with the Jetta TDI, 0-to-60-mph stats do no justice to the diesel's sturdy passing power.
Picking up the pace to 70 mph, the TDI still tops 40 mpg. At 80, it hums at a quiet 2800 rpm, about 400 fewer than the gasoline model. And en route from VW's Wolfsburg HQ to Berlin, the sky clears, puddles evaporate, and the TDI becomes a pesky fly on the flanks of haughty German sedans. Working the paddles, I average nearly 100 mph over an hour, topping out at 123 mph. Even at this never-in-America pace, the Golf returns a satisfying 32 mpg. Through it all, the VW is oak-tree planted and its cabin serene, with no hint of engine strain or occupant fatigue. Try that in a Prius.
Detouring through centuries-old farm country, the TDI does reveal that it's no road-slashing GTI -- or even a Mazda 3. The electric power steering is accurate and the suspension game, but the package surrenders under high-g fire. Yet for enthusiasts who can't swing a GTI, the TDI becomes the fallback, thanks to its lavish torque and equipment. As long as your hatch budget clears twenty grand, that's a comfy fallback-- hybrid-like highway mileage and honest good times, wrapped in a versatile, grown-up package.
All that's left is to regale friends and neighbors -- and maybe your senator -- about the wonders of diesel.
The Specs
On Sale: Now
Price: $18,190/$22,690 (2.5/TDI)
Engines: 2.0L turbo-diesel I-4, 140 hp, 236 lb-ft; 2.5L I-5, 170 hp, 177 lb-ft
Drive: Front-wheel
2010 Volkswagen Golf
2010 Volkswagen Golf
The Golf has been in production for many years now and is a more recent form of the classic VW Rabbit. The 2010 model brings a whole new body to this slick little car and the all new Golf can be purchased with either a gasoline powered or diesel powered engine. The purchaser can also choose from the 2 door or 4 door models. The Golf is offering the same engines that have been available for years and this makes many believe that it is time for an upgrade or complete overhaul in this department.

The Golf comes with a standard 5 speed manual transmission or an optional six speed automatic. Many manufacturers have moved to the six speed automatic transmission for the simple reason that it gives a higher fuel economy and also makes the fluidity of shifting noticeably better. The 2010 Golf is a zippy little car and offers a very practical form of transportation at a reasonable price. This is not the most affordable model in the VW line up, but starting at $17,965 it does offer great value.
Audi A1 E Tron Front Three Quarter View
With Volkswagen’s takeover of Porsche, Volkswagen Group’s product plans have been shuffled around with arguments about which brand will develop what products. One product development fight that Volkswagen and Audi have now officially denied is over electric vehicles.
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Although it's not likely destined for our shores, there's now a new reason to be excited for the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-class. Following the 2012 debut of the hatchback on the Continent, Mercedes plans to introduce a variant tuned by its AMG division.
1005 04+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
We have a long-term Volkswagen GTI in our fleet, so the prospect of driving a base Golf wasn't that exciting to me. What a surprise, then, when I got into this car last night and was simply blown away by the level of comfort, refinement, quality, and performance in this $18,240 hatchback. The words that come to my mind to describe the Golf are creamy, supple, smooth, fluid, and firm. From the level of tension in the clutch pedal, to the easy-shifting five-speed manual, to the natural feedback in the steering, the Golf just feels right. The ride and handling balance is ideal, and worlds better than that of Golfs from a decade ago, which were far too soft. Its interior also feels good to the touch, as the cabin materials and textures are all exemplary, and the interior design is itself simple yet elegant. Even though our test car is a two-door hatch, there is a decent amount of room in the back seat, and the large rear side windows give rear-seat passengers a good outward view, which should reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.
1005 04+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
I'm not quite as blown away by this Golf as Joe DeMatio was. First off, the steering wheel feels much too large in comparison to our GTI's spectacular looking and feeling wheel. I know I've complained about our GTI's upgraded stereo system because it looks like it should include navigation, but the base radio leaves me wanting. I found the FM reception to be sub-par and the sound quality wasn't very good, which is probably a result of the poor reception. It's a little disappointing that VW doesn't offer any other option for the stereo in the regular Golf. If you move up to the GTI or TDI models, there are much nicer stereos available and navigation becomes an option.
1005 05+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+rear Three Quarter View
I actually agree with both my colleagues regarding how this base Golf compares with the TDI and GTI. As Phil Floraday notes, it's somewhat odd that one can't order the nicer interior bits on the base car, but like Joe DeMatio, I was pleasantly surprised by how much of the GTI's refined, fun-to-drive character survives the $6000 price cut. Indeed, I wonder if it's this latter point that explains the lack of available feature content. If customers could spec out a five-cylinder Golf with all the luxury accoutrements, how many would spend still more for the GTI? The difference in power (30 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque) is significant but not mind blowing, and I almost prefer the Golf's more relaxed suspension tuning for daily driving. Unless you plan on going to the track, the GTI might not be worth the extra cash.
1005 08+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
Having driven this base Golf back-to-back with its turbocharged GTI brother, I'm not so sure I'd blindly pay an extra $4000 for the extra boost. This in-line five is fairly smooth and provides decent acceleration, especially if you're willing to make the most of your shift points.
1005 01+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Interior
A bit too much wind noise from the B-pillar is the only real complaint I have with this Golf. It's got comfortable seats, nice steering, a nice gearbox, and a strong engine. Sure, it's no GTI, but it also costs $6000 less than that pocket rocket and rides a bit more comfortably day-to-day, as David noted. I was very fond of the turbo-diesel Golf that we sampled a couple weeks back, but that model carries a $4700 price premium over the base 2.5-liter five-cylinder Golf, which consequently makes a very strong case for itself as the best small car on the market, as David also opined.
1005 07+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
This base Golf isn't a bad car for $18,000. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine is strong and reminds me of the old 12-valve, 2.8-liter VR6 engine, with gobs of torque and its intake growl. As others have noted, the steering wheel feels huge and the hard plastic isn't attractive. The center stack and radio is bland, but not bad for a "base" system. The seats are reasonably comfortable for long stints, and even though this is a two-door, the back seat offers plenty of space. If I were in the market for an $18,000 car, I would seriously consider this base Golf; free maintenance, good gas mileage, and a peppy 170-hp engine are all plusses. Perhaps the only option I would consider would be alloy wheels.
1005 09a+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+center Stack
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.
1005 04+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2-Door
1005 07+2010 Volkswagen Golf 2 Door+front Three Quarter View
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Recently, I’ve been spent some time on the vehicular price bracket where many people live but auto writers seldom visit. Far from the big-buck offerings that usually populate car magazines, I’ve done an economy-car tour of duty in the two most basic iterations of the Volkswagen Golf.
1005 06+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+side View
Wow, this clutch is vastly superior to our departed Four Seasons Jetta TDI's. There's good feel, although I could do without the pulsating sensation that comes through the pedal all the time, and it's easy to take off smoothly, which was never the case with our Jetta.
1005 06+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+side View
The Golf TDI in its pleasing blue paint was a nice car to have waiting for me at the Detroit airport when I flew home from driving the Buick Regal in Germany. There were three of us in the car heading back to Ann Arbor, and we were all impressed by the ride quality and the quiet cabin. It's easy to stall this car; as Phil mentions, there's a narrow powerband and you have to modulate the accelerator pedal carefully.
1005 04+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+side
I have long had a fondness for Volkswagen hatchbacks, dating back to the diesel Rabbit I bought in 1981 that was the first car I ever purchased. Even though that car wasn't exactly the paramount of performance or reliability, its hatchback body style was extremely versatile - and it gave 50-plus mpg on the freeway.
1005 08+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+front Three Quarter View
The Volkswagen Golf TDI combines two of the best automotive niches: hatchbacks and diesels. Separately, these two segments account for a tiny fraction of U.S. auto sales. Combined, though, they really make a lot of sense. Both diesel engines and hatchback bodies are all about efficiency. Someone who's placing a priority on fuel efficiency also likely appreciates a vehicle that has better space efficiency than the typical sedan. I don't expect the Golf TDI to create a rush for diesels or hatchbacks, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it outsell the diesel Jetta sedan.
1005 07+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+taillight
As several editors have already noted, we've spent a lot of time with the latest generation VW hatchback, mostly with our Four Seasons GTI and now with this TDI. They each have their own unique advantages and trade-offs, but the most important thing one gathers is that they're both very, very good small cars. Every detail, from the bright LCD touch screens to the attractive, high quality feel to the seat upholstery -- hound's-tooth on the GTI, striped on the TDI -- is a notch above what you'll find in other cars this size. They also both drive very well. The TDI, as one would expect, is a bit more laid back than the GTI, but it's still plenty powerful and handles well. Most buyers will likely prefer to let VW's excellent dual-clutch automatic gearbox manage the diesel's narrow power band, but I actually enjoy the challenge of the manual, made easier by the precise, if somewhat notchy shifter.
1005 01+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+wheel
As small cars go, it's pretty hard to beat the Volkswagen Golf. And the addition of a turbo-diesel engine to the options list makes it that much more enticing. I'm not going to say that I prefer driving the TDI to the GTI, but if I were trying to decide between buying one or the other, it would be very tempting to sign up for the four-door TDI, with its $1300 cheaper price and much-improved fuel economy (30/41 mpg city/highway versus 21/31 mpg for the GTI).
1005 07+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+taillight
I was not surprised to see the average mpg function cued up on the display screen when I hopped into the Golf TDI. This car puts up some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers, and it's natural to want to see just how well your doing. (For the record, I got just under 30 mpg on my short drive through town, and then 39 mpg the next day on an Interstate cruise out to the airport.)
1005 05+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+gauges
2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI 4-door
1005 08+2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI+front Three Quarter View

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2010 Volkswagen Golf
2010 Volkswagen Golf
PZEV FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
23 MPG City | 30 MPG Hwy
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2010 Volkswagen Golf
2010 Volkswagen Golf
PZEV FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
$17,620
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2010 Volkswagen Golf
2010 Volkswagen Golf
PZEV FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
170hp
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2010 Volkswagen Golf Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.5L I5Engine
Fuel economy City:
22 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
30 MPG
Horsepower:
170 hp @ 5700rpm
Torque:
177 ft lb of torque @ 4250rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Roadside
36,000 miles / 36 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:11
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, DIESEL
Summary
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL 2009-2012 JETTA AND JETTA SPORTWAGEN VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM MAY 2008 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, MODEL YEAR 2010-2012 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM MAY 2009 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, AND MODEL YEAR 2010-2012 AUDI A3 VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 2009 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, THAT ARE EQUIPPED WITH A 2.0L TDI COMMON RAIL DIESEL ENGINE/CLEAN DIESEL ENGINE. THE FUEL INJECTION PULSES COULD COINCIDE WITH THE NATURAL FREQUENCY OF THE INJECTOR LINE #2, IN SPECIFIC LOAD AND RPM CONDITIONS. THIS RESONANCE CREATES ADDITIONAL STRESS IN THE FUEL LINE.
Consequences
DUE TO THE RESONANCE CONDITION, INJECTOR LINE NUMBER 2 COULD DEVELOP SMALL CRACKS WHICH COULD LEAD TO FUEL LEAKAGE. LEAKING FUEL IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, MAY LEAD TO A FIRE.
Remedy
VOLKSWAGEN WILL INSTALL AN IMPROVED FUEL INJECTOR LINE FOR THE NUMBER 2 CYLINDER ON CERTAIN VEHICLES AND WILL INSTALL VIBRATION DAMPERS ON ALL OF THE INJECTOR LINES. VOLKSWAGEN AND AUDI WILL NOTIFY OWNERS TO HAVE THE VEHICLES REPAIRED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING NOVEMBER 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
Potential Units Affected
168,275
Notes
VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC


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