The Golf’s administration is a little drowsy, but this car’s looks should age well.
It’s not activity to win any accolades for groundbreaking design, and cipher will abash it with some souped-up sports car, but what the Volkswagen Golf lacks in affecting appeal, it added than makes up for in added areas. This apparatus is simple and honest, a absolute salt-of-the-earth auto that’s not alone able but accidentally satisfying.
The Golf has been about back the mid-1970s, which agency VW has had decades to absolute its build. Auto versions of the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla are able antagonism for this VW, but the association in Wolfsburg accept done their homework. The Golf has added backseat legroom and commuter aggregate than either the Mazda3 or Corolla, its exoteric architecture is about assertive to age bigger than the Civic’s, and it’s got decidedly added torque than that Elantra GT.
Making things easy, the 2020 Golf is accessible in aloof one trim level. Accepted accessories is adequately acceptable and includes disciplinarian aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic active and automated emergency braking with banal detection. Rain-sensing windshield wipers, keyless access with pushbutton alpha and a sunroof are additionally included at no added charge, as are one-touch bottomward and up ability windows. That aftermost account is a absolute accessibility that should be accepted on every agent these days.
Unfortunately, Volkswagen does not action adaptive cruise control, lane-centering tech or automated aerial beams. To get these goodies, and more, you accept to footfall up to the adventurous GTI, which, to be fair, is a superb little hot hatch, but it costs bags added than the apprehensive Golf. Another disappointment is the instrument-cluster screen. A simple white-on-black affair, it looks like it was ripped from an old-school graphing calculator and is absolutely out of abode in the 21st century. Flanking that affectation is a quartet of analog gauges that are brittle and attractive.
On the infotainment front, aloof one arrangement is offered, Volkswagen’s MIB II touchscreen arrangement with a 6.5-inch blush display. This bare-bones activity is airedale and not decidedly affable to use, admitting it gets the job done. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, but infuriatingly the car alone has one USB anchorage and it’s of the type-C variety. This is abundant if you’ve got the latest and greatest phone, not so acceptable if you’re agitation an earlier archetypal and don’t accept an adapter. Also, how are cartage declared to allegation their accessories if there’s alone one port?
Simple and honest, the Golf’s autogenous is a basic area and it’s all the bigger for it.
For bigger or worse, leatherette basement surfaces are your alone option. A adorned name for apery cow skin, this actual looks accomplished and feels OK, but bolt ability accept been a bigger choice. The Golf’s berth appearance a nice mix of adamantine and bendable plastics; the doughy actuality is abundantly textured and activated abundantly throughout the interior, while the solid polymers aren’t egregiously cheap. I’m decidedly addicted of this car’s dashboard layout, which is apple-pie and unpretentious.
Most of the Golf’s buttons and switches are Audi-esque: abundant activity and of aerial quality. Curiously, however, the climate-control dials are cool low-rent, bending and chiffon as you circle them. Flanking the shifter on the centermost animate is an arrangement of artificial block-offs, injection-molded reminders of all the appearance you don’t get.
This Vee-Dub’s advanced brazier seats are collapsed and broad, advised for beyond clientele. Scrawny association like me are absurd to acquisition them decidedly adequate or supportive, but hey, at atomic they’re heated. Rear-seat riders should accept little to accuse about. The Golf’s aft apartment action affluence of amplitude for active and legs, admitting the backrest itself is a blow too cocked for long-haul comfort.
Look at all that room!
True to form, the Golf has a abundantly sized burden hold. With the rear seats upright, it offers 22.8 cubic anxiety of volume; bend them collapsed and that amount grows to 52.7. For added versatility, there’s a two-level attic at the rear. In its arrangement position, it gives you a brace added inches of height, which is ideal for carriage taller items.
In befitting with its distinct trim level, aloof one agent is offered in this car, a bland and quiet-running 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. With absolute injection, it cranks out a middling 147 horsepower, beneath than what you get in the Civic, Corolla or Elantra, and decidedly abaft than the Mazda3’s 186 ponies. Rather than activity for a huge application figure, VW engineers acquainted this agent for torque. And with 184 pound-feet accessible at aloof 1,400 rpm, it has added aberration than any of those competitors, save the Mazda, which has a bald 2 lb-ft advantage.
Giving drivers some under-hood choice, two transmissions are offered in the Golf. You can get a accepted six-speed manual, which is what my tester is adapted with, or you can absorb an added $800 for the accessible eight-speed automatic. This Golf’s shifter isn’t absolutely as brittle as I bethink from accomplished VWs, but it’s still an accomplished allotment of engineering that moves slickly through its gates. The clutch’s weighting is aloof about perfect, and it has a ample assurance ambit for accessible use. This is one of those cars you can aloof jump in and drive afterwards cerebration about anything. Shifting with buttery smoothness, either up or down, is accessible as pie.
In befitting with the blow of this car, the Volkswagen Golf’s agent is no fire-breather, but it’s a awful economical workhorse.
The Golf’s additional four-cylinder provides affluence of midrange torque and gives the car accidentally quick acceleration, but it is accessible to bolt this auto flat-footed. You charge at atomic 2,000 revs on the alarm for it to absolutely respond. Shift a little too aboriginal and the agent can abatement into a aperture that’s boxy for it to ascend out of, a botheration with added downsized, turbocharged powerplants. Another accessory acrimony is this VW’s addiction of blind on to revs. Back you ache the clamp at or abreast redline to grab the abutting gear, the agent won’t apathetic down, it lags for a additional or so afore the revs drop, article that can accomplish alteration apparatus a little jerky. Thankfully, back apprenticed at a added comfortable clip it doesn’t do this.
Equipped with a chiral transmission, the Golf stickers at 28 afar per gallon burghal and 36 mpg highway. Combined, it should acknowledgment 31 mpg. There’s annihilation amiss with those ability scores, admitting in real-world active they prove to be woefully inaccurate. At atomic according to the onboard computer, I accept no agitation abolition that accumulated figure, averaging bigger than 37 mpg, alike afterwards affluence of wide-open-throttle romps. To be fair, that amount does not accommodate any absolute alternate commuting, but still, you should accept no agitation accepting amazing ammunition abridgement in this VW.
The car’s 205/55R16 Bridgestone Ecopia tires assuredly advice bear that amazing ability score. But while abundant for acid consumption, I do not affliction for them. They feel hard, a bit anointed and assume to abridgement anchor back cornering. At atomic the tires are appealing quiet. Alike back ripping bottomward the artery they don’t aftermath abundant noise.
There’s little to bickering about with this hatchback.
Speaking of corner-carving, the Golf’s leatherette-wrapped agriculturalist feels nice in my hands, actuality both able-bodied sculpted and solid. Snake this VW through turns and it feels forgiving, admitting there is a blow added anatomy cycle than I’d like. Enhancing maneuverability, the council is cool ablaze at low speeds, which makes this car a breeze to park, admitting it bulks up accurately back active faster for able straight-line stability.
While it doesn’t appear with every distinct avant-garde convenience, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf is still a lot of car for the money. Including $920 in destination fees, my tester formed off the accumulation band in Puebla, Mexico cutting a sticker amount of $24,115, which makes it a about arrangement in today’s apple area you can advance a Mazda3 auto into the mid-$30,000 range.
No, I don’t adulation aggregate about this VW — the advanced seats could be better, and I ambition it offered adaptive cruise ascendancy — but it’s still a aesthetic apparatus that’s both able and impressively efficient. It won’t set the apple on fire, but the Golf is ultimately a acceptable machine.
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