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2010 Volkswagen Golf

Overview
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2010 Volkswagen Golf Review

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Volkswagen's perky Golf hatchback, a leader among mass-market compacts, has been through something of an identity crisis. Decades ago it was introduced to this country as the Rabbit, then it was the Golf (in line with its name in other markets), then it spent three years as the Rabbit and now, for 2010, it's once again the Golf. With that comes a fresh, new exterior, a restyled interior and the optional availability of a powerful and efficient turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engine. Versatile by nature, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf arrives in two- or four-door variants and retains its above-par driving dynamics and high level of overall refinement. Yes, it's priced above most other compacts, but it's a simple case of "you get what you pay for."

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf is a fine example of German engineering. It feels and drives solid and its high level of refinement and build quality surpass most, if not all, entrants in the compact category. The Golf's highly-efficient optional diesel engine also makes it a unique offering in its class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Small commuter cars are typically inexpensive; such is not the case with the 2010 Golf. This hatchback may actually price itself out of a small-car buyer's budget. In terms of driving fun, it's there, but not to the degree of some rivals, such as the MAZDA3 or the MINI Cooper.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2010, Volkswagen sheds the Rabbit nomenclature and changes it back to the Golf - hopefully, for good this time. The re-re-re-named hatchback touts a new design language - inside and out - as well as an optional TDI engine, a step in a greener direction. Overall, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf is better than ever.

Driving the Golf

Driving Impressions The 2010 Volkswagen Golf is small, but feels as solid and surefooted as a well-built midsize sedan. To that end, it inspires confidence in virtually all driving...

situations. Much of that is due to its Euro-tuned suspension, which is firmed up even more on the TDI. Around town, the Golf offers the responsiveness and agility needed to zip through busy traffic and the TDI model, with all its torque, allows plenty of off-the-line performance at stop lights and onramps. At highway speeds the Golf is most impressive, feeling planted, secure and stable. The Golf's manual transmissions are adequate, but the optional six-speed automatic is a smoother, better fit for this car. Overall, the 2010 Golf is not as sporty as the MAZDA3, but it delivers a spirited ride, indeed, and especially so with the TDI Version.

The TDI Powertrain
It's clean, green and quick. If you can afford it, the turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel is the way to go. Expect to be happy at the pumps, thanks to its 40-plus miles-per-gallon efficiency, and expect to be happy on the roads with its 236 pound-feet of torque.

Cold Weather Package
This package includes heated seats and heated windshield-washer nozzles. Both features make enduring cold climates a little easier. It's an excellent option for those who live in places where winters can be harsh.

2010 Volkswagen Golf Details
2010 Volkswagen Golf photo Interior

Within, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf is more spacious than one might expect, particularly in terms of shoulder room. The cabin has a redesigned instrument panel and center console, providing improved ergonomics. Fit and finish have also been improved, thanks to an upgrade in materials, and the brushed metal trim is a particularly handsome touch. The Golf's seats are supportive, the updated three-spoke steering wheel gets leather and multifunction controls on the TDI and the TDI also offers lots of higher-end technology. Finally, the 60/40 split-folding rear seats, along with the hatch configuration, bring a nice dose of practicality.

Exterior
2010 Volkswagen Golf photo

The platform of the 2010 Volkswagen Golf is carried over, but its wrappings are new. The result is a sportier and more stylish look in both two- and four-door models. With a wider front end, the Golf boasts VW's new double-bar grille flanked by angled halogen headlights. The TDI model offers high-intensity xenon lamps and crystalline oval fog lights. The Golf's flowing shape is clean and athletic, hinting at the car's spirited road manners, and the rear shows off a spoiler, updated tail lights and dual exhaust. Down below, the 2.5 model gets 15-inch wheels, while the TDI rolls on beefy 17-inchers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Notable standard equipment begins with a five-speed manual gearbox for the 2.5 and a six-speed for the TDI. For comfort and convenience, the Golf boasts heated side mirrors, cruise control, remote keyless entry and eight-way manual seat adjusters up front, including lumbar support. While the 2.5 model gets an eight-speaker CD stereo, the TDI comes with a touch-screen sound system featuring satellite radio and an in-dash six-disc CD changer; both offer MP3 readability. For cargo versatility, the rear seats will fold down on a 60/40 split. The Golf's safety features include six airbags, stability control, ABS and Brake Assist.

Optional Equipment

Top options on both Golf models - the 2.5 and the TDI - include a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, power sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity and a Cold Weather Package that includes heated seats and heated windshield washer nozzles. Options exclusive to the TDI are a touch-screen navigation system with 20-gigs of music storage, a 300-watt Dynaudio Lite premium sound system and high-intensity xenon headlamps. Rear side airbags for outboard passengers are available only on four-door Golf models.

Under the Hood

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf is powered by one of two capable engines: A gasoline-fueled 2.5-liter in-line five-cylinder or a 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder turbodiesel (TDI). The 2.5 produces a healthy 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Intended specifically for the U.S., the 2.5 makes good power and is a nice fit for the American style of driving. The efficient and powerful TDI engine's specialty is its low-end output, measuring 236 pound-feet of torque at only 1750 to 2500 rpm. That's a lot of acceleration output for such a small car. Add to that performance EPA fuel economy ratings of 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway with an automatic, and the TDI is a winner on both fronts.

2.5-liter in-line five-cylinder
170 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual, 23/30 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder direct injection turbodiesel (TDI)
140 horsepower @ 4000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/41 (manual), 30/42 (automatic)

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2010 Volkswagen Golf Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 74 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

The Golf TDi is a fantastic car

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Highway MPG, torque, fun!"

Cons: "Not for Toyota Camry drivers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have loved VW Golfs for quite a while now and I have had the privilege to own two of them, a MkIV (2002 gas) and my current MkVI (2011 TDi). The MkVI is a very comfortable and agile car that makes driving fun while sipping diesel. This car excels on the highway, returning 44-45 MPG on long trips. Tons of torque is available at low RPMs, so if you encounter a steep hill, just drop it into 3rd or 4th and it powers up the incline like it's not even there. If you are a city driver, this might not be the car for you if you're mainly looking for high MPGs. It's probably better to go with a Prius or other hybrid or even an electric Leaf since those cars excel in town, but you will have more fun with the Golf. The Golf is also one of the best looking cars on the road under $30k, classic with well defined lines and curves. No crazy bubbles, swoopes or oversized grilles. Plus, at 31k miles, I have had zero problems with this vehicle, which is to be expected. Ultimately, the Golf is a drivers car; so if you enjoy driving and think of it as more than just getting from point A to point B, you will really appreciate this car."

I loved this car!!

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value, super fun to drive"

Cons: "Would have preferred 8 way adjustable seat."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great car. Never once stuck in the worst winter of my life even when 4WD cars couldnt make it up the hilly roads. Super comfortable and totally 100% reliable all of the time."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Dull, dull and brilliantly dull

By on Saturday, May 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dull, but brilliantly so"

Cons: "Dull, but that's the biggest con I can think of."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Golf 2.5 Base is my wife's car. It replaced her 12 year old Miata. Everything about this car is sensible or reasonable or both. Dependable, predictable, solid, reasonably economical, sensible price, sensible size, reasonably comfortable, reasonable stereo, reasonable servicing costs, reasonable looks, better than reasonable built quality. Reasonable performance if you can be bothered to go and find it. Just does everything it says in the brochure without any fuss or excitement. She hates buttons and it has the minimum. For example, Lights: on or off. That's it, 2 positions. She hates complexity, and there isn't any. Absolute wysiwyg,(the car and her) and she loves it. Dull but brilliantly so (only the car this time - not her). Probably everything she looked for in her spouse, and at least the car came through."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

I love driving this car.

By on Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Torque! MPG! Handling!"

Cons: "Cup holders suck."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Kickass torque! Terrific mileage: average 40 mpg doing 70-75 on highways and often pushing it in town. Handling is fantastic: takes curves on the Taconic like a champ. Only quibble: mechanics. Several early problems, including a cylinder issue were covered by VW even well after warrantee expired. But no issues for over a year now.... In sum: I put on a lot of miles and I love that diesel!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great Diesel Sipper

By on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to Drive, Fuel up less often, lots of power."

Cons: "Price too high, Blue motion not available in USA"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Compared to other cars I have driven among a fleet of cars, the handling of the 2011 VW Golf TDi is sporty and loads of fun to drive. As a daily driver in-town the MPG is not as high as hybrid but you will be passing those hybrids on the road. Out on the highway is where the fuel economy kicks in. It lost only one point for reliability because it required road-side assistance to jump the car 3 times, which was covered under warranty for the first 3yrs/36K miles which was all due to a faulty battery. Related to quality after service was conducted to replace a faulty cruise control switch the horn was put back in improperly. It is really embarrassing having your car involuntarily honk. The dealer rapidly repaired the issue and provided a loaner during the process. The interior surfaces are firm but the seats are a bit rough to the touch and could be softened up a bit. The road noise was a bit more than I'd like for a VW. Only thing related to convenience is the service location is rather far away and requires taking off during the work week for anything more than an oil change. More dealerships would be nice. The interior finishes are great but the seats are rough to the touch. I would have rather had leatherette as an option in this car. I do love this car!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great commuter and highway cruiser

By on Friday, May 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fuel mileage, great on local 2-lane roads"

Cons: "Nearest dealer 50 miles away"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Really a great little car. I've put 70,000 miles on mine and only had a check engine light come on once for a faulty oxygen sensor. Can consistently returns 35+mpg in town and 40-45 on the highway depending on how heavy your right foot is. Comfortable, quiet, and pretty good room all things considered."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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