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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.
Favorite Features

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
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 66 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

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

Great Value

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "German engineered, fun, practical"

Cons: "Can't think of any"

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

"I bought this car new in 11/13 and have 3400 miles. So far the car, despite it's size, has proven to be very capable. We use it as a daily driver, mostly in town (2 mile commute) and it is getting about 23-24 city. We have had the occasion to take a couple of extended trips and can get 30-31 highway with the cruise and "speed limit" (V1 radar detector is always on). Went to Palm Springs loaded with 2 sets of golf clubs w/pull carts intact, luggage, cooler and had plenty of room with the rear seats folded down. The tiptronic transmission is flawless and is actually the mode of choice in our driving patterns. No, the 2.5L isn't the most powerful engine, but has proven itself to be more than adequate. Body integrity, driving comfort, handling, reliability are all consistent with German engineering expectations. There is a reason it's the #1 selling car in Europe. The Golf offers heated seats and a sunroof which were MUST HAVEs for my wife. All in all one of the best cars I have owned."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever!

By on Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive."

Cons: "small"

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

"It was my very first car I bought myself and also learned to drive standard. I couldn't ask for a better and more reliable car myself. It is great that the dealership does all maintenance for me and its free!"

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

This is a Golf I'm proud of!

By on Saturday, February 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Torgue, MPG, FUN to drive, Styling."

Cons: "Price, GPS-screen elec NO realtime traffic/Pandora"

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

"I've had many VW's in my life, including 4 Jetta's, 3 bugs, an old school van and a 4Motion Passat, yet this is my 3rd Golf. I had a 1999 Golf TDI, and a 2005 GTI. Both were fun and nice to drive. Yet the new 2012 style, look, and overall quality is awesome! I'm not so much of fan of the GPS, as it is missing real time traffic and voice commands. To only have Sirius XM radio offered and NO Pandora or other FREE streams is SAD. Overall, this car RULES for MPG, torgue, looks, and styling it's a winner. Pricey overall, yet well worth the investment IF the longevity lasts as most diesels do. I'm shooting for the 1 million mile mark, after all I did get 500,000 miles out of my 1999 Golf diesel before selling it. Just get a Mark 6 instead of a 7 cause they're made in Germany."

best car for the money

By on Saturday, January 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, sporty, practical, best MPG"

Cons: "more expensive, warranty could be better"

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

"While the TDI version of the Golf is more expensive it is SO worth it! I get 39 MPG on average and can reach MPGs of 45-50 on the highway! I can drive a round trip from Seattle to Spokane on one tank of diesel easily. The interior is flawless and beautiful, super well done. I can play my iphone through the bluetooth option, no plug in required, yet still have the option of USB if needed. Touch screen is so fun. The seats are comfortable and sporty. It drives so well, and with a six speed really has some get up and go! My seats fold down for maximum storage and are easy to operate. Safety is in the top of its class with multiple airbags. Having the four door option is great for my passengers and my future children/getting car seats in and out. I just wouldn't choose any other car! I love my Golf! Its practical and hold its value unlike any other hatchback"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I have never loved a car like this before;

By on Friday, January 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "a fun car to drive; still love it with 80,000 mile"

Cons: "DRL can be a problem when asked to turn off"

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

"Its my everything; very reliable; 43-50 miles to the gallon, Hugs the road; can move; I just love it!!!!"

Great Car!

By on Friday, December 06, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, Gas Mileage, Fun to Drive"

Cons: "Don't love the electronics (stereo, bluetooth,etc)"

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

"I have been wanting some form of TDI since 2009 but was always apprehensive to buy a diesel due to the thought process of old school loud, smelly, slow diesel cars of the past. I started doing some research and what convinced me was a couple of road test reviews on Youtube. The build quality of this car is just like a typical German high end product. Solid as a tank. As for the drive this car moves! The torque is amazing I can pass cars with ease even high performance sports cars! Oh and by the way I do this and I still average close to 40 mpg in mixed mostly city driving. Yes diesel gas cost more per gallon than regular gas but think of the extra mpg and fun you get to have with this car! I have owned dozens of cars in my lifetime and this is one of my favorites! I highly recommend any VW/Audi TDI."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?