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2010 Volkswagen Golf

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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
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 98 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

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

I love this car.

By on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, acceleration, fit & finish, engineering."

Cons: "Small car ride, although better than most."

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

"I drive the two door, 2.5 liter gasoline Golf with a five speed manual transmission. It drives and handles very well in all sorts of conditions. After 120000 miles, it's still a bunch of fun every day."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

My baby is ruined!

By on Thursday, November 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Before the scandal, it was the GREATEST!"

Cons: "Now, not so much!"

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

"This rating could have been a 10 all the way around, however as the TDI scandal continues and the value tanks, I'm more and more depressed. After YEARS and many VW's I'm truly saddened this is something that is ruining my, what WAS I thought to be a very great car for many, many years, and miles to come is now going into and onto the books as a "dirty bad car". I just want my $ back or a buyback from VW at the VALUE prior to the scandal..otherwise, I certainly do NOT want to have my performance, torque, or fun compromised because of it. Not to mention the overall value and stigma to go along with my purchase decision. UGH!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Phenomenal car.

By on Thursday, October 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,450

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Driving, engine, transmission, comfort, mileage."

Cons: "DSG quirkiness"

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

"without addressing VW's current diesel debacle, this is a fantastic car. Recent trip over 250 miles, averaged 52 MPG out and 55 MPG back. EPA Highway rating is 43. 640 miles on tank. And the car is very quiet, well insulated, drives solidly, responsively, calmly. Accelerates well at any reasonable speed, seamless shifting w/DSG. Dynaudio sound system is wonderful. Always makes me smile when I'm driving it. I would rate it better than past Acuras and Hondas. Quality is on par as I've had no issues with the car that I haven't caused. Only concern for non-VW, non-DSG drivers is that the DSG and its behavior does take some getting used to. Nothing wrong with it, behaves as it's designed, but you need to learn its peculiarities if you've never driven one before."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great Genes

By on Sunday, September 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"We bought the TSI model with sunroof, leatherette, fender stereo,17 inch wheels and lighting package. has the paddle shifters but rarely use. turbo lag very apparent in first gear, you have to learn to put your foot into it a bit otherwise very sluggish starting from stop, but after that it's a little autobahn rocket. Had a 83 GTI and reminds me a lot of that when driving. Not perfect though. poor rearward visibility, the rear back up lights do not illuminate very well at night, the backup camera does not have the turning guides that other cars like Mazda has and VW cheaped out by not also installing back up sensors that beep as you are nearing an obstacle behind you. I have that system on my ford pickup and can get within an inch of whatever is behind me without hitting. As you can probably guess, my wife was backing out at night and hit my truck. Light damage to both but could have been avoided with the sensors that beep. Otherwise, love driving this car."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

CRAZY GOOD

By on Thursday, September 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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: "see review"

Cons: "nasty driver's side blind spot,add extra mirror."

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

"Best overall car I've ever owned. Even after a few years it's still a joy to get in, crank that turbo, and zip on down the road. Handles like a sports car. Diesel gets an easy 38mpg around town, high forties on the interstate. So far only changed the oil and filter (every 15K), and new tires at about 70,000 miles; and replaced battery last year."

14 people out of 21 found this review helpful

I love it so far!

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great mileage, comfortable, fun to drive"

Cons: "break in period education"

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

"I think the new TDI's rock! I have had mine for almost 4 months, wanted to wait until I had driven it enough to write a review. I absolutely LOVE it. I get awesome mileage, I fill up 1/2 as much as my previous car. I have owned my fair share of different makes of vehicles, and this by FAR is the best I have ever owned.... I traded in a Cruze that I honestly really didn't care for one bit. This car makes me excited to drive! I have the Manual, I can't complain about power because it def. has enough... just a bit slow off the bat. But, not a deal breaker by any means. It's got some torque, the first time someone rides in it with me, that is one of the first things that they mention. It is comfortable to drive, handles great. I haven't driven it in the snow yet, but I can't see it being a problem. For the money I spent I think that it is a great value. The only advice I can give is, be sure to do the 10,000 mile maintenance as advised. Don't use the cruse control until the break in period is over, and be sure you educate yourself on the break in process to ensure your TDI will last you a lifetime. I love it. love it love it."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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