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2014 Volkswagen Golf

Overview
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2014 Volkswagen Golf Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

2014 marks the final year for this long-running version of the Golf/GTI; an all-new model is slated to arrive late next year. However, even at the end of its model run, the 2014 VW Golf and GTI remain impressive vehicles. Available only as a 4-door hatchback, the Golf is no longer as body-style diverse as the Hyundai Elantra. However, the Koreans still haven't been able to match the interior materials and feel of the German compacts, especially in the area of seat comfort. Enthusiasts will love the refined power found in the GTI, while those more concerned with a smooth ride and good fuel economy can opt for the diesel-powered Golf TDI.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love to drive, but you can't afford the price or cramped environment afforded by most performance cars, check out the 2014 VW Golf and GTI. The GTI is quick, spry and a blast to drive, while the Golf TDI delivers hybrid-level fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the bottom line for you includes a really low bottom line, the Golf and GTI take a back seat to the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Kia Forte. Those who prefer a comfortable cruiser may find the GTI's ride a bit too jarring.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.4
  • 8.8
  • 7.0
  • 7.6
  • 6.5
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#10

out of 12

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 13

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.3 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Volkswagen Golf Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Changes to the 2014 Volkswagen Golf and GTI are limited to two special-edition GTI trims: Wolfsburg and Driver's Edition. The 2-door Golf/GTI body is dropped taking with it the option of a manual transmission on the base 2.5. The Golf R is also no more.

Driving the Golf
2014 Volkswagen Golf Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions As the 2014 Volkswagen Golf shares the same basic platform and suspension components as the sportier GTI, the little compact enjoys a level of handling and stability not found in...

most entry-level compacts. With direct steering, a smooth but firm ride and a cabin isolated from road and wind noise, the Golf feels much more upscale than its $20,000 starting price might suggest. The 2.5-liter base engine won't blow your socks off with its performance, but it gets the job done. The real star of the Golf line is the 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel that brings impressive fuel economy as well as ample low-end torque, making it nearly as quick as the GTI. Of course, the GTI is about more than power. Its stiff suspension loves to attack curves, and its snug sport seats are about the best we've tested, better in fact than many sport seats in cars costing twice as much.
Favorite Features

TDI DIESEL ENGINE
Hybrid powertrains are not the only option for those seeking 40-plus mpg. The 2014 VW Golf TDI is equally efficient, delivers impressive power and can be had with a manual transmission. The clean diesel engine also puts out about 30-percent less greenhouse emissions than a traditional gasoline engine.

GTI SPORT SEAT
If you love to be hugged snuggly in the turns, there are no better seats for the job than those found in the GTI. Opt for the upgraded leather and you'll get power 4-way lumbar support.

2014 Volkswagen Golf Details
2014 Volkswagen Golf Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Volkswagen describes the 2014 Golf interior as one that continues to "set the quality benchmark in its class." And we wouldn't disagree, as the Golf employs a mixture of design and execution rarely found at window stickers fully twice that of the Golf. Throughout the interior, from seat choices to the dash and center stack, you'll not be disappointed by the Golf's visual and tactile performance. And its functional acumen is underscored by an info-centric dash, form-fitting bucket seats and high-lift tailgate. The GTI takes the interior one step further, with an ergonomic steering wheel, aggressive sport seats and more comprehensive instrumentation.

Exterior
2014 Volkswagen Golf photo

Visually the 2014 VW Golf and GTI don't veer far from the boxy formula that has been their trademark since being introduced nearly 40 years ago. The crisp, shark crease running the length of the Golf adds, we're told, "visual movement" to the car, while its sweptback headlights heighten the Golf's athletic look. On the Golf TDI Clean Diesel with the Tech Package are LED daytime running lights that sit along the sides and base of the headlights. The 2014 Golf is an evolution of a design that worked from the git-go, and continues to work because its design team refuses to dramatically alter its innate goodness.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on the 2014 VW Golf includes an automatic transmission, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, power windows with automatic up/down, air conditioning, split-folding rear seat with armrest and pass-through, cruise control, 8-speaker radio with single CD, and heated outside mirrors. Adding the Convenience Group ups the ante with heated front seats and Bluetooth technology. Convenience-and-Sunroof goes beyond the addition of the sunroof with Premium VIII touch-screen radio, Sirius satellite radio and an MDI with an iPod cable. The GTI receives unique fascias and badging, along with a stance – via more aggressive rubber – that conveys both higher ambition and capabilities.

Optional Equipment

Most notable among choices in the VW showroom is the 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Car companies with operations in the U.S. have been uniformly slow in adapting diesel's benefits – abundant torque and high efficiency – to U.S.-based (or bound) platforms. VW and Mercedes continue to show the way, and the benefits of the diesel in a Golf-sized package are many. Beyond the diesel, we'd cite the Golf's excellent navigation radio and the available DSG gearbox (optional on diesel-equipped Golfs), whose efficiency and immediacy are a perfect complement to the diesel's 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

Under the Hood
2014 Volkswagen Golf Engine photo

Although the Golf's base 5-cylinder powerplant doesn't receive a huge amount of love from VW's enthusiast base, it's proven to be eminently sensible for the cut-and-thrust of daily driving, offering reasonable horsepower, smoothness and efficiency; its most damning descriptive is that it's simply not much fun. That can't be said for the 2.0 TDI, offering abundant torque, awesome efficiency and a driving experience as visceral as VW. Given the diesel's $5K premium, however, you should weigh your driving needs, and costs, carefully. You'll need to drive a significant amount in a diesel to recover its higher initial purchase price. Performance enthusiasts can enjoy the GTI's warmed-up 2.0-liter turbo-4 offering 200 horsepower.

2.5-liter inline-5
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg (manual), 24/32 mpg (automatic)

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L 4-door enjoys a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $21,000, while the Golf TDI starts significantly higher at around $26,000. The GTI is priced between roughly $26,000 and $34,000, depending on the number of factory options. For an indicator of prices being paid in your market area, be sure to consult Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price. Resale of the Golf has historically fallen slightly short of Japanese competitors while proving better than those offerings from Korea. The TDI, however, has proven to be the gold standard in the compact category, especially when fuel prices are volatile.

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2014 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."

3 people out of 6 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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