(7th of 10 vehicles)
If you're looking for small hatchback that is as fun to drive as it is versatile, Volkswagen's 2013 Golf deserves your attention. In GTI form, the Golf delivers go-kart-like performance withou
The Golf can be pricey, especially when compared to comparably equipped models from Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Mazda. Some may find that the big wheel/tire package on the GTI and Golf R renders a rather h
Because it shares the same platform and major suspension components as the GTI, the 2013 VW Golf enjoys a level of solidity and stability rarely found in an entry-level model. The Golf's ride is smooth, its steering direct and responsive and its cabin luxury-car quiet. The 5-cylinder gasoline engine won't overwhelm you with either power or personality, but is more than up to the job. The 2.0-liter TDI diesel is our favorite choice, providing acceleration almost as rapid as the GTI's turbocharged engine with fuel economy that can'
Read the Full 2013 Volkswagen GTI Review
By Zimian (TX) on Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Incredible blend of features and performance"
Cons: "It's not a performance car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The GTI is a great value in a well-equipped FWD car. It's not a performance car. The few flaws it has are mostly forgiveable and easily dealt with. The oversized overweight 18" wheels with all-season tires absolutely have to go. I installed 16" wheels with same width tires but in a grippy summer compound. Makes a world of difference in all aspects of performance, as tires always will do but even more so because of the weight savings. Looks better and rides better too. For its class the car is a bit heavy and it feels so on the road. However this also gives it some stability at high speed over varied road surfaces so it's not too bad. You really feel the weight when changing direction. The suspension is relatively soft but firm enough for most people. The DSG gearbox is okay but not great when compared to sequential gearboxes on actual performance cars which is what I'm used to. Most drivers will be okay with it and not notice the problems. Some of the issues are inherent with twin clutch gearboxes. Single clutch sequentials don't have the same problems. Using DSG in manual mode helps, but most drivers won't bother and will be completely happy with it as it is. Some issues could be fixed by reprogramming how the gearbox works, for example to stop it from emulating a conventional automatic's 'creep' when releasing the brake and to make it stop downshifting and engine braking so aggressively. The brakes slow the car, not the engine. Again, manual mode generally prevents it from overdoing the downshifting. Wouldn't be so bad if all it did was downshift but it also engages the clutch, often at the worst possible moment. It just lacks some finesse. I have the base model GTI which comes with the standard audio system. It works well, but iPod control is rather awful. Fortunately it also has streaming Bluetooth so I just use my iPhone to control the music. You can use voice commands to change tracks if you want to operate handsfree once you select your playlist. The climate controls are a little light to the touch and feel flimsy. Takes some getting used to. I've found that feeling for the mark on the dial helps when adjusting while driving. The list of standard features is impressive. The build quality and design are first rate. For the price you won't find another car with the same blend of equipment, utility, versatility, and performance. Many standard features which are either optional or completely unavailable on competing models. I'm happy I tried the GTI but will be selling it probably when it's about a year old to someone better suited to it. The performance aspects, about which I had no expectations anyway, just don't quite cut it for me. I wanted to like it more than I do. Again, for most people this car will be all they'll ever need or want."
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