By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
By Deeeej on Monday, October 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safety, economy, customization, reliability"
Cons: "FWD, heavy, value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Where to start. I have been driving VW vehicles for years now. This is actually my third GTI and have had a few Audi's as well. When it comes to reliability there is no need to worry. Being a VW, prices for maintenance are not high surprisingly, very easy to work on, and will give you relief knowing it won't let you down. The MK6 generation in my humble opinion is one of THE best looking GTI models that has been released. That was actually my first draw to the vehicle. It has a very aggressive look from the front and rear. And every body line starts at one corner of the vehicle and can be followed all the way around the car. Something that I love. Compared to the MK7 which has body lines that just drop off in random places and end suddenly. Not to mention the amount of customization you can do to make the car look that much more unique (ie. LED tails, Xenon headlights, R bumpers, etc.) Inside the vehicle is very well equipped with bluetooth, optional RNS headunits, sunroof, and interlagos/leather depending on the edition GTI. Mine is constantly streaming Spotify through the bluetooth via my Premium 8 headunit. And not to mention the hands free wheel controls for any phone calls and music controls. I could not live without that now. My GTI in particular has the interlagos as well, and I love the look of it. Actually, everyone that has ever seen it or been in my car has complimented it. Heated seats are a great touch especially in the Chicago winters. The "bucket" style seats up front are very comfortable and have lots of adjustment, however I feel the bolstering is a little too wide so hard cornering does make you slide in the seat a little unless you have an extremely wide back and huge thighs to keep you hugged and planted. The rear offers plenty of room for my son's Recaro seat and the 60/40 split is a great feature to give you plenty of cargo room for hauling boxes or small furniture. I'm still amazed at how much room there is inside. Something that I started noticing a week into driving is how quiet it is compared to all the previous models and other makes. There is A LOT of sound deadening and reduced whistle noise at high speeds thanks to redesigned mirrors and doors. Along with that, I kept finding more and more storage compartments and cup/bottle holders all over the front. So, if you like to keep a lot of stuff in your vehicle there is definitely adequate room for everything. Also, having 4+ star crash ratings overall was another selling point for me. You can definitely feel the rigidity of the vehicle with the extra steel in the pillars and the seam welded roof. I dare you to open any door on this car, and stand on the window frame or even the door handle/controls and jump on it. The door won't go anywhere. Do that with any other competition car and you'll see a quality difference without a doubt. Trust me, I've done it... The power delivery from the 2.0 is more than enough stock. And you can definitely feel the torque as well. And with some simple APR modifications you can definitely have a FWD hot hatch that can keep up or walk away from V8 counterparts in totally different leagues. It's a great feeling and no one would suspect it from such a small hatch. Definitely a sleeper vehicle with the right driver. Overall the car has been great to me. I love the customization you can achieve with the vehicle while still keeping the reliability. The comfort inside has been great and you feel safe and cocooned in your little shell. I've gotten to know many people in the VW community thanks to this car. Anyone from their teens and some married couples in their 50s who just want a fun and economical car. You can't put this vehicle with a certain demographic because, well, everyone I've came across loves it. Try one out, I can almost certainly guarantee that you'll find some attachment to the vehicle and want to take it home."
2 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By CLMendelson on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Without a doubt...the best car I have ever owned. If you can only have one car in your family...this is the car. Very quick, nice interior, quality is superb, enough room to with the hatchback to haul stuff. I could not be happier with this purchase."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Burining in Babylon on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable and roomy for a 'compact' car.."
Cons: "None as of 7k miles!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Ive had countless cars, sports, muscle, a few luxury as well. And this is one of, if not my favorite car ive owned.. I battle with the idea of trading it in for a Benz, but without REAL leather seats im not going to pay 50-60k for a car, the value just isn't there.. The GTI Atbn is smooth, quiet, comfortable to ride in even with the 18 inch wheels and 40 series tires. It is good on gas but has the turbo for a little fun every so often, and is made with quality materials in and out.. There are no rattles or vibrations, which is one the reasons I cant stand most American cars.. Overall I would buy it again with no hesitation!"
18 people out of 33 found this review helpful