If you're in the market for a sporty vehicle that also happens to get impeccable mileage, then the 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI may be for you. Beyond fuel efficiency, the VW Golf also earns praise for a well-built interior, smart hatchback design and a fun-to-drive persona. Keep reading to review specs, photos, pricing and features for the 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI.
While VW has lowered the price tag and quality of the 2012 Jetta, the 2012 Golf returns with the same upscale appeal as years past. The result is a sporty hatchback that capably straddles the line between upscale and affordable. The hatchback design also offers a fair amount of utility. Despite its small size, the VW Golf promises a maximum of 46 cubic feet of storage (with rear seats folded flat).
Inside, the Golf's fit and finish is sharper than just about every other vehicle in the affordable compact vehicle class. Front passengers will find the Golf to be a comfortable environment for the daily commute. Rear passenger seating is also fairly accommodating given the vehicle's size.
The Golf TDI receives a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that delivers 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. While those horses may look a little low, the vehicle's extra boost in torque helps the diesel Golf retain a sporty driving experience. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a six-speed automated manual transmission is available as an option.
The EPA lists the Golf TDI's mileage at 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway (when outfitted with the optional transmission). This 34 mpg combined is tough to beat without straying into the hybrid vehicle market.
The 2012 Golf TDI comes well-equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front-side airbags and side curtain airbags. In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2012 Golf earned a best-possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side and roof strength categories.
An initial asking price of $24,235 is undoubtedly high for the compact vehicle market. However, most reviewers agree that the vehicle's superior quality, fuel efficiency and list of standard features make the price more than acceptable for those looking for a bit more from their vehicle. All TDI models come equipped with 17-inch wheels, a sport suspension, foglights, full power accessories, cruise control, air conditioning, heated mirrors, height-adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth, eight-speaker stereo, touchscreen interface, heated windshield washer nozzles and more.
If the MSRP of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI seems too steep to you, then you might consider weighing the pros and cons of downgrading to a standard gas engine VW Golf. A base price around $18,000 makes it quite a bit more affordable, and a good portion of the same features come standard. However, an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway mean that you'll be compromising quite a bit in the category of gas mileage.