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2015 Volkswagen Golf

$17,995 to $29,495
25 City - 37 Hwy

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Changes for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf:

Volkswagen completely redesigns the Golf for 2015, and dramatically expands the lineup to include new e-Golf and Golf SportWagen models. Larger, lighter, and more fuel efficient, the new Golf is charged with reviving VW’s sagging fortunes in the U.S. market.

Model Lineup:

Volkswagen is rolling out the various new iterations of the Golf over the course of the 2015 model year. First to arrive are the affordable Golf 1.8T, the efficient Golf TDI Clean Diesel, and the fun-to-drive Golf GTI. Later, the high-performance Golf R, electric e-Golf, and practical Golf SportWagen station wagon model will be available.

Engines and Transmissions:

Choose the least expensive version of the redesigned Golf, the 1.8T model, and you’ll get a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 170 horsepower. Buyers select between a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Golf TDI Clean Diesel is, not surprisingly, equipped with a turbo-diesel engine, one displacing two liters and generating 150 horsepower combined with 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission choices for this fuel-efficient engine include a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), the latter an automated manual transmission.

A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine supplies 210 horsepower in the Golf GTI. Transmission choices includes a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed DSG, the latter equipped with a unique Launch Control feature. When the Golf R arrives, it will improve performance thanks to its 292 horsepower and 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. This model also gets a 3-mode stability control system.

The new e-Golf is an electric car equipped with a 199-horsepower motor and a lithium-ion battery that recharges in four hours when using a 240-volt power outlet. Plug it into the wall like your vacuum cleaner, and recharging time jumps to 20 hours.

Fuel Economy Ratings:

In combined driving, the Golf 1.8T should return 29 mpg with the automatic transmission and 30 mpg with the manual gearbox, while the TDI Clean Diesel models are expected to get 36 mpg regardless of transmission choice.

Get the sporty GTI model, and the combined rating is 28 mpg with either transmission. Official estimates are not available for the performance-tuned Golf R, but based on VW’s claim that it will get 31 mpg on the highway, we’d bet the combined fuel economy rating would land at 26 mpg.

Volkswagen says the e-Golf’s official range estimate is 115 miles, but the automaker concedes that most drivers can expect to go about 80 miles before recharging the car. Roadside assistance is standard for this model, representing Volkswagen’s effort to reduce range anxiety.

Safety Ratings:

As this summary is written, the NHTSA has not performed crash tests on the redesigned 2015 Golf. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has, though, and gives the car a “Top Safety Pick” rating.

Technology Highlights:

Automatic post-collision braking, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and a touchscreen infotainment system are standard for every 2015 Golf, and all but the least expensive 1.8T Launch Edition model include Bluetooth streaming audio and Volkswagen Car-Net services. Options include navigation, a reversing camera, parking sensors, adaptive headlights, and more.

Written by Christian Wardlaw

September 4, 2014