Thursday, September 4, 2014


Golf owners will love the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI and it's fuel economy.

The current Golf is an impressive, high-scoring package, with great handling, solid feel, comfortable seats, well-finished interior, and hatchback practicality. The new Golf builds on those strengths and feels a little more refined. The 2015 Golf grows slightly bigger, gaining two inches in length and a half-inch in width.

The stance is further enhanced by an inch lower height. With the repackaging comes an increase in rear leg room and cargo space. So far, so good.

For the longest time Volkswagen never had a competitive four-cylinder engine. And to that end, VW has introduced a range of new engines in the Golf, with better fuel economy. The biggest news is the new 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbocharged base engine which replaces the old, unloved 170-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder.

The goodness starts with the body structure and chassis of the all-new seventh-gen Golf, which already is on sale elsewhere around the globe and hits these shores the middle of next year as a 2015 model. Although more generous in cargo space, shoulder room, and rear-seat legroom than the previous-gen Golf, the longer, lower, wider 2015 has less mass to haul around. Added to continual refinements to the strut-front, multilink-rear suspension is a standard, brake-based XDS cross differential lock that enables wheelspin-free launches from rest and pseudo torque vectoring when under way. Once rolling, the Golf TDI’s ride quality is supple, yet wheel control is so outstanding that we kept hunting for more roads on which to exercise the balanced chassis.

Driven by the need to improve fuel economy, VW switches the new Golf from hydraulic to electric power steering, losing a small amount of tire feedback but retaining the precision, off-center linearity, and low friction we’ve come to expect of our repeat 10Best winner. The Euro-market Golf TDI we drove was shod with summer-only 225/45-17 Dunlop Sport Maxx RT rubber, meats unlikely to be fitted on U.S.-bound TDIs (hey, at least we know they fit). Although the Euro tires take some of the credit for the extra stick, the new TDI’s brakes are noteworthy for confidence-building top-of-pedal response, ease of modulation, and overall bite.

The 2015 Golf was also equipped with an electric parking brake, which frees up a lot of space on the console previously hogged by the hand-brake lever. Speaking of interior space, the Euro-spec Golf adds stash room with a handy coin box to the left of the steering column and a hidden storage nook at the bottom of the center stack. The car’s added width stretched the dash a bit, too, allowing for a slightly bigger infotainment touch screen.

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