The 2013 Volkswagen Golf earns an above average Total Car Score for the Compact Sedans & Wagons segment.
While its hot-rodded GTI and R variants get a lot more attention in the media, and the Jetta sedan and wagon have the big advertising budgets to improve market share, the Golf hatchback remains VW’s biggest volume seller and a true icon in the automotive world.
Few “economy” cars are available in as many flavors: gas or diesel engines, two- or four-door body styles, and a price range that begins at less than $20,000 and runs all the way past $30,000 if all the option boxes are checked.
For 2013, the Golf carries over with just a few equipment changes: A manual transmission is no longer available in 2.5 four-door models; all models are now equipped with a front-center armrest; and the Convenience and Convenience with Sunroof models receive a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake lever.
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf is five years into its sixth generation; and rumor has it that the seventh generation, known to Golf aficionados as the Mk 7, will debut late in 2012. If that’s true, we can look forward to an all-new Golf for next year.
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf is a compact front-wheel-drive hatchback available in two- and four-door body styles, a choice of two engines and several different trim levels.
The standard engine in the Golf is a 2.5-liter gasoline-powered five-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. In two-door models the 2.5 can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic, while four-door versions get the six-speed automatic only.
Also available in the Golf is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, making 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be backed by either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
In standard trim, the Golf 2.5 is equipped with 15-inch steel wheels; cloth upholstery; power windows, mirrors and door locks; single-zone manual climate control; a multi-function trip computer; and an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system. The Golf 2.5 with Convenience adds heated front seats and Bluetooth connectivity, while the 2.5 with Convenience and Sunroof brings a power sunroof and an upgraded audio system with HD radio and touchscreen controls.
The Golf TDI in base trim is a little better equipped than the base 2.5, as it has 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport suspension, heated front seats and the premium sound system with HD radio and touchscreen. The next rung up the ladder is the TDI with Sunroof & Navigation, featuring the powered sunroof and a touchscreen nav system. At the top of the lineup is the TDI with Tech Package, which includes all the previous equipment plus an upgraded sound system, xenon adaptive headlights, LED daytime running lights, and keyless entry with pushbutton start.
The EPA has rated the 2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI’s fuel economy at 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway and 34 combined. The Golf 2.5 with a manual transmission returns 23/33/26 mpg, while the auto trans version is nearly identical at 24/31/26.
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