2015 Golf TDI SEL:Compact car gold standard

7 Apr 2015 | 1,498 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds If you haven't heard by now, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf lineup has been selected as the 2015 Car of the Year by the widely respected Motor Trend Magazine. Of course, when anything or anyone is ranked at the top, detractors and competitors love to seize the chance to knock the winner off the pedestal. Well, if Volkswagen Golf's competitors wish to mount an assault, they'd better prepare for a big fight. This newest Golf generation beats its competitors in just about every way imaginable.   First, the VW crew well-managd the envious task of keeping the classic Golf look, and yet modernized dramatically at the same time. Updated taillights and rear fascia, highly complementary new character lines that add a bit of chiseled look to the side appearance, classy new wheels and a number of other improvements add sporty elegance to a car that already looked pretty classy in our book. Everything goes together quite well, to the point that we don't think you will get this generation confused with previous ones. 2015_golf_tdi_4182 Cool as the Golf looks,  however, styling isn't the reason most people buy the Golf.  They buy it because it's one helluva lot of fun to drive and it handles better than some pretty expensive sports cars do. Then there's the interior.  Oh, the interior!  Think two or  three price classes higher than the compact car segment an you will have a pretty good idea what we are talking about. Fit and finish were peerless in the compact car class for the Golf we tested. Piano black was used along with brushed metal to pretty good effect, and we loved the sporty steering wheel with the flat rim at the bottom--it too with details like piano black chrome touches. There was adequate leg and head room, and the esign and layout of the dashboard prompts thoughts of Audi, Volkswagen's luxury division. 2015_golf_tdi_3957 Gas mileage is another strong point.  TDI of course, refers to a 2.0 liter, 140 horsepower, clean diesel four cylinder engine with a common rail direct injection system. Overall mileage was 36 mpg, with a 31 rating in the city and 43 on the highway. The car used 2.8 gallons of gasoline for every 100 miles driven.  By purchasing this diesel powered Golf, you can save $3,250 in fuel costs over five years, compared  to the average new vehicle. Annual fuel costs is$1,550, based on 15,000 miles of driving with $3.75 cents a gallon gas in the tank. Our test Golf TDI SEL diesel-powered car  had a base price of $29,095. Standard equipment included electro-mechanical steering, electronic stability control, 18 inch alloys, power tilting and  sliding panoramic  sunroof, and XDS Cross Differential system. Other items that were standard equipment included an almost 6 inch touchscreen navigation system, and AM/FM/CD player with MP3 playback; Fender premium audio system with eight speakers and subwoofer, media device interface, fog lights, cruise control, ambient interior lighting with footwells and maplc all power accessories like brakes, windows, rear view camera, automatic climate control,  automatic rain sensing windshield wipers, power mirrors, front fog light and other items. A driver's assistance package with park distance control and forward  collision warning system, along with  a lighting package an a few other items, brought the final price to $31,605. Safety equipment, included side curtain protection, Intelligent Crash Response System,anti lock brakes, and other important features. This car comes with a three years, 36,000 mile limited warranty, a five years/60,000 mile  limited powertrain warranty and a roadside assistance program. The Golf  is such a superior product that it is hard to find anything at all to complaint about, but we will say that  although it handles quite well, and it steers quite precisely, it was over assisted too much for our taste, and we also know that it does have the same challenge that almost every other VW has had for years:a price that is somewhat higher than comparable products from other manufacturers.  $31,000 plus seems a pretty steep price for a compact. But we still think it is so chock full of goodness and loads of equipment at the price, it's worth every penny--and then some.

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