What's New for 2014:
- 2-door body style has been discontinued
- Redesigned Golf arrives for the 2015 model year
With a complete redesign on the horizon, the front-wheel-drive (FWD), 5-passenger 2014 Volkswagen Golf drops the 2-door variant from its lineup, leaving just the 4-door hatchback powered by a 4-cylinder diesel or 5-cylinder engine. Buyers have their choice of four trim levels. Competitors include the Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza, and the Toyota Corolla.
Models and Features
For 2014, the base Golf model is the 2.5L, equipped with amenities including a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, heated mirrors, 15-in. steel wheels, 8-speaker sound system with an auxiliary input jack, height-adjustable driver's seat, and common niceties like power windows and air conditioning. This entry-level model also features an automatic transmission and, like all 2014 Golfs, a 2-year/24,000-mile factory-scheduled free maintenance plan.
Positioned one rung higher on the 2014 Volkswagen Golf trim ladder is the 2.5L with Convenience and Sunroof. This version is home to a number of upgrades, such as a power tilt/slide moonroof, touch-screen audio system with satellite radio service and an iPod cable, Bluetooth connectivity, leather interior accent trim, and heated front seats.
Fans of exceptional fuel economy may want to skip over the 2.5L and focus instead on the 2014 Golf TDI. In addition to a diesel engine, this version of Volkswagen's popular hatchback serves as host to a sport-tuned suspension, manual transmission, 17-in. alloy wheels, and fog lights, as well as the premium audio system and heated bucket seats.
At the top of the 2014 Golf lineup is the TDI with Sunroof and Navigation.
Options and Packages
While dealers offer a variety of add-ons for the 2014 Golf, the only available factory option is an automatic transmission for TDI models.
Under the Hood
As reflected by its name, the 2014 Golf 2.5L is equipped with a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is transferred to the front wheels via a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. TDI models, on the other hand, feature a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor that runs on diesel fuel and produces 140 horsepower complemented by 236 lb.-ft. of torque. In this case, a 6-speed manual is the default gearbox, with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic offered as an option.
According to EPA estimates, the TDI versions of the 2014 Golf are considerably more efficient than the 2.5L, which is expected to average 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Regardless of which transmission is selected, drivers of the Golf TDI should see 30 mpg around town and 42 mpg over the course of a long highway jaunt.
Safety Ratings and Technology
In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2014 Volkswagen Golf received a \"Good\" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap front impact protection. As this overview is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the crashworthiness of the 2014 Golf.
Listed among the car's safety features are 6 air bags, front active head restraints, and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (vented front/solid rear) with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.