The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.
It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.
Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
The front section of the 2015 Golf TDI has similarities to other Golf trim models.
We’ve already gone through the exterior qualities of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf . But in the interest of keeping this review fresh, we’re going to dive right in one more time.
The overall shape of the Golf remains the same, even if the dimensions have subtly changed. It’s longer by 2.1 inches, wider by 0.5 inches, and shorter in height by 1.1 inches. Those don’t exactly show up at first glance, but the use of the MQB architecture paved the way for the Golf to carry what VW describes as a bigger and more spacious “cab backward” aesthetic.
The front section of the 2015 Golf TDI has similarities to other Golf trim models. No surprises there. The smaller grille makes for a more defined look to the front while the sharper headlight clusters imbibe a determined and striking profile. It’s normally hard for cars this size to accomplish that sporty and aggressive look, but the Golf TDI manages to pull off that look without even batting an eyelash.
All Golf TDI models except for the S trim comes with a standard sunroof.
Strong character lines have always been hallmarks of the Volkswagen Golf. The 2015 Golf TDI is no different, carrying those sharp lines along the side of the model all the way to the back. From a distance, these lines accomplish their goal of refining the Golf’s stance.
Wheel options are also different depending on the trim of the model. The Golf S TDI Clean Diesel gets 16-inch aluminum alloy rims while the TDI SE is fitted with 17-inch wheels. Rounding it out is the TDI SEL trim, which receives 18-inch wheels.
All Golf TDI models except for the S trim comes with a standard sunroof. Additionally, the Golf TDI SE and SEL models come with a stand-alone Lighting
Package that includes bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, and Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).
2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI - Exterior Dimensions
|Front Track (in/mm)||61.0/1549|
|Rear Track (in/mm)||59.8/1520|
|Width 2D (in/mm)||70.5/1790|
|Width 4D (in/mm)||70.8/1799|
|Ground Clearance (in/mm)||5.4/138|
The interior of the 2015 Golf TDI was designed with two things in mind: improved comfort and an extensive list of new features. The 2015 Golf TDI checks those two boxes emphatically.
Fold the rear seats and the luggage room grows to an incredible 52.7 cubic feet, 15 percent larger than the past model.
The new Golf may be shorter than its predecessor, but the interior room actually increased to 93.5 cubic feet compared to 92.9 measurements of the previous model. Even the cargo capacity in the trunk has risen to 16.5 cubic feet, around eight percent better than last year. Fold the rear seats and the luggage room grows to an incredible 52.7 cubic feet, 15 percent larger than the past model. That’s more space than most midsize sedans, which is more impressive considering the Golf is still a compact hatchback.
Meanwhile, the overall ergonomic design of the interior was improved to be more accommodating to the driver and the passengers. The center stack, in particular, is now angled toward the driver, making it easier to reach and utilize. A white backlight casts a cool ambiance while also creating a sophisticated vibe normally seen in premium models.
The new Golf also makes use of a new 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s as functional as they come. There’s a whole lot to say about this new infotainment system, but its biggest improvement is VW’s choice to use a capacitive touch sensor instead of those outdated pressure-enabling systems. Imagine this system as a smartphone and you’ll get a better picture of its usability.
Volkswagen was also careful in using premium materials throughout the Golf’s cabin. Chrome and aluminum trim pieces create a classy vibe inside the car, while the piano-black finishes produce a nice complement to all that chrome and aluminum.
Specific features were also added depending on the trim. For the Golf TDI S, customers will be treated to V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, cruise control, VW Car-Net connected services, a leather-wrapped handbrake, shifter knob and multifunction steering wheel that now incorporates the buttons for the cruise control, and partial power seats on the four-door models.
For the TDI SE trim, heated front seats are offered, as is a rearview camera, and a Fender Premium Audio System.
Finally, the SEL trim gets all of those in addition to a Climatronic automatic dual-zone climate control, keyless access with push-button start, ambient lighting with LED interior reading lights, piano-black interior trim, and front comfort sport seats that include a 12-way power driver’s seat.
For one, the output of the new engine is now at 150 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm.
All trim levels of the new Volkwagen Golf TDI line now comes with an equally new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that traces its roots to the Volkswagen’s EA288 turbodiesel.
The basic specifications may be similar, but other than the cylinder bore spacing, the new EA288 engine is a ways different compared to its predecessor, the EA189. For one, the output of the new engine is now at 150 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The horsepower number is a nice improvement over the 140-horsepower from the outgoing diesel unit.
The output wasn’t the only improvement to come out of the new engine. Even its fuel efficiency numbers increased — imagine that! — to 31 mpg in the city and 35 mpg combined, one mpg better than the old engine’s fuel returns.
Regardless of the trim, all potential customers of the Golf TDI can equip their rides with either a six-sped manual transmission or a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI: Drivetrain Specification
|Type||2.0L, inline four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged and intercooled, DI|
|Bore||3.19 in, 81.0 mm|
|Stroke||3.76 in, 95.5 mm|
|Displacement||120 cu in 1968 cc|
|Horsepower (SAE) @ RPM||150 HP @ 3500 RPM|
|Maximum torque, LB-FT @ RPM||236 LB-FT @ 1750 RPM|
The Volkswagen Golf TDI has three different trims - the S, the SE, and the SEL - with two different transmission options. Hence, it has six different price offerings. Sometimes, the math is too easy.
The cheapest of the lot is the Golf TDI S Manual, which can be yours for a tidy sum of $21,995. The prices then inevitably move up until the top-of-the-trim Golf TDI SEL automatic, which retails for $29,095.
|Golf TDI S 4-Door (Manual)||$21,995|
|Golf TDI S 4-Door (DSG Automatic)||$23,095|
|Golf TDI SE 4-Door (Manual)||$25,495|
|Golf TDI SE 4-Door (DSG Automatic)||$26,595|
|Golf TDI SEL 4-Door (Manual)||$27,995|
|Golf TDI SEL 4-Door (DSG Automatic)||$29,095|
The Dodge Dart may not get all the shine compared to some of its rivals, but all that underestimation has turned the Dart into a secretly good rival to the Volkswagen Golf. It doesn’t have a diesel engine, but it does have a 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine that can pump out 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than what the Golf TDI is capable of producing.
The Dart, specifically the Aero trim, also has plenty of nice extras, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo and an 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect. It may not be as prim as the interior of the Golf TDI, but at least it doesn’t embarrass itself either.
The Dodge Dart Aero comes in at a price of $19,995, a little cheaper than the Golf TDI S, thus making it a worthwhile competitor to the mighty Volkswagen.
Gallery Dodge Dart Aero
The 2015 Focus is not yet in dealers, as of July 25, 2014, but most of its details are available. We know that it will carry a 1.0-liter, EcoBoost I-3, a carryover 2.0-liter Ti-VCT engine, and the ST’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 252 horsepower.
The 2.0-liter is the most likely competitor to the Golf TDI, thanks to its 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of twist. Lack of torque and only 26 mpg in the city are its downsides relative to the TDI.
Gallery Ford Focus
The Volkswagen Golf has always been one of VW’s most popular models and there’s good reason for that. It combines state-of-the-art technology with premium aesthetics and a versatile choice of engine offerings.
But the biggest allure of the Golf is how Volkswagen focuses on making it the best of the best. That’s proven to be a winning formula that VW has no reason to change, but it’s also done the Golf a lot of favors over the years.
At the end of the day, the Golf is still a hatchback. But you wouldn’t know it based on how Volkswagen has packaged it.
- Spacious interior
- Plenty of options
- Improved engine
- Pricier than the competition
- Improved fuel efficiency could’ve been better
- Other options available