The 2012 Volkswagen Golf is a compact hatchback available in three-door and five-door trim levels. The Golf is available with two different engines; a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine (170 hp/177 lb-ft of torque) and a 2.0-liter TDI® Clean Diesel engine that produces (140 hp/236 lb-ft of torque). Both engines are available with an optional 6-speed automatic transmission, however the standard engine is paired with a standard 5-speed manual transmission while the diesel engine is paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission. Fuel mileage is an EPA estimated 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway for the standard engine and 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway for the diesel variant. Features include hands-free phone capability, climate control with pollen filter, touch-screen navigation system, touch-screen stereo and heated front seats. Safety is comprised of crash-optimized front end, electronic stability control, Intelligent Crash Response, six airbags with side curtain protection, hydraulic brake assist and anti-lock braking. The Golf is backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.Read more Read less
The Golf's option packages have been reconfigured for 2012, so that both the gasoline and diesel models are offered in three different trim levels. Most of the features are as previously offered, but 17-inch Salamanca alloy wheels are new for 2012 on the Golf TDI, and the top Tech Package on the TDI now includes LED daytime running lamps, Dynaudio premium sound and push-button start.
Impressive TDI fuel economy; quick, responsive driving feel; hatchback versatility and space-efficiency; easy to maneuver and park; upscale interior look and feel
While the Volkswagen Golf costs a bit more than many rival models, it also feels more sophisticated and refined in general. Especially in TDI form, it gets the gas mileage of a hybrid with an eager, responsive driving feel that you won't find in any of the popular hybrids. The Golf TDI's gas mileage of up to 42 mpg also enables a driving range of 600 miles or more. In addition, the Golf remains a high-value choice for those who live in tight urban areas and need a car that maneuvers well and parks easily but also comes with more equipment--and a more upscale feel, overall--than many other efficiency-minded small cars.