IntroductionThe redesigned Volkswagen Golf, arriving in the United States for the 2014 model year, debuted to the public at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in traditional 2- and 4-door body styles and with a range of powertrains for European consumers. The Golf is the most popular car in Europe, according to Volkswagen, and the new seventh-generation version is constructed on the VW Group's lightweight MQB architecture, which will be used as the basis for several future Audi and Volkswagen models.
Exterior FeaturesThe new VW Golf is 220 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. Additionally, Volkswagen says the next-generation Golf is longer, wider, and more spacious than before, adding more than half an inch of rear leg room, more than an inch of front and rear shoulder room, and a bigger trunk that the company describes as "more accessible."
Offered as a 2- or 4-door hatchback, the 2014 Golf is more aerodynamic, as well, the company says. It sits lower than before, and in Europe the Golf will come standard with low-rolling-resistance tires. The fuel-efficient BlueMotion model, which is not confirmed for the United States, boasts a 0.27 coefficient of drag, according to the automaker.
Interior FeaturesIn Europe, the new Golf will come standard with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, and a new radio with a 5-inch touch-screen display. The 2-door variants will also offer an easy-entry feature to make it simpler for passengers to climb into the back seat.
Optional FeaturesBased on the preliminary information released for the European market, the redesigned Golf will be available with comfort-design seats, cargo pass-through for the 60/40-split folding rear seat, upgraded gauges and trim, premium sound system with an SD card slot, and a navigation system with an 8-inch touch-screen display.
Under the HoodVolkswagen has not announced details about the powertrains that will come to the United States. Previously, the company has said that a new turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is scheduled to replace the current 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine. A TDI Clean Diesel model is also expected for the United Sates, along with a new GTI similar to the production-ready GTI Concept that bowed in Paris.
In Europe, the most fuel-efficient Golf ever built will be available. The new Golf BlueMotion features a 1.6-liter, turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine, and based on average annual miles traveled in Europe, Volkswagen predicts that owners will need to fill this model's fuel tank only 15 times per year.
Across the European Golf's model range, fuel economy improves by 23% with the new model, VW says. New technologies contributing to this improvement include automatic start/stop, brake energy regeneration system, electric steering and, in Europe, low-rolling-resistance tires and, on certain engine choices, cylinder-deactivation technology.
SafetyThe redesigned 2014 Golf is equipped with 7 air bags, traction and stability control, and 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with a new multi-collision braking feature.
The multi-collision braking feature brings the Golf to a halt just as soon as is possible after a collision, VW says, in an effort to keep the car from rolling and striking other vehicles or pedestrians after a crash.
Volkswagen also says the new Golf will be available with a drowsy driver detection system.