In 1974, Volkswagen created the Golf, a front-wheel drive small compact family car. While it was mostly produced as a three-door hatchback, it was also available for a time as a five-door hatchback, estate/wagon (Variant), convertible (Cabriolet), and a saloon/sedan (Jetta). Arriving in the U.S. in 1975 and referred to as the Rabbit, it enjoyed a six-generation run. Still going strong after nearly four decades, it is not only one of Volkswagen's hottest selling cars, but it’s the third best-selling car of all-time, right behind the Beetle and the Toyota Corolla. For 2001, it was recognized industry-wide and won praise for its visibility, quietness, and build quality.
Body Styles: hatchback, diesel
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 1.9-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Golf GL, Volkswagen Golf GLS, Volkswagen Golf GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen Golf GL TDI, Volkswagen GLS TDI
The 2001 Volkswagen Golf comes with a few changes across all trims. There are clearer side-marker lights, trunk entrapment buttons, plenty of new cup holders, and some much-needed head protection airbags, which are modestly priced. The GL and GLS enjoy some better quality interior cabin fabrics while the GTI gets multi-function steering wheel controls, and 16-inch wheel designs with optional 17-inch wheels.
Available as either a two- or four-door, the 2001 Volkswagen Golf enjoys the same sort of exterior look as the Jetta, except at the rear where it's slightly shorter than the Jetta and has a regular trunk. Critics praise its structural rigidity that affords those on-board with a solid, quiet ride.
The 2001 Volkswagen Golf's occupants tend sit more vertically than in other small cars in its class, enjoying lots of passenger room for four. The rear seat cargo area is good for an adequate 18 cubic feet of space, and if more room is needed, the rear seat backs are split on all models and can fold down. A stylish yet functional front dashboard panel is illuminated in blues and reds trimmed in dark wood. Plenty of standard features are available including clear halogen headlamps, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, some handy sliding sun-visor extenders, a brake-wear indicator, remote keyless entry, and an optional, dealer-installed, in-dash CD player.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Volkswagen Golf provides several engine options for consumers. The GLS comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that generates 150 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, while both diesels come saddled with a 1.9-liter four-cylinder turbo that delivers 90 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. The GL and GLS feature a two-liter four-cylinder that serves up a respectable 115 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque. While not legendary in terms of under-the-hood gusto, the engine selections offer plenty of smooth power once drivers clear the 2000 rpm mark.
The 2001 VW Golf offer standard safety features that include all-wheel anti-lock brakes, front/rear airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, child seat anchors, front/rear headrests and an anti-theft alarm system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen Golf 1.8-liter Turbo: 22/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf 1.9-liter Turbo diesel: 35/44 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf 2.0-liter: 21/28 mpg city/highway
- Peppy drive
- Excellent fuel economy on the diesels
- Attractive interior cabin
- Plenty of standard features
You Won't Like
- Handling can be a bit stiff
- CD player isn’t standard
A fun drive with lots of features to please buyers.
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