2002 Volkswagen Golf

  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GL Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $15,925
  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GL Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      31
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $15,250
  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GLS Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      31
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,600
  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      49
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,650
  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      49
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,345
  • 2002 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      45
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,420
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  • Review

2002 Volkswagen Golf Review

Low-cost and functional driving fun.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Volkswagen Golf hatchback offers as much as other vehicles in the German maker’s line-up. The Golf is practical with good utility, fun to drive with solid handling and enough power to avoid being boring, has a fine level of safety, and is reliable with good build and material quality. If all of that isn’t enough, the Golf presents all of these pluses at a very reasonable price, making it a great choice for buyers who want a solid, useful car with a good standard features list without having to seriously dent the bank account.

The Range

Body styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.9-liter four-cylinder diesel, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Golf GL, Volkswagen Golf GLS, Volkswagen Golf GL Volkswagen Golf TDI, Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI

What's New

For 2002, the Golf loses the speedy 1.8T four-door model. A CD player is now standard gear on the GLS model, and the GL trim level can now be had in either two- or four-door configurations. Mojave Beige is a new exterior color choice. All Volkswagen vehicles now come with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, increased from two years/24,000 miles. Volkswagen now offers a fully transferable limited powertrain warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles.

Exterior

The 2002 Volkswagen Golf is available with either a gas or diesel engine. The gas engine models are available in two trims: GL and GLS. The diesel equipped models also come in two trims: GL TDI and GLS TDI. The GL can be had as a two- or four- door vehicle and comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, heated door mirrors, intermittent wipers, rear window wipers, rear window defroster, and front-wheel independent suspension. The GLS trim adds power door mirrors and the option for a power moon-roof. Options for all trims include a spoiler, rear window blind, an engine block heater, and alloy wheels.

Interior

In the cabin, the Golf GL starts off with a nice list of interior features, include remote keyless entry, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, AM/FM and cassette stereo with eight speakers and the option for a cd player, and cloth upholstery with a split and folding rear bench seat. The GLS trim level adds power windows, standard cd player, speed control, and a front center armrest with storage. Heated front seats are an option for the GLS trim and a remote cd player can be added to any trim level.

The Golf’s cabin is rather comfortable with a decent amount of space for passengers and cargo. It is well-laid out and offers respectable build quality and material quality. The Golf offers seating for five.

Performance & Handling

A 115 horsepower, two-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 122 lb-ft of torque is standard in the Golf GL and GLS. The Golf GL TDI and GLS TDI use a turbocharged, 90-horsepower, 1.9-liter, direct-injection diesel. All engines can be hooked up to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration on the gas engine equipped models is enough to get the job done in most traffic situations. The turbodiesel equipped models offer a surprising amount of punch in low-torque situations, like city driving, but won’t tear up the highways.

The Golf handles rather well with a nimble and sporty feel. Responsiveness is good and the steering has a pretty good feel. The ride quality is better than expected for a small and low-priced car that is fun to drive and kind of athletic. While the suspension is tuned to be taut, the ride is still relatively smooth and bumps aren’t as harsh as with many cars in this price range. Braking is assured enough to handle emergency stopping well. The noise levels aren’t as low as a Lexus, but the price isn’t as high, either. Being a hatchback, the Golf has some road and wind noise, but not too bad. Tire noise can get noticeable.

Safety

Like many vehicles in the Volkswagen line-up, the Golf offers an extensive list of safety equipment that includes dual front impact airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, all-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, child seat anchors, remote anti-theft alarm system, rear center 3-point belt, front seatbelt pretensioners, and emergency interior seatback release. The NHTSA has not tested the Golf for crash safety. In IIHS tests the Golf received the highest rating of ?good? for frontal offset crash safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Golf GL: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf GLS: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf GL TDI: 35/44 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI: 35/44 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Driving fun
  • Standard features list
  • Fuel efficiency, especially on diesel models
  • Cargo utility

You Won't Like

  • Rear seat access
  • Automatic gearbox performance
  • Limited engine choices
  • Dated styling

Sum Up

Low-cost and functional driving fun.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Mazda Protege
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Honda Insight
  • Toyota Echo
  • Mitsubishi Lancer

See the New 2015 Golf.

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