INTRO: The nimble 2012 Volkswagen Golf proves that a 5-passenger compact hatchback can be roomy and comfortable as well as spirited and efficient. Available with either 2 or 4-doors, trims range from base 2-door gasoline models to top of the line 4-door TDI diesel versions.
FEATURES: Ample standard features include power windows and locks with keyless entry and heated exterior mirrors with integrated side blinkers. TDI models include an 8-speaker premium sound system with touchscreen interface.
PERFORMANCE: The base engine for the Golf is a 2.5-liter inline-5, sending 170 horsepower to the front wheels through one of three available transmissions, a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. The TDI model employs a 2-liter turbo-diesel inline-4 sending 140 horsepower through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed direct shift gearbox.
FUEL ECONOMY: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
PRICING/WARRANTY: Base MSRP for the 2012 Volkswagen Golf is $17,995. A 4-door TDI equipped with the 6-speed direct shift gearbox starts at $25,795. The Golf is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty
CLOSING: Offering 2 and 4-door configurations as well as gas or diesel engines, the well-equipped 2012 Volkswagen Golf shows just how spiffy a hatchback can be.