The Volkswagen Golf is all-new for 2010. The Rabbit is gone. Volkswagen is rejuvenating its price leader, not only with the restoration of the Golf name, but also with the return of a diesel engine that's more powerful and more responsive and available to buyers in all 50 states.
The all-new 2010 Volkswagen Golf comes in two-door and four-door body styles, and it's available with a highly efficient TDI diesel or a less-expensive gasoline engine.
There's a new transmission for the 2010 Golf, too. Available only on the diesel model, aka the TDI for turbocharged direct injection, this is a six speed, automated manual, aka the DSG for Direct Shift Gearbox. Utilizing a technology heretofore available only on pricier sporty sedans and high end sports cars, the DSG uses an automated twin clutch setup that engages and disengages gears without the driver having to operate a clutch pedal. Alternatively, much like the Tiptronic automatic that's optional on the 2.5-liter Golf, the DSG permits the driver manually to select the gears, which is pretty much the best of two worlds: the efficiency of a manual transmission but the convenience of an automatic.
Also new for the 2010 Golf is a restyled body, with a sportier grille, sleeker flanks and stylish rear fascia. The 2010 Volkswagen Golf comes in two body styles, a two door and a four door. Both seat five.
The standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder puts out a very usable 170 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque at 4250 rpm. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on the two-door model, and a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic is standard on the four-door. The 2.5-liter gets an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg City/Highway, or 23/30 mpg with the six-speed Tiptronic. The manual offers better performance, able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, compared with an 8.1 second run for the automatic.
The 2.0-liter TDI diesel produces 140 horsepower at 4000 rpm, and an impressive 236 pound-feet of torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm. Note the diesel offers substantially more torque than the gas engine and that this is available at much lower rpm. Torque is that force that propels you from intersections and up hills. This translates to responsive performance around town from the TDI, doing the kind of driving most of us do most of the time. The TDI comes standard with a six speed manual, optional with a six speed, dual clutch, automated manual, called the Direct Shift Gearbox, or DSG. The TDI gets an EPA-estimated 30/41 mpg City/Highway (30/42 with the DSG) and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds.
Changes for 2010 inside are minor but in keeping with the marque's commitment to function tempered by form. The only upholstery is cloth, but there are three sound systems, the premium system integrated into a touch-screen navigation system.
All these changes, major and subtle, package well into a cleanly refreshed, fuel efficient, Autobahn-validated, reborn Golf that's better than what has come before while faithful to its heritage.
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