The 2021 Volkswagen Golf is a compact hatchback that’s better than any other. However, it shares the same showroom with the GTI (reviewed separately). It is not as attractive as its powerful, more equipped sibling, the standard Golf, despite having a lower asking price and better fuel economy. Although this is partly why VW won’t offer the next-generation GTI or high-performance Golf R here, it doesn’t mean that the regular version of the Golf will be less desirable. It boasts a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed auto, despite having a turbo-four engine that is small and weak. The chassis is great and provides a smooth ride and athletic handling. It has a spacious interior and a large cargo area. Although the Golf’s boxy exterior isn’t as striking or feature-rich as some compact competitors, it’s still a satisfying vehicle and Editors’ Choice winner.
What’s new for 2021?
The 2021 model year marks a change in VW’s lineup to GTI-and Golf R. This is because VW plans to discontinue the regular version of its vehicle. The new model year 2021 marks the end of the regular version in the U.S. It comes with 16-inch wheels, push-button start and passive hands-free entry, leatherette upholstery, and panoramic sunroof.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
Volkswagen has effectively made the regular Golf a one-size fits all shopping experience. Buyers must decide whether they want to keep the standard manual transmission or upgrade to the optional eight-speed automatic for $800. The manual will be more popular for those who don’t know how the three-pedal shuffle works. However, it will be easier for people who are experienced in the game to choose the automatic. The Golf is simple to outfit, with the exception of a few accessories that are provided by dealers.
Transmission, Engine, and Performance
The turbocharged inline four engine of the Golf provides enough power to propel the small hatch. It’s also reliable and refined. The Golf is always able to go anywhere in town. The engine only becomes a problem when the driver attempts to pass high-speed cars on the highway. The regular Golf is more comfortable than its sportier sibling, the zippy GTI. It won’t tire easily on long drives and on uneven pavement. It doesn’t skimp in corners. The Golf is a tight-fitting vehicle that hugs the road and gives the driver an athletic feeling. This encourages backroad fun. The Golf’s steering is unerringly fast for its class. This is why the Golf’s affordable and utilitarian car is so fun to drive.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
According to the EPA, the 2021 Golf will get 29 mpg city-wide and 39 mpg highway with the standard stick shift transmission. The optional automatic has ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway. Our extensive testing program included a 75-mph highway fuel economy route. The latest version returned an impressive 43 mpg. The Golf isn’t the only model in this class. The Honda Civic hatchback achieved an identical result.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The Golf’s interior is simple, but functional and comfortable. It perfectly embodies VW’s design philosophy. While you won’t feel spoilt, you won’t be treated to any poorly-conceived design themes. The Golf’s interior features clean lines, a simple color palette and an emphasis on openness. The Golf has more room than some of the competitors, despite the spacious interior. The Golf’s rear seat is quite comfortable and can be used by adults on long drives. The comfort of the back seat can be attributed to the high-height bottom cushion. This prevents the common problem of small cars getting their knees in the nose. Five carry-on bags are available for the Golf, which is five more than many of its competitors. The Golf’s cargo space can hold taller items, unlike its sedan counterparts. With the rear seat folded, we were able to fit 15 suitcases in.
Connectivity and Infotainment
Although the Golf’s infotainment system is slow to respond to inputs, standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and USB connectivity make up for it. It comes standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and menu buttons along the edges. There is also a physical volume knob.