Not much has changed this year for the 2013 Volkswagen Golf, but then again, not much needed to. There is not a large assortment of models to choose from to confuse the decision. Your choice is fairly easy; gasoline or diesel? The gasoline version gets a 2.5-liter five-cylinder good for 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and hill-holder feature, but a six-speed automatic available. Those looking for the most fuel-efficient option will stick with the manual transmission, which helps to yield 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The automatic puts these numbers at 24 and 31 respectively. For even better fuel economy, you will choose the 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4 good for 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The diesel model gets a standard six-speed manual transmission that moves the car to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Fuel economy is quite impressive at 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic is available. The driving experience is as exceptional as the fuel economy. The well-weighted steering provides confidence and agility, while the overall feel is solid and composed. It is also a little quiet than most hatchbacks tend to be.
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• Navigation - The available navigation system is extremely easy to program, but the small display screen does make it tricky to read street names without a struggle.
• Audio - There will be no complaints when it comes to the audio system. The standard eight-speaker system features an auxiliary jack and CD player. If you add the Convenience and Sunroof package you get a six-CD changer, iPod interface, touchscreen audio interface, and satellite radio. A premium Dynaudio sound system is available too.
• Bluetooth - Send, receive, and end calls without taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel with Bluetooth communications.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2013 Golf with top safety scores when roof, front, and side-impact protection were put to the test. The hatchback also delivers impressive braking abilities, taking a better-than-average 121 feet to stop from 60 mph. A few noteworthy features include:
• Stability control
• Turn signal mirrors
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Engine immobilizer
• Traction control
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Emergency breaking assist
• Child seat anchors
• Daytime running lights
• Whiplash protection in head restraints
• Rear-center three-point belt
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf remains unchanged. Its simple yet slightly quirky styling attracts diverse buyers. There is nothing over-the-top about the styling, but it manages to distinguish itself from other hatchbacks on the road. Points of interest include the Bi-Xenon headlights with AFS and daytime running lights, integrated turn signal mirrors, and the logo latch handle on the hatch. Push the top of the logo, and a handle appears. Golf is available as a three or five-door hatchback.
The cabin materials alone remind you why you bought a Volkswagen in the first place. The refined design is every bit as upscale as what you would find in Audi. Despite its compact size, there is a lot of space in both rows of this cabin. Surprisingly, legroom does not change at all whether you opt for the three or five-door model. The dash is thoughtful with controls readily at your fingertips. Also, the standard touchscreen audio interface is so exceptional it deserves an honorable mention.
Cargo space remains the same in both models. Behind the rear seat it offers 12.4 cubic feet, which most will find surprising. The split-folding rear seat increases this to 46 cubes.