The VW Golf has been around for what seems like forever, and it has, for the most part, retained its basic styling. For 2016, the Golf underwent some changes to make it a more valuable vehicle across the board.

Pricing and Equipment

The Volkswagen Golf has a plethora of drivetrains and trim levels to navigate through, but at the bottom of the heap is the base TSI model. This entry-level hatchback starts from $18,495 and is only available as a two-door. This model comes standard with:

  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Cruise control
  • Eight-speaker audio system with a touchscreen

For buyers looking for more, there is the better-equipped S trim level, which also happens to be the base trim for the four-door Golf. In the four-door model, the other trims include the S with Sunroof and SE trims that add even more features. For those buyers craving performance, there is the $25,595 Golf GTI and the $35,650 Golf R. For buyers wanting to go green, there is the $28,995 e-Golf.

Performance Pros

Volkswagen Golf

A laundry list of turbocharged engines assure the Golf delivers spirited performance across its entire range. For buyer looking for even more power, there is the GTI and R models that have horsepower oozing from them.

  • We found the base 1.8-liter turbo engine is a nice balance of sporty and comfort
  • GTI and R models deliver 210 and 292 horsepower, respectively
  • Available Performance Pak adds 10 more horses to the GTI
  • The electric Golf is surprisingly balanced

Performance Cons

The GTI and R models are a little tough to drive in crowded cities. The TDI model is in a serious world of hurt with the emissions scandal VW is going through.

  • The GTI and R models are a little too wild for congested city driving
  • VW cheated its emission ratings on the TDI models, leading to a massive investigation

Interior Pros

Volkswagen Golf Interior

We found the Golf to have ample cargo room and great versatility. Additionally, we could have sat in the 2016 Golf’s front seats for hours on end.

  • Some of the most comfortable seats in the segmen
  • Up to 66.5 cubic feet of cargo room in SportWagen models
  • Lots of standard features

Interior Cons

We found the interior much improved over other generations of the Golf, but the 2016’s cabin is still a little too conservative for our taste. Additionally, the rear seats are not as roomy as we would like.

  • Rear seats feel a little slimmer than the competition, as does legroom
  • The styling is still toned down, which we found a little boring (non- GTI and R models)

The Most Pleasant Surprise

With the variety of body styles, we felt that the Golf had a model for everyone. What’s more, they are all able to haul plenty of cargo and five people, making the Golf one of the most versatile hatchbacks on the market.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Finding out that VW, a company we typically trusted, cheated the emissions systems really kills our trust level. In fact, this makes us question almost every claim VW has made.

The Bottom Line

Hatchbacks are some of the most versatile models on the market today, and the Golf is near the top in this department. For buyers looking for an inexpensive, fuel-efficient car, the 2016 Golf is a great buy. What’s more, buyers looking for insane performance can also look to the Golf R and GTI.