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VW Golf Sportline 2.0 TDI Full Review,Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour

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Uploaded on Feb 24, 2010

The 2011 Volkswagen Golf ranks 8 out of 33 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 22 published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Golf, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2011 VW Golf has a powerful engines and a near-luxury cabin that reviewers say is worth the Golf's high price. The 2011 Golf also has a diesel option that gets great fuel economy.

The Volkswagen Golf has cruised American streets since 1974. Since then, the Golf has undergone a lot of changes. In 2007, VW launched a new generation of the Golf, the Rabbit, but in 2010, VW revisited its roots and started using the name Golf again. Along with the name change, VW gave the 2010 Golf a makeover. Those changes carry on for the 2011 model.

The Golf stands out within the class for its available diesel engine. Reviewers applaud the diesel option for its great fuel economy and torquey engine that make it a great city cruiser. Unfortunately, the diesel's fuel economy -- a combined average of 34 miles per gallon -- comes at a high price tag: The 2010 Golf TDI started at $22,354, $4,734 more than the base model. There's another drawback. The more affordable base hatchback can't match the diesel's outstanding fuel economy.

Although the Golf is one of the most expensive cars in the class, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf received abundant praise and awards from the auto press. The 2010 Golf was named the World Car of the Year, and Kiplinger named the 2010 Golf four-door Best-in-Class for cars under $20,000 and Best New Model under $20,000.

The 2011 Golf maintains the 2010's award-winning reputation with its great performance on the road and upscale cabin that create a near-luxury feel. Buyers can also select features such as Bluetooth, an upgraded stereo with a touch screen interface and an iPod interface that add to the Golf's quality.

Other Cars to Consider

While the press thinks the Golf is a good value for the money, its price will deter some buyers. If you like the 2011 Golf, but the price is a deal breaker, there are other small cars with a fun ride and good fuel economy that fit the bill. The Honda Fit will save you around $2,500 compared to the Golf, and averages 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which beats the base Golf's fuel economy rating. Plus, the Fit has a lot of cargo space for buyers who have stuff to stow on the go.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is one of the Golf's main competitors. Ford packed a lot into the $13,591 base price, which is $3,669 below the base Golf. The 2011 Fiesta gives buyers hybrid-like fuel economy -- 28 mpg in the city, 37mpg on the highway -- a comfortable and classy cabin, fun color options and zippy handling.

In the name of going green, the Honda Civic Hybrid beats the Golf's fuel economy, but matches its price. The Civic Hybrid manages 40 mpg in the city, 40 on the highway, and starts at $23,800, which isn't much more than the TDI two-door. But, for the money, you get four doors, though the Civic Hybrid offers slightly less cargo space than the Golf.

Since the Golf is unchanged for 2011, savvy shoppers may consider purchasing a 2010 model. Be sure to check for current Volkswagen Deals that may be available for the new Golf The Golf is largely unchanged for 2011. The two-door and four-door hatchbacks are available with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine or in the TDI trim, which features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. Volkswagen hasn't released the 2011 Golf's pricing, but the 2010 Golf starts at $17,620 for the 2-door, 2.5-liter engine, and the four-door TDI starts at $22,959. Optional features include heated front seats, iPod connectivity and a navigation system.

"So they're a little expensive, but based on our drive, folks who pony up the cash are likely to end up mighty satisfied." -- Car and Driver
"The TDI's spunky diesel engine and sport suspension up the fun factor, but also keeps things frugal with its stellar fuel-economy figures. Watch out for your bottom line however; the TDI's price premium over gasoline-powered 2.5 models will take a while to recuperate, though it should qualify for a tax credit." -- Consumer Guide
"If you don't choke on the price, the new Golf has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to vehicle dynamics and utility. The base model isn't inexpensive, but it doesn't feel cheap." -- Autoblog
"With that $22,959 starting price, the 42 MPG highway fuel economy, sharp looks, seriously nice interior and a responsive chassis, this Golf TDI makes more expensive cars look frivolous and direct rivals look behind the times." -- Jalopnik

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