2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI and e-Golf Review

We Test Drive the New Fuel-Efficient 7th Generation Golf

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2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Compared to the outgoing sixth-generation Golf, the 2015 model has a much roomier cabin. The increase in shoulder room is substantial, and more rear legroom is provided.

More impressive are the safety features Volkswagen is offering. At launch, a post-collision braking system that stops the car from incurring a second collision (something quite common in accidents) is standard and, within a year, the Golf should have adaptive cruise control with emergency braking, blind spot detection, and a lane-departure warning system.


The fuel-sipping Golf TDI is one of the first beneficiaries of the Wolfsburg-based automaker’s new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine, designated the EA288. It has the same displacement as the outgoing engine but it’s all new and one of the first built using the MDQ, or Modular Diesel Matrix, engine platform. It’s lighter, smaller, and more efficient than its predecessor, yet produces an additional ten horsepower. From a driver’s perspective, there’s less engine vibration and noise, and the throttle is more responsive. The 236 pound-feet of torque are certainly noticeable.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission is optional. Both are estimated to attain around 31 mpg (7.58 l/100 km) in the city and 42 (5.6) on the highway but real world fuel usage on the highway will probably be closer to 50 (4.7).

Most of my drive time with the new Golf was with the TDI with DSG transmission. While I liked driving the previous-generation Golf, it wasn’t as polished. The Golf TDI is pushing the model into new territory (think “Audi”) with a higher level of refinement and a driving quality that is both fun and comfortable. The torque is available on demand and the DSG transmission is an excellent match for the oilburner. Whether driving around twisties or accelerating onto a California freeway, I was never left wanting for power. (The brakes are very good too, as evidenced by a sudden encounter with a deer on a street in Berkeley.)

The interior is crafted using richer materials with elegant textures. The plastic trim might have been better had it been metal, but it was pleasant nonetheless. Controls, as one would expect in a German automobile, are precisely where they are supposed to be.

Click here to continue to Page 3New Features and the TDI’s Engine

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