- Fully redesigned in 2015
- Available in two- or four-door body styles
- Efficient diesel engine offers an estimated 42 mpg/highway
Fresh off of a complete redesign just last year, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf keeps the party rolling with added standard features for a few trim levels and new available safety technology.
Last year’s redesign added back two-door versions of the Golf, giving car buyers two- and four-door versions to choose from now. The Golf’s styling update kept a similar profile but sharpened up some of the curves found on the old model. Up front, a new fascia was added which has tauter lines around the lower air intake that make the Golf a little more aggressive. The front grille has been slimmed down even further and the headlight clusters have sharper angles as well. 15-inch wheels are standard, while larger 16-, 17-, and 18-inch alloy wheels are available. Bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights are optional, along with an adaptive front-lighting system that can swivel the headlights to match the turning of the wheel, offering better visibility on dark roads.
The redesign also changed up the Golf’s engine offerings. The base engine is a 170-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 200 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Golf TDI (diesel) models feature a 150-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Fuel economy figures for models with the gasoline engine check in at 26/37 mpg city/highway with the manual, and 26/36 mpg with the automatic. Diesel models return up to 31/42 mpg city/highway.
The Golf is offered in several trim levels: TSI, S, SE, SEL, and TDI. For 2016, S models get a larger touchscreen standard, while SE models add push button start. Behind the rear seats is 22.8 cubic feet of cargo room which is impressive for a car with such a small footprint. Power windows and locks, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration, a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, and air conditioning are standard. Upscale features like leather upholstery, power seats, VW Car-Net services, heated front seats, and a navigation system are also available.
The 2016 Golf also excels when it comes to safety, winning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, their highest distinction, for its performance in crash testing. Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and six airbags come standard. Also standard is a Post-Collision Braking system, which detects collisions and automatically applies the brakes to prevent further accidents from occurring. The optional Driver Assistance Package is expanded for 2016, offering adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alerts, rear park distance control, and a parking steering assistant.