2014 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2014 Volkswagen Golf TDI
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

Even in its last year before a complete redesign, the 2014 Volkswagen Golf holds its own against the sportier competitors within the compact hatchback segment.

It looks like a Golf has looked for almost 40 years, and its handling, premium interior, and choice of engines are almost unparalleled.

But it faces a host of redesigned 2014 competitors, so the 2015 Golf will likely face off more directly against those.

The all-new Mazda 3 for 2014 promises supreme fuel efficiency to add to its hug-the-road handling and distinctive lines, though we haven't driven it yet.

And for 2014, both the Kia Forte compact and its Soul sibling in the tall-wagon category are all-new, stylish, and likely to offer strong value for money and high feature content.

Then there's the Subaru Impreza offers rewarding handling of its own--and standard all-wheel drive--at a far lower price, though that shows up in its interior.

The Ford Focus is stylish, handles well, and has a nice interior as well--but can approach VW Golf prices at the high end.

2014 Volkswagen Golf TDI2014 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings2014 Ford Focus2014 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2014 Kia Soul  -  First Drive, August 20132014 Kia SoulBrowse Used Listings2014 Kia Forte2014 Kia ForteBrowse Used Listings2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring  -  First Drive2014 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2014 Subaru Impreza 5dr Auto 2.0i Angular Front Exterior View2014 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf hatchback offers excellent handling and a good ride, premium interior design and materials, and a range of engines--including the efficient TDI diesel--but at a premium price.
8.8
Even without considering the top-performance ST, the 2014 Ford Focus is one of the best-driving small cars on the market--with the impression of being an accessible premium car, not a spruced-up econobox.
8.6
The 2014 Kia Soul doesn’t stray from its iconic profile, but it dons more sophistication inside and underneath—with fewer compromises and all in the name of city-friendly, tall-wagon goodness.
7.4
The 2014 Kia Forte finds better focus with well-rounded performance and grabby good looks, but its safety scores concern us.
8.4
The 2014 Mazda 3 stands out from the small-car crowd, with its sport-car-influenced proportions and sporty driving experience; but its tight, noisy cabin means that it’s not at all the best pick for pragmatists.
8.0
The 2014 Subaru Impreza remains the only option in its class to come equipped with standard all-wheel-drive, where many don't offer it all. It's tough, practical, and looks good, too.
MSRP From     
$19,995$16,810$14,900$15,900$16,945$17,895
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Regular Unleaded I-5Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded H-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompact CarsSmall Station WagonMid-Size CarsCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door HB Automatic PZEV4-Door Sedan S5-Door Wagon Manual Base4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Manual 2.0i
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackSedanHatchbackSedanSedanSedan
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2014 Ford Focus2014 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2014 Kia Soul2014 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2014 Kia Forte2014 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2014 Mazda MAZDA32014 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2014 Subaru Impreza