With the latest edition, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf's features list has grown more competitive with the tech-happy entries from American and Korean automakers.
Standard features on the new Golf include power windows, locks, and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; power locks; and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary jack. The Golf TDI diesel adds on an LCD-screen music interface, a six-disc CD changer and Sirius Satellite Radio, along with a multifunction steering wheel.
A sunroof is optional across the board, as are Bluetooth connectivity and heated seats. The TDI model can be equipped with a 300-watt Dynaudio Lite audio system that sounds crisp and clear to TheCarConnection.com's editors, and worth the minimal premium over the base system.
Volkswagen also offers a navigation system on the new Golf; it has a 30GB hard drive for music and maps, DVD playback, an SD card slot, and USB connectivity. Autoblog points out that "Bluetooth and a media device interface" are bundled with only the TDI, "and for the directionally challenged looking for an integrated factory navigation system, the TDI is your only choice."
It's certainly a price premium over the wide range of Japanese and Korean compacts, but the Volkswagen Golf doesn't see a big price increase for 2010. The new Golf starts from $17,490 for the two-door, with the four-door starting at $19,190 and the TDI diesel beginning at $21,990. Its primary competition can be significantly cheaper-a Ford Focus or a Kia Soul starts under $15,000, for example. But none offers the stout build quality or lush interior of the Golf-or a diesel engine. As Autoblog puts it, "if you don't choke on the price, the new Golf has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to vehicle dynamics and utility."