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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
auxiliary jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
for GPS, "the TDI is your only choice
If you don't choke on the price, the new Golf has plenty to offer
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."
It's on par with other compact hatchbacks in terms of features, though the 2010 VW Golf's base prices are a steep step up from the likes of Forte, Soul, and Focus.