The 2010 Volkswagen Golf and Golf TDI's comfortable seats and quality feel in the cabin make up for a little less interior room than the boxy shape implies.
The new Golf is "more or less the same size and weight" as the last version, Car and Driver observes, and with its "roomy and upscale cabin" and "comfortable ride," Edmunds says, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf makes for a pleasant ride.
Up front, the new VW Golf is quite roomy. The front seats give great support, and the driver's seat helps you get comfortable with plenty of adjustability, but the controls are in three different locations: fore/aft at the right-front corner of the seat, a lever on the left side that raises and lowers the bottom cushion, and a big knob to change the backrest angle at the left rear of the seat. MyRide calls the setup "outdated." On other versions, "the driver enjoys a power adjuster for the seat back angle," Autoblog notes, "while the passenger is relegated to the loved (by Germans, at least) rotary knob at the hinge." Nevertheless, they add, "both front seats have surprisingly ample side bolsters," and "all seats are swathed in cloth regardless of the powertrain choice." Jalopnik likes VW's "new seats covered in a checked white cloth," and says they're "firm, supportive and immensely comfortable."
Rear-seat legroom can be an issue when tall drivers sit up front, and there's noticeably less knee room than in the Civic or the Kia Forte. Headroom is quite good, though. The rear seats have adjustable headrests and an armrest, and fold down almost flat to give access to the cargo area. As Jalopnik discovers, "We also prefer the two-door model for its sharp looks, but rear seat accommodation is noticeably tighter than the four-door, which can seat 6-foot adults comfortable in both rows." Edmunds says the same, more or less: "A roomy rear seat offers decent room for a pair of adults."
Cargo capacity is respectable, "thanks to a 60/40-split folding rear seat," allowing the 2010 Golf to carry long items like skis with the front seat folded flat, states Cars.com. With the seats raised, there's 15 cubic feet of space. "When flipped down, [it] opens up a massive 43 cubic feet of cargo space," Edmunds reports. Though the Golf sports a large glove box, MyRide would like to see "more creative stowage in the center console."
Throughout the cabin, the quality of the materials is high. Fit and finish are impressive for a $15,000 vehicle, and of particular note are the Audi-quality gauges and controls. Edmunds admires the "impressive build quality," while MyRide adds the Golf's "cleanly styled interior takes advantage of Volkswagen's long touted cabin-building competence." Jalopnik elaborates: "all that black plastic is very high quality and bolted down so tightly it feels like you could rampage with a baseball bat without so much as marking any surfaces." Autoblog says "even the cheapest entry-level Golf is equipped with quality of materials, with fit and finish easily a cut above its class," while Car and Driver finds "there is nothing cheap about the Golf" in the Golf's details; in "the tight, consistent shut-lines of body panels, the precision fit and finish of the dashboard components, plastic trim pieces that are polished rather than painted, cloth linings for the storage bins."
Though it's built well, there are minor quibbles over the Golf's road noise. Motor Trend reports "wind noise is low, and the diesel engine is well muffled for urban work," while Jalopnik says in the TDI, "you never detect in aural sign that you're driving a diesel." Car and Driver observes that the "tires read road textures loudly into the interior," though Edmunds calls the interior "refined" and "noise-free."