Compact cars, over the past several years, have changed radically, especially if you go by their feature lists. And the Golf and GTI lineups are no exception.
The Golf itself might not impress as quite as plush for the dollar as some of the newest Korean cars, but it has all the features and modern conveniences to distance itself from any econo-car roots. Standard equipment on all Golf hatchbacks now includes cruise control; power locks, mirrors and windows; air conditioning; and a CD player and an auxiliary port. Most models also get eight-way-adjustable front seats. TDI versions add an LCD interface for the audio system; satellite radio and a CD changer; steering-wheel audio controls; and Bluetooth.
On the GTI, there are a few more standard features like heated side mirrors, a sport steering wheel, 18-inch 'Detroit' alloy wheels, and a series of other appearance upgrades inside and out.
But there are a few disappointments; the base model still doesn't include Bluetooth phone connectivity isn't included, but it's included in TDI and GTI models, as well as part of the Convenience Package, paired with leather steering-wheel and shift-knob trim and heated front seats. A sunroof is available in addition to that, and TDI or GTI versions can upgrade to a premium touch-screen sound system, or a navigation system that includes DVD playback, an SD card slot, and USB connectivity.
In addition to standard equipment on the $34,760 Golf R (two-door) includes dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, iPod compatibility, and a Premium VIII audio system with eight speakers. Step up to the sunroof and navigation package ($36,860 for the four-door) and you get a sunroof, touch-screen nav system, keyless entry, push-button start, and 300-watt Dynaudio system.