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4.5 ⁄ 5 stars
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2010 Volkswagen Golf Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 20 reviews
Volkswagen has a new mission, namely “Strategy 2018,” and it’s a doozie. VW has put Toyota squarely in its crosshairs, hoping to replace the Asian automobile manufacturer as the world leader in vehicle production. Chattanooga, Tennessee, will see a direct result of this new initiative by way of a new assembly plant, scheduled to be online in 2011 with a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. More immediately, the Volkswagen Rabbit has been redesigned and rebadged for the North American market, dropping the “Rabbit” nameplate for the slightly more masculine “Golf.” While most dimensions will remain pretty much the same - the new car is 0.7” wider and 0.2” shorter - the Golf has been totally redesigned inside and out, with new skin and skeleton as well as drivetrains.
A long list of available engines, including two diesel options, means a wide demographic appeal for the Mark VI Golf. Choices start with a 1.4-liter, naturally aspirated, 79-hp inline four cylinder. That engine is available turbocharged or with both turbo and supercharging, both intercooled, for 121 and 158 hp, respectively. A turbocharged 1.6 liter is also available and good for 101 hp. Two 2.0-liter diesel engines will also be offered, producing 109 and 138 hp. Individual efficiency ratings have not been released, but Volkswagen has estimated lows of 24 mpg for the high-performance 1.4 in the city and a high figure of 64 mpg for the diesel on the highway.
While the platform itself is a carryover, the exterior gets a refresh, with a new grille, angled headlamps, and a redesigned rear that follows the flow of the more organic lines throughout the three- or five-door, front- or all-wheel-drive vehicle. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic as an option, although the DSG dual-clutch sequential “manuals” may also be available as options. An interesting feature is VW’s DCC Adaptive Chassis Control, which adjusts suspension and steering settings between “Automatic,” “Comfort,” and “Sport” and has been noted by reviewers to provide distinct feel differences while driving. Standard safety features have not yet been released, but have been suggested to include everything in the current Rabbit/Golf lineup, plus additional features, such as up to nine airbags.
A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.