The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf ranks six out of twenty four Compact Cars.
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf strikes a fine balance inbetween joy and function. It’s a pleasure to drive and comes loaded with high-tech gadgets, but it also rails sleekly and offers generous space for you, your friends, and all their stuff.
Pros & Cons
- Agile treating
- Powerful engine lineup
- Upscale interior materials
- Slew of cargo space
- Automatic transmission can be slow to shift
- Below-average predicted reliability
Notable for 2017
- Two-door Golf discontinued
- SE and SEL trims substituted by Wolfsburg Edition trim
- Adaptive cruise control and automatic parking discontinued
Volkswagen Golf Rankings and Research
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Presently the Volkswagen Golf has a score of 8.Five out of ten which is based on our evaluation of thirty seven lumps of research and data elements using various sources.
- # six in Compact Cars
- # eight in Petite Cars
- # seven in Hatchbacks
2017 Volkswagen Golf Pictures
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2017 Volkswagen Golf Review
- Utter Review
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf strikes a good balance inbetween joy and function. It’s a pleasure to drive and comes loaded with high-tech gadgets, but it also rails sleekly and offers generous space for you, your friends, and all their stuff.
Is the Volkswagen Golf a Good Car?
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf is a fine car, especially if you’re shopping for a hatchback that supplies a big car feel in a puny package. The Golf’s light and airy cabin can accommodate five in reasonable convenience, while providing a very usable 22.8 cubic feet of cargo room (52.7 cubic feet with its rear seats folded).
Beyond its compact car size, the Golf’s cabin also toes the line of entry-level luxury. Its interior fit and finish is excellent, highlighted by top-notch plastics, clean lines, and a generous serving of technology. Even the base-trim Golf S is outfitted with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which blend your smartphone’s features with the onboard infotainment. The step-up Golf Wolfsburg Edition also adds good active safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring.
Despite that spacious interior, the Golf’s exterior proportions remain puny and compact. It’s an effortless car to maneuver and park on taut city streets, yet it still cruises confidently and cozily on the open highway. Its suspension is pliant but not harsh. One of its best attributes, however, lives under the spandex hood – the Golf’s 170-horsepower, turbocharged engine. While most compact cars are sluggish getting up to speed, the Golf has no trouble moving quickly from a stop or on a highway on-ramp. It’s not all good news however – the Golf earns a lower predicted reliability compared to many rivals.
Volkswagen also offers the Golf hatchback in higher spectacle GTI and Golf R models, as well as two wagon variants: the Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack. The Golf R is covered in this review – the GTI and SportWagen are covered separately. The Alltrack is covered in the SportWagen review.
Should I Buy the Volkswagen Golf?
If you’re looking for a good package overall, the two thousand seventeen VW Golf is one of the most well-rounded hatchbacks in its class. With a sub-$20,000 kicking off price plus style and technology that leans toward luxury-car standards, you generally get a lot for your money. That said, you should cross-shop a few other segment leaders. Some are less expensive, others are simply more practical.
The Kia Soul fits both of those categories. This boxy hatchback starts at just $16,100 and can pack away a vast 61.Trio cubic feet of cargo with its rear seats folded, making it a superb option for puny families. The Soul also offers a few features that the Golf doesn’t, including navigation (available with the Autobahn trim for $21,800). Only the pricier Golf GTI and Golf R models feature navigation (embarking at $34,095 and $39,375, respectively).
Another fine option is the Honda Civic hatchback, which is all-new for 2017. The Civic can’t match the Golf’s cargo space, but it earns up to thirty one mpg in the city and forty mpg on the highway. The Golf comebacks a decent 25/36 mpg city/highway. The Civic also offers a slightly more substantial suite of active safety features at around the same price point as the Golf (about $21,500 for each). These additions include adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, when optioned with Honda Sensing.
Looking for high spectacle? The 292-horsepower Golf R is surely up to the task. It packs an all-wheel-drive system, along with almost every tech feature you can think of – adjustable shocks, parking sensors, and a Fender sound system. But its spectacle comes with a steep $39,375 price tag. You can buy its 210-horsepower Golf GTI sibling for almost $14,000 less. The 305-horsepower Subaru WRX STI ($35,195) and 350-horsepower Ford Concentrate RS ($36,120) are both less expensive as well.
All in all, the two thousand seventeen Golf may not be the top pick in its class, but it is still a good one.
We Did the Research for You: thirty seven Lumps of Data Analyzed
There’s no shortage of fine and reasonably priced compact cars to choose from, which makes shopping for one even firmer. That’s why we’ve researched thirty seven data points in order to help you make the best buying decision. This data includes reliability scores, crash tests, accomplished reviews, and EPA fuel economy estimates.
The VW Golf was redesigned for the two thousand fifteen model year and has seen few major switches since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the two thousand fifteen through two thousand seventeen model years.
Why You Can Trust Us
Our team has decades of collective practice in the automotive industry, and while we’re sultry about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. Additionally, we don’t accept expensive gifts or take trips paid for by car companies, and the advertising on our site is treated by an outside team.
How Much Does the Volkswagen Golf Cost?
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf hatchback comes in three trim levels: S, Wolfsburg Edition, and Golf R. Notably, Golf TDI diesel models are no longer on sale following emissions infractions.
The Golf S, the base model, is a four-door hatchback that starts at $Nineteen,895. It comes with a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and VW’s Car-Net, which permits you to make, receive, and reply to text messages via voice directives.
The Golf Wolfsburg Edition is fresh for 2017. It’s priced at $21,595, and it comes with heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
Both Golf models come with a 170-horsepower engine, front-wheel drive, and five-speed manual transmission. You can add a six-speed automatic to either trim for $1,100.
For driving enthusiasts with some extra cash, there’s the performance-tuned Volkswagen Golf R, beginning at $39,375. It has all-wheel drive, a 292-horsepower engine, and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available. Standard active safety features include adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and lane departure warning with lane keep assist.
Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for superb savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.
Volkswagen Golf Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Volkswagen Golf or Kia Soul?
The spectacle gap inbetween the Volkswagen Golf and the Kia Soul used to be a mile broad, and the Soul’s lack of oomph was enough for many shoppers to cross it off their lists. That’s no longer the case.
The Soul is available with an optional 201-horsepower turbocharged engine, providing it a significant boost over the standard 170-horsepower Golf. That turbo engine is available beginning at $22,800. That’s a better reason than ever to consider the very practical Soul, which also bests the Golf in cargo space (by 8.6 cubic feet) and passenger space (Trio.Five more inches of rear legroom). The Soul boasts Kia’s lengthy 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty as well – five years and 40,000 miles more than the Golf – and its base trim level is about $Trio,800 cheaper than the standard Golf. That said, the base Soul is stuck with a powerless 130-horsepower engine, and you’ll have to add features like a touch screen or rearview camera.
The Golf is the better handler inbetween the two, it’s a bit more fuel-efficient (25/36 mpg city/highway to the Soul’s 26/31 mpg), and its active safety features are priced better. You can find forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring included in the $21,595 Wolfsburg Edition. Those features are part of a $Four,000 package on the Soul + model, which thrusts its price above $25,800. Both suggest good infotainment systems, and each supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It comes down to this: If you’re after maximum cargo space or high horsepower, or you’re just attempting to spend as little as possible, you ought to do some Soul searching. If zesty treating and safety features top your shopping list, go Golf-ing.
Which Is Better: Volkswagen Golf or Honda Civic?
There’s a reason the Honda Civic is one of the best-selling cars in the USA. The Civic offers a superb mix of features, fuel economy, interior quality, and like the Golf – it’s a joy, sporty car to drive. The Civic is also available in three figure styles – coupe, sedan, and hatchback – whereas all Golf models are four-door hatchbacks.
Truth be told, both are solid compact car picks, especially as hatchbacks. But there are a few key points to consider. Go with the Civic if you’re worried with fuel economy or safety features. While both the Golf and Civic hatchbacks pack zippy turbocharged engines, the Civic earns up to thirty one mpg in the city and forty mpg on the highway. The Golf comes up brief with just 25/36 mpg. It also comes up a hair brief on active safety features. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring are standard in Golf Wolfsburg Editions ($21,595). However, you can buy a Civic hatchback and nab forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, plus lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control for as little as $21,500; sedans cost even less. Both the Civic and Golf are designated as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Golf is a better bet for technophiles tho’. Both support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Golf packs its infotainment system and touch screen in its lowest S trim level ($Nineteen,895). The Civic hatchback’s touch screen is added in the relatively pricey EX models that embark at $22,800. The Golf is also the better cargo hauler of the two, but by a slender 6.Five cubic feet.
Which Is Better: Volkswagen Golf or Mazda3?
The agile Mazda3 sets the standard for how compact cars should drive. Available as a hatchback or sedan, the Mazda3 feels light, spirited, convenient, and well-planted. A pair of anxious and fuel-efficient engines are available (155 and one hundred eighty four horsepower). The Mazda3 also sets a high bar for standard equipment. Even base models are outfitted with a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and push-button embark for as little as $17,845 ($Nineteen,095 for hatchbacks).
The fun-to-drive Golf can’t match that price, but it does suggest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two connectivity features the Mazda3 doesn’t support. If you’re linked at the hip to your iPhone or Android – that could be a deal breaker. Both systems integrate your phone’s controls and functions with the car’s touch screen, which makes dialing a friend, selecting a destination, or searching for music 2nd nature.
The Golf edges the Mazda3 with its spacious cargo room. You can fit an extra Five.6 cubic feet of gear in the back of a Golf. That said, the Mazda3 offers a much more substantial suite of active safety features than the Golf. Unluckily they’re limited to the Mazda3’s top Grand Touring trim level, which starts at a pricey $23,145 ($23,895, hatchbacks). Both earn fine safety scores, tho’ the Mazda3 does net the higher Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS.
Much like the Honda Civic above, you indeed can’t go wrong with either the Golf or the Mazda3. They’re both high in joy and relatively low in price. But if you’re pinching pennies, you can buy the Mazda3 for less. And that’s a good enough reason to get one.
How Many People Does the Golf Seat?
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf hatchback has seating for five. Its front seats are convenient, even on long trips, and they provide excellent bolstering to keep you in place without causing discomfort. Both the front and back seats suggest slew of space, but if you’re indeed looking to spread out in the 2nd row, the Kia Soul is a better fit thanks to its ample 39.1 inches of rear legroom (Three.Five inches more than the Golf). Regardless, the Golf’s cabin feels large inwards and does a good job of keeping outside noises at bay.
Cloth upholstery is standard, while leatherette and heated front seats are outfitted on Wolfsburg Edition models. The Golf R comes fitted with leather upholstery and front sport seats (with 12-way power adjustments on the driver’s seat). These seats provide excellent hip-hugging support for enthusiastic driving on a racetrack but feel a bit taut and lack convenience on longer drives.
Golf and Car Seats
The Golf’s LATCH system includes lower child-seat anchors in its outboard rear seats and an upper tether anchor for all three rear seats. Car seats can be lightly installed in the Golf with quick access to the anchors. Forward-facing child seats do have some overhang that requires the front seats to be moved up slightly, but it still leaves ample room up front.
Golf Interior Quality
The VW Golf earns praise for its near-luxury level cabin. There are soft-touch, high-quality materials and attractive finishes everywhere – from the dashboard to the door panels. Even the interior’s plastic surfaces feel solid, and the piano-black and brushed aluminum accents add a hint of elegance. The Golf’s sightlines are also very good – thanks to its large windows – making it an effortless car to see out of.
The Golf isn’t the only compact car with an upscale interior, however. The Kia Soul, Honda Civic, and Mazda3 all earn praise for their cabins’ first-class materials, cool styling, and superb technology.
Golf Cargo Space
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most capable cargo haulers in its class. The Golf boasts 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place. Fold them down and you’ll find 52.7 cubic feet of room – enough for a duo of bicycles, a few dining room chairs, or bulkier items like a dresser. Most compact cars – including sedans and hatchbacks – don’t come close to that amount of storage space. Only a few can surpass it. The Kia Soul offers up to 61.Three cubic feet, and the Subaru Impreza hatchback can pack in 55.Trio cubic feet.
Not only is the two thousand seventeen Golf’s cargo area vast, but it’s also effortless to access thanks to a low, flat-load floor. Inwards the cabin, there’s slew of storage space for petite items, and there’s even a cooled glove box.
Golf Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Even the least expensive two thousand seventeen Golf S includes a feast of high-tech features. The standard infotainment system comes with a 6.5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, eight speakers, and VW’s App Connect, which permits you to access some of your beloved smartphone apps on the touch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported as well, which isn’t always the case in base models from competitors. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?
One minor frustration is navigation. It’s only available in the pricier Golf R, however you can work around this by using the map features included within CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Golf’s dashboard is slanted toward the driver, which makes it effortless for you to adjust climate control or infotainment settings while on the road. The touch screen’s menus are straightforward as well, and its large virtual buttons are effortless to operate. Still, some rivals have larger touch screens with sharper graphics. The Golf R has a high-end Fender sound system, in addition to navigation.
Golf Engine: A Nice Boost of Power
The Golf’s 170-horsepower, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine produces quick acceleration, so passing slower cars on the highway is effortless. That makes the Golf a standout car in the class, as few competitors have such strong engines in their base models. However, you will notice some turbo lag when accelerating from a total stop. This engine comes in Golf S and Wolfsburg Edition models, both of which are front-wheel drive.
This peppy motor is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which shifts sleekly, just not fairly as slick as some competitors’ transmissions (like the Mazda3). The available six-speed automatic (an $1,100 option), while prompt and slick at higher speeds, can at times lag and hunt for gears at lower speeds.
Need more power? The VW Golf R has a 292-horsepower, turbocharged Two.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic is available ($1,100). The Golf R is a fine match for spectacle rivals like the Ford Concentrate ST and Subaru WRX STI, tho’ the 350-horsepower Concentrate RS holds an edge.
Golf Gas Mileage: Good, Not Superb
The two thousand seventeen VW Golf earns average fuel economy for the compact car class. When tooled with its five-speed manual transmission, the Golf can achieve up to twenty five mpg in the city and thirty six mpg on the highway. With the automatic transmission, estimates are a hair worse at 25/35 mpg city/highway.
If you want a more fuel-efficient option, consider the Mazda3 or Honda Civic hatchbacks. With an automatic transmission, the Mazda3 gets up to 28/37 mpg. The Honda Civic earns 31/40 mpg when tooled with its continuously variable automatic transmission.
The high-performance Golf R is thirstier than the standard model. It can hit 22/31 mpg with its six-speed manual transmission and 23/30 mpg with its automatic. That said, this tops the sporty Ford Concentrate ST and RS models (22/30 and Nineteen/25 mpg, respectively), as well as the Subaru WRX and WRX STI (20/27 and 17/23 mpg).
Notably, the turbodiesel Golf TDI models are no longer on sale due to emissions violations.
Golf Rail and Treating: A Well-Rounded Cruiser
With its puny turning radius, quick steering, and composed rail, the front-wheel drive VW Golf feels at home on both curvy roads and busy city streets. Overall, it’s well-composed, and its electrically assisted steering feels adequately weighted when cornering. The Golf’s suspension does a good job of absorbing bumps and potholes too, keeping its rail comfy and slick. Its brakes provide stable stopping power as well.
However the Golf is one of the more athletic cars in the class, it’s not alone. Rivals like the Ford Concentrate, Honda Civic, and Mazda3 hatchbacks are also very agile and joy to drive. Need all-wheel drive? Every Subaru Impreza hatchback packs all-wheel drive, which is a fine feature for those in snowier climates.
The Golf R kicks things up a notch. Its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system provides sensational grip, permitting for brisk cornering speeds and instant steering response. Its rail is noticeably firmer, but not harsh, and it’s adjustable using the car’s Dynamic Chassis Control system (a standard feature).
Is the Volkswagen Golf Reliable?
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf receives a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is average. By comparison, the Kia Soul (Four.Five), Honda Civic (Three.Five), and Chevrolet Cruze (Three.Five) hatchbacks all score higher. The Toyota Corolla sedan leads the segment with a ideal five out of five rating.
Volkswagen Golf Warranty
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile fresh car limited warranty (often called “bumper-to-bumper coverage”) and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
This length of coverage is fairly typical for the segment, however, standouts include the Kia Soul and Hyundai Elantra GT, which are both supported by a long 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Golf Crash Test Results
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the two thousand seventeen Golf four out of five starlets in frontal and rollover crash tests and five starlets in the side crash test. These crash test ratings result in a five-star overall score. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Golf its top rating in all five crash test categories and names it a Top Safety Pick.
By comparison, the Kia Soul, Mazda3, and Honda Civic hatchbacks all receive five-star overall scores from the NHTSA as well, however, the Mazda3 is also named a two thousand seventeen IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
Golf Safety Features
The VW Golf S comes standard with a rearview camera. The Wolfsburg Edition features forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert – that’s a pretty amazing list for this trim’s $21,595 price tag.
The Golf R adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic on/off high slats.
Which Volkswagen Golf Model Is Right for Me?
You’ll likely be blessed with either of the two thousand seventeen Golf models – the Golf S or Wolfsburg Edition. The Golf S makes the most sense if you’re penny-pinching. Its $Nineteen,895 price gets you a lot, including a 6.5-inch touch screen, satellite radio, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And with a peppy one hundred seventy horsepower, it’s joy to drive too. That should tick most boxes for technophiles and casual commuters.
Stepping up to the $21,595 Golf Wolfsburg Edition does have its perks however. You get heated front seats, a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning (with automatic emergency braking). That’s pretty good value if you’re looking for active safety features. It’s close to what you’d pay for a Honda Civic hatchback with its total safety suite (however that adds adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning).
Unless you desire the Golf R’s punchy 292-horsepower engine or its lengthy equipment list, you’re better off to just overlook this pricey hot hatchback.
Volkswagen Golf S
The base model Golf S arrives very well-equipped for its $Nineteen,895 price tag. Standard tech features include a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a CD player, eight speakers, a USB port, and an emergency crash-response system. Convenience features include heated and power-adjustable mirrors, a chilled glove box, cruise control, power doors and windows, and shift paddles (in automatic models only). Cloth upholstery is standard.
All Golf S models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with one hundred seventy horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, a six-speed automatic is optional ($1,100).
Volkswagen Golf Wolfsburg Edition
The Golf Wolfsburg Edition ($21,595) adds a sunroof, heated front seats, keyless entry, push-button commence, leatherette upholstery, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing wipers.
Volkswagen Golf R
The Volkswagen Golf R ($39,375) features a Two.0-liter engine with 292-horsepower, 4Motion all-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional ($1,100).
The Golf R also adds sport seats, leather upholstery, navigation, a spectacle data monitor (g-force, boost pressure, oil temperature), adjustable suspension, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assists, lane departure warning, parking sensors, adaptive headlights, automatic on/off high bars, a Fender sound system, automatic climate control, and enhanced voice recognition.
Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for fine savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.
The Final Call
The two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf is one of the few cars that sates as both a daily driver and a fun-to-drive cruiser. You can flow up the hatchback with a vast 52.7 cubic feet of gear, and once you’re done with the shopping run, you can carve along twisting, hilly roads. The Golf’s 170-horsepower engine feels swift and spirited, and despite some slight hesitations with the automatic transmission, it treats the turbocharged engine’s power well.
Standard features are also abundant. Even the cheapest $Nineteen,865 Golf S packs a touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Active safety features like blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning are even standard in Wolfsburg Edition models, which commence at just $21,595. All in all, the Golf – like the Mazda3 and Honda Civic hatchbacks – is a joy, safe, and practical option if you’re in the market for a compact car. But if cargo space tops your shopping list, the Kia Soul still holds an edge.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "It’s possible to own a practical-minded car and still get a luxury-car-like practice. We think two thousand seventeen Volkswagen Golf will impress you with its versatile hatchback design, upscale and well-equipped interior, and turbocharged engine that’s both peppy and fuel-efficient." — Edmunds
- "The VW Golf for two thousand sixteen offers European-inspired treating, safety and interior design, which make even the most basic Golf feel more polished and upscale than most domestic and Asian competitors." — Kelley Blue Book (2016)
- "… the two thousand fifteen Volkswagen Golf is lightly one of the top compact hatchbacks in the game. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, sophisticated car in this segment, you should give the fresh Golf a go." — Autotrader (2015)