2011 Volkswagen Golf Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Volkswagen Golf

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Golf Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Volkswagen Golf

  • The 2011 Volkswagen Golf delivers a rare combination of economy and refinement, standing out among worthy competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent interior materials; available diesel engine; versatile hatchback body style; refined driving dynamics; stylish look inside and out.

  • Cons

    Many desirable features unavailable on base model.

  • What's New for 2011

    Outside of a few features being shuffled around, the Volkswagen Golf remains unchanged for 2011.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

One of the best

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

Sold the lexus, kept the golf. Smoother, better on bumps, much better on highway, handling is vastly superior, reliability is equal or better (that's been our experience). Es 350 is slightly quieter, but the handling and ride are demonstrably inferior.




Big disappointment

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)

This car was underwhelming. Coming from a 200 HP Saab, I did not mind the weak engine except the manual transmission would fight any attempt to downshift quickly. The heater/AC moved so little air that you were either cold/hot or had to listen to the fan drone away on high. The steering feel was nonexistent. You could not feel the front end break loose on snow. The final straw was a fuel cut off that caused it to die in traffic if short shifted. It was fun to make fun of the driver who stalled in traffic until we were hit from behind because the car would just stop without brake lights. There was no warning. You would be driving in slowing traffic and it would stop.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Best bang for your buck

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

I've driven 8 beaters in my life (trucks and cars) then a 2008 BMW 335i and then this Golf 2.5 gas, manual, 3DR hatch and this car is a solid 4.5/5. I dont write reviews but this car is so good I had to. I've owned for 2 years and it has 40k miles on it. The engine, interior, and styling make this car. Gas mileage is incredible even above sticker, I consistently get 31 mpg mixed use and I drive it hard. This car is a great value cause the comparable honda or subaru is $3-5k more. You may have costly repairs or quirky electronic issues at the 8 year/100k mark but you saved that money in the front end.




Fun for a while...

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Fun with utility thanks to its hatchback nature, but it does fall short in a few ways that may be a deal breaker for some. Road noise - It may be the result of being a small hatch' or the fact that there seems to be no sound insulation, but the interior of this car is loud. When I say loud, I mean very loud. Driving over concrete or rough pavement will make you plead for mercy. Quality: The soft materials are nice but the construction is lacking. Interior rattles abundant, loud engine noises, suspension squeaks and creaks, thin paint (chips constantly). Comfort: Nice sport seats but uncomfortable on long drives. Deal Breaker: 25mpg (hwy+city) in a small car (VW can do better).



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Big car in little car

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

Our family was looking to add a 3rd car(teenage driver) and we wanted an economical and versatile small car. After searching all over we discovered VW through consumer reports and a great, patient salesman. I am a big man(6'4") and the Golf appears to be the smallest car we drove but it is a magic car, more interior room than it appears. Our family of 4 fits comfortably, even with the dog. Completed a 6 hour road trip with minimal complaining from the family. It is great fun to drive. Great handling with great power on the highway. In fact it is the highway/autobahn driving that separates this car from others in the size class.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Love the mileage

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Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)

Had a problem the first week with a sensor that required a tow to the dealer to have replaced, ("never saw anything like this before") and a recall to replace a minor part a few weeks ago. Thus the 4 vs 5 for depedability. Otherwise, this has been a wonderful car. Bought it with gas mileage in mind, and get 38 around town, 48 - 52 on the highway, depending on how far I drive. I'm a conservative driver. When needed, it has plenty of power. Fits both me (5'10") and my 6'2" husband comfortably. Only thing I'd do differently is get a 4 door. So much easier for passengers.



Full 2011 Volkswagen Golf Review

What's New for 2011

Outside of a few features being shuffled around, the Volkswagen Golf remains unchanged for 2011.

Introduction

Getting more for your money is elusive no matter what you happen to be purchasing. Imagine your Starbucks barista saying, "Thanks for your order. Here's some gold bullion as a token of our gratitude." Or, "Here's your new 2011 Volkswagen Golf; we decided to upgrade you to an Audi free of charge." That latter buying fantasy may not be so far-fetched, however, as the Golf delivers Audi-like refinement, style and versatility without breaking the bank.

Compared to other vehicles in its class, the VW Golf feels positively upscale. Its interior puts others to shame (including VW's own 2011 Jetta) thanks to a sophisticated design, top-notch materials and all-around comfort. Add in optional niceties like a premium Dynaudio stereo and a navigation system and the fairly economical Golf can begin to feel like a near luxury car.

The advantages continue under the hood, with a choice of a punchy 2.5-liter inline-5 engine or a highly fuel-efficient turbodiesel rated at 42 mpg on the highway. The rest of the Golf is up to the task as well, with a solid on-road feel, precise steering and confidence-inspiring handling. Much of the Golf's goodness comes courtesy of a redesign last year.

If you're shopping in this segment, you'll find that the 2011 Mazda 3 offers sharper handling and more cargo capacity, but its interior can't match the Golf in either design or quality. The more affordable 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring is also worthy of consideration given its space, features and sporty leanings, as is the personable 2011 Mini Cooper, though its higher price and lack of space are difficult to ignore. In the end, the 2011 Volkswagen Golf rises to the top by exceeding expectations and delivering that all-so-elusive impression, "more for the money."

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a compact hatchback offered in either two- or four-door configurations and in one of two trim levels: 2.5L or TDI. The base 2.5L includes 15-inch steel wheels, heated outside mirrors, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, metallic interior trim and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player.

Besides swapping the gasoline engine for a diesel, the TDI trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels; foglights; a sport suspension; a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls; floor mats; a leather-wrapped shift knob and brake lever; split-folding rear seats with a center armrest and pass-through; Bluetooth; and an upgraded sound system with touchscreen controls, an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio and an iPod interface. With either trim level, four-door models gain power-reclining front seats.

Options for both models include a Cold Weather package (heated front seats and washer nozzles) and a sunroof. Bluetooth is further optional on the 2.5L. The TDI models can be equipped with adaptive xenon headlights, a premium Dynaudio sound system, a navigation system and (on four-door models) rear seat airbags.

Powertrains and Performance

The base 2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. These Golf models are classified as partial-zero-emissions vehicles (PZEV) when sold in states with California emissions standards. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined for the automatic and 22/30/25 mpg for the manual.

The Golf TDI receives a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that puts out a modest 140 hp but an impressive 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (DSG) is optional. EPA fuel economy estimates come in at an impressive 30/41/34 mpg with the regular manual, while DSG improves highway mileage to 42.

Safety

The 2011 VW Golf's standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are unavailable on two-door models, but are optional on four-door models. In government crash tests, the four-door Golf with the optional rear side airbags received four stars out of five for frontal impact protection and a perfect five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Golf with its highest score of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Simply replacing the VW logo on the Golf's steering wheel with four rings would convince you that you were in an Audi. That's how nice the Golf's interior is. Among other compact hatchbacks, the Volkswagen's blend of top-shelf materials, refined design and quality workmanship place it far above all others. The Golf is actually much nicer than the new 2011 VW Jetta sedan.

Whether you choose the two- or four-door route, the Golf's interior passenger space remains the same. For those who plan on shuttling multiple passengers, the four-door is the obvious choice, offering a surprisingly large backseat that's notably more spacious than that of a Mazda 3. Access to the two-door Golf's rear seats is made relatively painless thanks to front seats that slide easily out of the way. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area can hold up to 12.4 cubic feet -- double the capacity of a Mini Cooper, but about average for other hatchbacks. The split-folding rear seats bump that figure up to 46 cubes.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Volkswagen Golf's high level of interior refinement is echoed in its composed, solid feel on the road. At highway speeds, the Golf is significantly quieter than other hatchbacks. Alternately, you can take it out on a curvy road and the well-weighted steering will inspire confidence. The Golf's gasoline engine provides smooth power throughout the rev range. Opting for the turbodiesel will get you an abundance of low-end torque and considerable gains in fuel economy without the traditional diesel clatter from under the hood.

Talk About The 2011 Golf

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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