2014 Volkswagen Golf Diesel Review | Edmunds.com

2014 Volkswagen Golf Diesel

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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 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 4000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/42 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2014 Volkswagen Golf

  • The 2014 Volkswagen Golf may be in its final year of production, but it's still one of the most rewarding compact cars on the market.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Class-leading cabin quality; fuel-efficient, torque-rich diesel engine; versatile hatchback design; adult-sized backseat; excellent road manners.

  • Cons

    Inefficient base gasoline engine; diesel version can get pricey; no Bluetooth on base 2.5L model.

  • What's New for 2014

    All 2014 VW Golfs come with four doors, as the two-door body style has been discontinued. The 2.5L model is no longer offered with a manual transmission. Also, the 2.5L Convenience package has been discontinued, as has the desirable TDI Tech package.

Full 2014 Volkswagen Golf Review

What's New for 2014

All 2014 VW Golfs come with four doors, as the two-door body style has been discontinued. The 2.5L model is no longer offered with a manual transmission. Also, the 2.5L Convenience package has been discontinued, as has the desirable TDI Tech package.


Some cars limp down the home stretch, but the 2014 Volkswagen Golf is still in full stride. Although a new, fully redesigned VW Golf hatchback will debut next year, the current Golf remains a desirable pick in its class. It takes a pretty special car to pull this off -- the BMW 3 Series has made a habit of it, but it's hard to think of other examples. Bottom line, Volkswagen got most things right with this Golf, and we'll be sad to see it go.

OK, well, there is one thing that we won't miss at all: the Golf's standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. Rated at just 26 mpg combined with the now-mandatory automatic transmission, the 2.5's fuel economy pales in comparison to the engines in the VW's main rivals. But opt for the admittedly pricey TDI model and you'll get a turbocharged diesel four-cylinder that delivers plenty of low-end power and an impressive EPA rating of 34 mpg combined (including 42 mpg highway).

In practically every other respect, the 2014 Golf is a winner. It drives down the road with a solid, European feel that's unusual for a small car like this. You'll also be pleased with the upscale interior that wouldn't look out of place in an Audi. The backseat is exceptionally adult-friendly, accommodating two 6-footers with unexpected ease. Similarly, just fold down those rear seats and the Golf's relatively boxy shape is ideal for loading up bulky items.

As accomplished as the Golf is, certain competitors also merit strong consideration. Chief among them is the redesigned 2014 Mazda 3, which approaches the VW in cabin quality -- albeit with a more cramped backseat -- and offers sharper handling reflexes. The 2014 Ford Focus mostly mirrors the Mazda's pros and cons, and the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT is a stylish, well-rounded entrant with a strong value proposition. Within this group, though, we're pleased to see that this old favorite is finishing strong.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf is a five-passenger hatchback offered solely with four doors this year. There are two trim levels, 2.5L and TDI, indicating the selected engine. The performance-oriented GTI is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment on the base 2.5L includes 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-reclining front seats, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The 2.5L Convenience & Sunroof package adds a sunroof, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, iPod/USB integration, a touchscreen interface and satellite radio.

The well-equipped Golf TDI starts with the 2.5L's standard features and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a lowered sport-tuned suspension, foglights and the contents of the Convenience & Sunroof package except the sunroof.

The TDI Sunroof & Navigation package adds, yessiree Bob, the sunroof and a navigation system. All Golfs can also be equipped with a sport body kit that includes a rear spoiler (also available separately).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L is motivated by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. In states with California emissions, this engine can be classified with the partial-zero-emissions vehicles (PZEV) tailpipe standard. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/30 mpg highway), which is considerably less efficient than the Golf's primary rivals.

The Golf TDI gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder that puts out a modest 140 hp but a robust 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automated manual (DSG) is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a Golf TDI with the conventional manual cantered from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy with either transmission is excellent at 34 mpg combined (30 mpg city/42 mpg highway).


Standard safety features for the 2014 Volkswagen Golf include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, a Golf TDI stopped from 60 mph in 121 feet -- a solid showing for this segment.

In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Golf received the highest possible score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. Its seat/head-restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

There aren't many small cars that impart a genuinely premium vibe from behind the wheel, but the Golf has been doing it for years. Low-gloss, high-quality materials spruce up the dashboard and door panels, while restrained lines and classy color combinations make the cabin seem more mature than most. There are a couple downsides, including a lack of useful interior storage and the navigation system's small screen, which makes it harder to view the map and limits its overall usefulness.

The 2014 Golf's front seats are a highlight, delivering firm support along with driver and passenger height adjustability: a rarity in this class. And if backseat space is a priority, don't be fooled by the compact exterior. Even with tall adults situated up front, there's room in back for a couple full-size passengers, making the Golf a wonderfully space-efficient alternative to today's hefty family sedans. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area measures 15.2 cubic feet; fold down the 60/40-split rear seatbacks and you've got an impressive 46 cubes.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf's tidy dimensions and supple, well-controlled ride make it a perfect around-town runabout, but it's a different animal on the highway. You don't expect a compact hatchback to command the road like this. High-speed stability is impeccable, and although tire noise is a frequent companion, it's modest by class standards. The Golf isn't quite as self-assured on twisty roads (the Mazda 3 and Focus outdo it here) but there's respectable athleticism to be found if you're looking for it.

In the engine room, the base 2.5 serves up sprightly acceleration when you get on it, but its fuel economy and lack of refinement are real drawbacks. The TDI, on the other hand, comes up aces, providing stellar fuel economy along with great drivability thanks to all that torque. It pairs well to either the easy-to-use manual transmission or the automated, quick-shifting DSG. The DSG does exhibit a noticeable delay between the time the gas pedal is pressed and when the engine actually responds, but most owners get used to this behavior in time. There's a similar story with the Golf's brakes, where a committed effort to press the pedal is more confidence-inspiring than a casual one.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Very happy- vw golf tdi

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

I purchased this car back in November 2013 to replace a 2002 Acura TL. Very happy I did. The fuel economy is outstanding- averaging 34 MPG with about 95% city driving. Easily getting over 42 MPG on the highway. Huge upgrade from the 20 MPG I was getting from the Acura. The ride comfort is amazing considering the small wheel base. The seats are outstanding and incredibly comfortable on long trips. The engine is smooth but gets a little loud when pressed hard. Not a big deal. The paddle shifters are fun to use allow for quick passing maneuvers when needed. The DSG transmission is great and works very well. I usually prefer manual transmissions but this one is just that good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Room for the linebacker

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

I purchased this VW Golf TDI in Jacksonville, FL in May 2013 after driving it and inspecting it on a hydraulic rack in dealer's garage. It drives exceptionally well as it exudes this rock-solid feel of German build-quality as well as the odd diesel clatter. The comforts are spartan, but there is more than enough head and leg room for me and my friends. After driving it 11k and experiencing the good dealer support for the car at Osteen VW, I would highly recommend the VW Golf TDI based upon its performance, price, and apparent quality.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2013 volkswagen golf tdi w/

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

I just purchased the vehicle and love it! The car is extremely fun to drive. One of the main reasons was the TDI option providing over 42+ MPG which is just phenom. I was used to getting about 17Mpg-23Mpg at best in a previous vehicle. Time to go more economical and practical. The car is 4 doors and White. Looks just sweet and awesome. Really a fun car and there are so many pluses about this model.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2010 golf tdi endures

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

Those of you with new Golf TDI's, you did the right thing! I bought mine new in May 05 and am constantly reminded that I did the right thing! City/highway mpg is 37/43. On interstates with the cruise at 77-mph, I average 43-mpg. On secondary roads with cruise at 60-mph, I average 45-mph! Have had NO warranty issues - a well-built car!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Golf tdi (dsg auto)

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

I purchased this car strictly for fuel savings and putting a lots of miles. The car far surpasses the rated 30mpg/city, I get routinely over 35mpg city. This is a heck of a car, well built, quiet and quick, very well equipped as well. I got the 3 year free maintenance. and a 0% finance for up to 72 months through Volkswagen financing. I also got the car for $500 below invoice so I know I scored. I am currently saving about $150.month just on gas alone(diesel), I am doing over 1000 miles/month and like I said the savings are significant.

Fun and efficient

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

Test drove: Passat TDI, Accord, Camry Hybrid, Audi A3 TDI, Acura TL... Love Audi A3 TDI fun ride and look, but too expensive. Almost bought Golf TDI on the first test drive, but prefer to wait for 2015 Golf TDI/2014 Mazda 3. I test drove Passat TDI 2 weeks later, end up bought a 2013 Golf TDI with huge discount. No regret. After 25+yrs with Japanese mid-size sedans, very happy with my first German car. High fun factor, quick acceleration, great steering and road feel, quiet at cruising, good brakes. 36-38mpg suburb, 43-51mpg on highway. Larger/quieter/cheaper than A3 TDI, with high quality interior. Sport tires can be noisy on very coarse road. Later, have to go for a drive now.. :)

Talk About The 2014 Golf

Gas Mileage


  • 30
  • cty
  • 42
  • highway
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Identifix Reliability Ratings

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