2017 Volkswagen Golf
- Squared-off hatchback design provides lots of room for cargo
- Premium interior materials
- Engine is powerful and fuel-efficient
- Automatic transmission doesn't shift as responsively or intuitively as we prefer
- Fewer luxury and convenience features offered than on rival hatchbacks
2017 Volkswagen Golf pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
If you're interested in a car with a small footprint, economical engine and sizable cargo area, it's a great idea to look at a compact hatchback. Although this segment has numerous entries (most automakers with compact sedans offer a hatchback version), the 2017 Volkswagen Golf is one of the best. Volkswagen has been refining its world-dominating hatch over four decades, and it shows with the Golf's classy cabin and a sophisticated ride quality. And unlike years past, you don't have to pay a hefty premium to get into a well-equipped Golf.
Both Golf trims are less expensive than their 2016 counterparts, in part due to a consolidation of the lineup. VW has discontinued the two-door Golf and reduced the number of trim levels from four to two. The deletion of the two-door and its base trim means the Golf S is the new entry-level model. Last year's SE model has been replaced by the significantly less expensive Wolfsburg Edition trim, with only the SE's Fender audio system and 17-inch wheels not making the transition. The top-range SEL has also been discontinued, as have the eye-catching Lighting and safety-tech-heavy Driver Assistance packages.
It's an odd change for Golf, which, in recent years, we viewed as a slightly more upscale and expensive choice for a hatchback. This 2017 Golf is still quite desirable, but there's less stuff to help it stand out. Some high-end features can still be found on the Mazda 3, which offers sporty styling and handling to boot. Another strong contender is the Honda Civic, which comes in a hatchback version this year. Other smart choices include the new Chevrolet Cruze hatch, the popular Ford Focus and the value-packed Kia Forte. Overall, though, the Golf 's first-class cabin and punchy engine help it stay one of our top picks.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, hill hold assist, a rearview camera, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A post-crash braking system is also standard and automatically applies the brakes after an impact to reduce the likelihood of a secondary crash. The Wolfsburg Edition trim includes forward collision warning, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
Also standard is VW's Car-Net emergency telematics system, with features that include automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Golf with 18-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is a good result for this class.
In government crash tests, the Volkswagen Golf earned a perfect rating of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Golf earned the highest rating of Good in tests for moderate-overlap and small-overlap front-impact tests. It also earned a Good score in the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
2017 Volkswagen Golf configurations
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf four-door hatchback is available in two trim levels: S and Wolfsburg Edition. The all-electric e-Golf, sporty Golf GTI and high-performance Golf R are similar models but are reviewed separately.
Standard features for the Golf S include 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, air-conditioning, cruise control, a driver information display, height-adjustable manual front seats (with power recline and manual lumbar adjustment), a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through, a cooled glovebox, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input, a USB port, HD and satellite radio and smartphone integration (VW's Car-Net App-Connect that features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink). Opting for the automatic transmission adds steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Upgrading to the Wolfsburg Edition model adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, imitation leather (premium vinyl) upholstery, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The only option is a set of 18-inch wheels, available for either trim.
Powering the 2017 VW Golf is a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. Rated power output is 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque with the automatic. On manual-equipped Golfs, engine torque is limited to 184 lb-ft.
The EPA estimates for this engine are 29 mpg combined (25 city/35 highway) with the automatic. The manual-transmission model also gets 29 mpg combined. These are decent figures, though some top rival hatchbacks do even better. On our mixed driving evaluation route, we managed to achieve an impressive 32 mpg from a loaded Golf with the automatic.
In Edmunds testing, this same Golf accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, making it one of the quicker cars in the small sedan/hatchback class with a base engine.
Thanks to the 170 hp on tap from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf feels more powerful than most other small hatchbacks or sedans. The punchy engine makes overtaking cars on the highway uneventful, with smooth, quick downshifts coming from the snappy automatic transmission. Driving in heavy traffic reveals some faults, though. The car tends to lurch from a standstill, and the transmission has trouble figuring out which gear it wants to be in during low-speed travel. If you don't mind rowing your own, getting the five-speed manual is a solution; it's also easy to shift thanks to a light-effort clutch pedal and distinct shift gates.
On a typical commute, the Golf delivers a comfortable and compliant ride quality that smooths ruts and potholes with ease. Its small footprint and large windows make it an easy car to see out of and park in tight spaces. Around turns, the Golf goes where you point it, but it's not particularly sporty. Competitors such as the Civic, Focus and Mazda 3 feel tauter and are generally more fun to drive with enthusiasm.
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf's interior features attractive plastics that are soft to the touch and a cabin design that is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty. Buttons and switches are placed close to the driver and offer intuitive, simple control. Honestly, there isn't much of a difference between a well-loaded Golf and entry-level luxury cars such as the Acura ILX, Mercedes-Benz CLA or Audi A3.
Every Golf comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen as standard. It's a little small by 2017 standards, and the graphics aren't supersharp, but otherwise there's a lot to like. It has an intuitive menu structure and large virtual buttons. Another positive attribute is standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink functionality. These systems allow you to easily integrate, display and use many of the apps from your smartphone, including Spotify and Audible.
Front seats provide ample support and comfort, even during long-distance driving stints, and not at the sacrifice of rear passengers. The Golf's ample legroom and shoulder room make the small hatch feel big. There's enough room in back to make the Golf a viable family vehicle, although adults will find the low-mounted rear seat cushions somewhat uncomfortable. Up to 22.8 cubic feet of cargo can be accommodated behind the rear seats, while folding the seats flat provides a substantial 52.7 cubic feet of space.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
2017 Volkswagen Golf for Sale
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf is that most logical of vehicles: a small, front-drive hatchback. But as space efficient and fuel efficient as hatchbacks can be, they've too often been stigmatized as cheap and poorly made. Don't believe it. The Golf drives like the sophisticated, refined and comfortable car it is. And inside the fittings are elegantly and logically designed using high-quality materials. The Golf is the affordable hatchback that doesn't feel compromised.
VW introduced the Golf way back in 1974 (it was called the Rabbit over here until 1984, and then again from 2006 to 2009), and the carmaker has been relentlessly honing its talents ever since. This is in fact the seventh generation of the Golf, and it's built atop VW's still fresh and impressive Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB is the German acronym) architecture. So maybe the most surprising thing about the 2017 edition is that it's actually less expensive than the 2016 model. Go figure.
Some of those savings can be directly attributed to VW's decision to simplify the lineup in the United States. First, the three-door model has been axed, while the remaining five-door is now limited to only two models: the low-end S and the better equipped, but value-oriented, Wolfsburg Edition. The top-end SEL has also been eliminated. Some features from last year's mainstream SE model, like the Fender audio system and 17-inch wheels, have migrated over to the Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg, incidentally, is the German town where Volkswagen is headquartered. And yes, the Golf sold in the United States is made there in VW's massive assembly plant. Plan your vacations accordingly. VW builds other models in North American plants, such as the larger Passat sedan in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the smaller Jetta sedan in Pueblo, Mexico. The Golf is, by far, the cheapest new car sold in the United States that's built in Germany.
All Golf hatchbacks sold in the United States use a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower. Specialty Golf models like the Sportwagen, GTI, R, Alltrack and electric e-Golf are considered separate models by VW and covered elsewhere. So shopping is an adventure!
Running either the standard five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, the Golf is EPA-rated at 29 mpg combined (25 city/35 highway). The popular and fuel-thrifty TDI diesel models have been discontinued because, well, you know, VW doesn't want to talk about that right now.
The Golf isn't alone in the hatchback market, so make use of all the tools here on Edmunds to inform your best decision and get a great deal from a dependable dealer. After all, that's why you're on this site, right?
2017 Volkswagen Golf Overview
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf is offered in the following submodels: Golf Hatchback. Available styles include TSI Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TSI Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A).
What do people think of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Golf 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Golf.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Golf featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2017 Volkswagen Golf?
2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $29,135. The average price paid for a new 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $7,335 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $7,335 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$21,800.
The average savings for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is25.2% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,585. The average price paid for a new 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $7,885 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $7,885 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$18,700.
The average savings for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is29.7% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2017 Volkswagen Golfs are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Volkswagen Golf for sale near. There are currently 2 new 2017 Golfs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,585 and mileage as low as 4 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $7,885 on a used or CPO 2017 Golf available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2017 Volkswagen Golfs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Volkswagen Golf for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,221.
Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $18,909.
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 Volkswagen Golf?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Volkswagen lease specials