You are going to be hearing a lot about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf during the next few months. This is the time of year when iconic automotive organizations, magazines and experts bestow their awards on the best cars of the year. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is one of three finalists for the 2015 North American Car of the Year award, up against the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford Mustang. While at first glance, it might seem that winning is a long shot, consider that the Golf GTI has already been declared Motor Trend Magazine's Car of the Year, and even Yahoo's Car of the Year. Perhaps it is time for a closer look.
It has been 30 years since the Golf won Motor Trend's top nod. At that time, it fell into the domestic category, since it was manufactured in Pennsylvania. This year, it was nearly unanimously chosen by judges after displaying a strong performance in each of their six categories: advancement in design, efficiency, engineering excellence, performance of intended function, safety, and value. Motor Trend calls the 2015 Volkswagen Golf a "jackrabbit of all trades."
On the design front, the 2015 Golf is not fancy, but it has definitely grown sleeker and sportier than it's predecessor. Visually, it appeals to both the young and old, a rare accomplishment in automotive. Inside, attention to detail and refinement are immediately evident.
Fuel economy has improved in the 2015, thanks to improved engine efficiency and weight reduction. The Golf is also available in both diesel and electric versions, for even greater efficiency. Gains in fuel economy have not hindered performance, as the TDI model makes up it's horsepower issues with greater torque.
The Golf is riding on Volkswagen's new front-engine, front-wheel drive platform. Comments from those analyzing the Golf's engineering ranged from "Feels so incredibly well-built" to "Rides and feels like a segment above." All of this despite the 2015 being about 200 pounds lighter and toting around a larger body, one that offers more room in the back seat and cargo areas.
Each of the Golf's variants is made with different priorities, ranging from fuel savers, eco-friendly tech junkies, commuters to off the beaten path travellers. Each version of the Golf fulfills it's intended function, meeting the needs and priorities it sets out to. A Golf for every driver. On top of those, it fits tall occupants comfortably, offering more cabin space than some midsize sedans, plus generous cargo space.
Safety-wise, the Golf has earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating -- the highest possible and even survived the tough new small-overlap front crash test.
In terms of value, the Golf is not the cheapest in it's segment, but it's reasonably priced, especially considering that it is a full package normally found a little higher up the chain. Owners are getting a lot of bang for their buck, a quality car that instils pride of ownership without breaking the bank.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca