2014 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback - FROM $
A subtle cosmetic makeover, slightly larger dimensions, dramatically reduced weight and a more efficient base engine should keep the 2014 Volkswagen Golf at a level that few rivals can match.
What's New for 2014
The Volkswagen Golf will be redesigned for 2014.
A sleek new Audi or lustrous new Bentley makes a good headline, but if the Volkswagen Group is to achieve its eventual goal of outselling Toyota and General Motors worldwide, it can't afford to miss with the redesigned 2014 Volkswagen Golf. You can't blame Volkswagen for playing it safe with the iconic hatchback's profile; the new Golf looks familiar, with new headlights and taillights (to incorporate LEDs on some models) and slightly crisper styling being the main changes for the new model.
The more significant changes are hidden from view. Riding on a new platform shared with models like the new Audi A3, the seventh-generation Golf is 2.2 inches longer and a half-inch wider than its predecessor. VW has also lowered the roof line more than an inch, reportedly without affecting headroom. The new Golf weighs in 220 pounds lighter than before, helping to improve fuel economy in the face of tighter European and U.S. regulations.
VW is quiet on engine specs, but the base Golf is expected to use a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that returns better fuel economy than the current 2.5-liter five-cylinder. Considering the state of the current small car segment, we'd expect the 2014 Golf to return at least 35 mpg on the highway. We also expect to see a 2.0-liter diesel (TDI) model and a GTI with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
In Europe, the Golf should offer some fairly sophisticated safety technology for its class, including drowsy driver detection and multi-collision braking (stops the car after an accident to avoid a second impact with oncoming traffic). American buyers unfortunately aren't likely to see these features given the Golf's price point, which should start just under $18,000. This price should keep the 2014 Golf competitive with the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus hatchback, especially if it arrives with a slightly more upscale interior.
The new Golf goes on sale in early 2014. An electric Golf is expected to follow by the end of the year as a 2015 model. Check back for a full review of the 2014 Volkswagen Golf, including driving impressions, specs and buying advice as it becomes available.