With gas prices expecting to reach $4.00 a gallon�I was looking for a vehicle that would be good on gas. But I didn�t want a vehicle that I had to use a can opener to get into. I had driven several subcompact vehicles and while they all did okay on their fuel economy (on average 30mpg real driving condition not the manufacturer�s rating) the vehicles all suffer in ride, comfort and visibility. Some of the vehicles actually had me feeling unsafe next to the typical vehicles on the roads (your average SUV for example). I chose the Volkswagen Golf for its� fuel economy, its safety features (dual, side, & head airbags, antilock brakes, stability control), its� styling and yes its price. I would recommend this vehicle to any driver who wants to be a gas miser but doesn�t want to shell out the extra bucks for a hybrid, and would like to experience �Fahrvergn�gen.�
It's a great hot hatch with great speed great looks and great sound. Fast but subtle. and still enough room to load it full of what ever you want. it has surprisingly more room in the back than than a sedan or hatch Subaru wrx. It's way more comfortable to sit it. Much more supportive seats and much nicer interior than a wrx. Lastly it's rare.
My Golf is a silver 5-speed manual TDI. It has never gotten anything less than 40-43 mpg city and on the open road, fully loaded with the A/C running it gets a respectable 52-55 mpg. I know this because I have tracked the mileage ever since I bought the car (new). Even when diesel is about 30% more than regular gas the 40% higher mpg (based on city mileage) compensates for the higher price of fuel. The car has been mostly trouble free - I had a broken fuel pump fitting at one point (fixed under warranty) and a problem with the glow plug wires at one point that was not well diagnosed by the dealer, and after replacing some of the system wiring and costing some money it didn't fix the problem until I took the car back again to the dealer - where they didn't replace any parts but somehow fixed the problem (the car was out of warranty by then, of course). The car has great torque up to a point but then it just goes flat - this is typical of diesels, you have to keep shifting to work the narrow RPM range. A fully loaded car performs very similarly to one that is lightly loaded. The engine has plenty of power. The car rides and handles well and is very comfortable - but it is a small car, so don't expect to pack it with 4 adults and luggage for a long trip. It is tight with two adults and backage for a long trip. It does not do well on back roads (low clearance) and the front wheel drive seems to lose traction on steep grades on unpaved roads or on snow and ice, but on snowy highways it does fine with cable chains. It has plenty of power in the mountains because it is turbocharged, but you have to keep the rpms up a little higher compared to lower elevations. Some of the interior features were poorly designed. The plastic hinges to the cover on the center armrest is underdesigned and have broken. The sliding plastic cover to the storage area in front of the gear shift is also poorly designed and the cover has slid forward into a void, never to be retrieved. The visors are too short to cover the side windows. The car is a hatchback and is very designed to be very flexible. The back deck covers the "trunk" when its in place. The deck can be completely removed and both seats fold down opening up the back like a small station wagon. Overall, I'm very happy with car.