2021 Volkswagen Golf

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Volkswagen Golf highlights

Customer rating

(not yet rated)


  • Large hatch adds practicality
  • Comfortable ride and quiet cabin
  • Two years of free scheduled maintenance


  • Missing some driver-assist and convenience features
  • Tires limit performance
  • Merely adequate power

Mileage (EPA estimate)

28 city, 36 highway, 31 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

The Volkswagen Golf marks the end of the line in 2021

When the Volkswagen Golf debuted as the Rabbit in the U.S. in the 1970s, in some ways it represented the second coming of the iconic VW Beetle. A rousing success, it delivered affordable and convenient transportation to the masses. Sadly, 2021 marks the end of the line for the Golf in the U.S. (The high-performance GTI and Golf R will continue and both were fully redesigned in 2022.) As such, there were few changes for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf. Keyless entry and ignition are standard, along with synthetic leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof.

Otherwise, the Golf is the same as it was the previous year, with the same advantages and drawbacks. For example, we like the versatility that comes with a hatchback, as well as the Golf's pleasant ride and quiet interior, but it lacks some tech features and upgrades that rivals offer. We suggest shoppers check out the top choices in the class alongside the Golf, including hatchback versions of the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla.

All Volkswagen Golf years

What is new for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf?

  • The S trim has been discontinued for 2021.
  • Rear Spoiler and CD Audio features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The TSI trim now comes with Parking Sensors as standard equipment.

2021 Volkswagen Golf trims

Curious how Volkswagen Golf trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


Volkswagen Golf photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Volkswagen Golf

What We Like

Hatchback versatility: With up to 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space, the Volkswagen Golf can hold more than the Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla hatchbacks. Only the Honda Civic hatchback can carry more, and only by a few cubic feet. The rear seats fold flat into the floor and also offer a convenient center pass-through for longer objects, giving you more flexibility for cargo and passengers.

Smooth ride and quiet cabin: The Golf's ride quality is notable for its ability to smooth over road imperfections with ease. At the same time, it has a composed and confident demeanor on the highway and is not overly soft or floaty. Helping to further reduce driver fatigue, the cabin remains pleasantly silent, with barely detectable levels of road or wind noise.

Interior layout: The Golf’s uncluttered dash and easy-to-reach controls are welcome nods to the car’s Germanic heritage. Previous Volkswagen owners will be immediately familiar with the steering wheel controls, and the learning curve isn’t so steep that newcomers won’t get the hang of it quickly. The upright and boxy styling results in excellent visibility.

What Needs Improvement

Lacks some features: The Golf's outdated 6.5-inch infotainment screen is small when compared to rivals' and, unfortunately, there's no way to upgrade to the larger displays found in other Volkswagen vehicles. Compounding matters is that there's only one USB port for the entire car, leaving passengers without a way to charge phones. The Golf is also missing a few driver-assist features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf is not yet rated. Help future customers learn about a car you've owned and write a review.

Above Average

RepairPal gave the Volkswagen Golf an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Volkswagen Golf 26th out of 46 among Compact Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf features and specs

TSI 2WD 4D Hatchback

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Manual Transmission
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • CD Audio
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Satellite Radio Ready

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.2"/R 35.6"

Head room

F 38.4"/R 38.1"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity



Manual 6

2021 Volkswagen Golf FAQ

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