2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI – First Drive and Review

By Jonathan Spira on 1 September 2013
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The seventh generation Volkswagen Golf TDI is a great car and no, you can’t have one DSC_0685– at least not until some time next year when it reaches these shores as a 2015 model.

Earlier in the week, I spent the better part of a day motoring around in a European-spec 2014 model (the car is on sale in Europe already) and was thoroughly impressed by the car and its characteristics.

First, it’s a great looking car and the build quality is excellent.  The interior is more Audi than what we necessarily perceive as VW today.  It’s also a lightweight.  Indeed, VW says it’s the lightest Golf since the third generation, and that dates back to 1993.

The look is clean and attractive and clearly in the VW Golf family, yet it also looks new and modern.  A long character line spans the wheel arches and the rear exhibits an aggressive low and wide appearance. DSC_0607 The side windows, roofline, and C-pillar are reminiscent of some of the early Golf designs.

But we’ll still have to wait to see it in person at VW dealerships.  The reason that the Golf won’t be here until next summer, or at least some time in Q2 2014, is, in part, because it’s being built in Puebla, Mexico (alongside the new Beetles and Jettas) and the largest market for the Golf has always been in Europe.  Historically, there’s always been a lag but this time it’s quite a bit longer and the sixth-generation Golf will continue to be sold for over a year after its replacement went on sale in its home market.


At launch, we’ll see TDI and GTI versions of the Golf as well as the new 1.8 TSI direct-injected EA888 turbo four engine, which will serve as the base engine.  The 170-horsepower five-cylinder will disappear from these shores but the new four-cylinder will provide more than enough power to keep entry-level buyers happy.DSC_0729

The EA288 diesel engine develops 150 horsepower at 3500 rpm, which is ten more than the current-generation Golf TDI.  It develops maximum torque of 236 pound-feet at 1750 rpm.

The seventh-generation Golf is a brand new car based on VW’s new MQB modular platform.  It has a shorter overhang and longer hood and it isn’t just new sheet metal, it’s a completely new car from engine to exhaust pipes.

The Golf TDI will get the new turbodiesel engine and inside, passengers will find greater rear leg room (thanks to a 2”-increase in overall length and a 2.3” longer wheelbase) as well as more shoulder room.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driver Assistance Technology, Infotainment, and Driving the 2015 VW Golf TDI

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