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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Wolfsburg Edition

    A Golf that won't break the bank

    In the past two years, I have driven three variations of the Volkswagen Golf; the GTI, SportWagen, and R. But I never had the chance to drive the standard Golf. That is until a couple of months ago when a Golf Wolfsburg Edition rolled up. For 2017, the Wolfsburg is one of the two trims on offer (the base S being the other) and comes with lots of equipment for a surprising price. But this is only the cherry on top of an impressive compact hatchback as I would find out.

    • Let’s begin with that surprising price. Our Golf Wolfsburg tester came with an as-tested price of $23,515 and that includes a sunroof, push-button start, heated seats, backup camera, pre-collision braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rain-sensing wipers. Considering the amount of equipment on offer, this might be one of the best values in the compact class.
    • I know that I’m beating a dead horse here, but I wished the Golf was just a little bit more exciting to look at. The clean lines and minimal brightwork make the Golf have a handsome profile. But park it next to something like a Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, and you kind of wish that Volkswagen did something to make it standout.
    • You could level the same complaint at the Golf’s interior as doesn’t have the same panache or sharpness as some competitors. But I can overlook it as the Golf has one the most functional and well-built interiors in the class. Controls are within easy reach and have a solid feel that is lacking in other compact models. It doesn’t hurt the Golf has a spacious interior for passengers and cargo. I’m 5’8” and found to have plenty of head and legroom sitting in the back. For cargo, the Golf offers up 22.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 52.7 cubic feet with them folded, putting it at the top of the class.
    • Like the larger SportWagen and Alltrack, the regular Golf sports a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with the optional six-speed automatic. A five-speed manual comes standard.
    • This engine is such a sweetheart as it punches well above its weight. Power comes on a quick and smooth rate, meaning you’ll not be wanting for power when trying to make a pass. The automatic transmission is smart, knowing when it needs to up or downshift and doing so at a quick rate.
    • One item that I gave the Golf SportWagen a lot of praise was the pleasant balance between a smooth ride and sharp handling. The regular Golf is much the same. Taking a corner, the vehicle shows little body roll and the steering provides a linear and quick response. It would be nice if the steering had some more weight, but otherwise, it is a fun car to hustle around. For the daily commute, the Golf offers up a comfortable ride where potholes and other imperfections are ironed out. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
    • If I do have one complaint, it has to deal with the lack of adaptive cruise control. There is already a radar module up front for the pre-collision braking that can monitor vehicles ahead and bring the vehicle to a stop. So why isn’t there the ability to use that module to provide adaptive cruise control? Is it a technical issue or something dealing with the cost? (I'm thinking its the latter).
    • That issue aside, I’m really impressed with the regular Golf. This is one of the vehicles that can deliver on being an all arounder without falling on its face due to one or many things. Plus, the Wolfsburg Edition might be the steal for the 2017 Golf lineup considering what you get.

    Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Golf
    Trim: Wolfsburg Edition
    Engine: 1.8L TSI Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500
    Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/29
    Curb Weight: 3,023 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
    Base Price: $22,695
    As Tested Price: $23,515 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)

    Options: N/A


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    Very informative, nice write up. I myself could drive it as a commuter car but would not really be happy. Interior is way to sparse for me, just blah bland. Plus being a car, you sit so freaking low.

    With that said I am sure many will love the car.

    I honestly could see this lifted about 10 inches, some butch wheel covers and bigger tires and a more powerful engine and you have a nice small CUV off road. :P 

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    3 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Very informative, nice write up. I myself could drive it as a commuter car but would not really be happy. Interior is way to sparse for me, just blah bland. Plus being a car, you sit so freaking low.

    With that said I am sure many will love the car.

    I honestly could see this lifted about 10 inches, some butch wheel covers and bigger tires and a more powerful engine and you have a nice small CUV off road. :P 

    Swapping over Tiguan hardware and components make it very easy to lift a Golf and throw some meatier tires on there-

    083.jpg

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    This is Teutonic purity... perfection.  There is no other way it could be.  This is the type of car one buys to keep forever.  Not trendy.  Stalwart.

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    Question, did it have Apple carplay?    I 'think' they do, just not certain.  How was the latest VW infotainment system with it if so and without using it.  His is definitely on my list even though the reason i am thinking of trading in a few months is because of some creeping issues in the Beetle.........  The kit for the price is just amazing. 

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    3 hours ago, Stew said:

    Question, did it have Apple carplay?    I 'think' they do, just not certain.  How was the latest VW infotainment system with it if so and without using it.  His is definitely on my list even though the reason i am thinking of trading in a few months is because of some creeping issues in the Beetle.........  The kit for the price is just amazing. 

    Yes, it has AppleCarplay and AndroidAuto standard. Even w/out using it, the system is very slick. Easy to use, quick, responsive, and good graphics.

    I rarely use AndroidAuto unless I'm going on a longer drive. For my normal commute, I don't bother.

    Keep in mind, TDI's are available for sale now, too.

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    On 4/15/2017 at 10:05 AM, Stew said:

    Question, did it have Apple carplay?    I 'think' they do, just not certain.  How was the latest VW infotainment system with it if so and without using it.  His is definitely on my list even though the reason i am thinking of trading in a few months is because of some creeping issues in the Beetle.........  The kit for the price is just amazing. 

    Yes it does along with Android Auto. I have to say I like Volkswagen's implementation of Apple CarPlay. Aside from being very slick, it is quick to launch and doesn't suffer from issues of crashing or apps freezing that I have I experienced in other systems (looking at you GM, although it should be noted it is getting better). 

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