2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2010 Volkswagen Golf

Introduced in Canada last fall, the redesigned 2010 Golf is not a huge departure from the previous generation Golf, er… Rabbit, but it has a much nicer interior and a slightly wider cabin which adds to the feeling of spaciousness. Its basic front-wheel drive platform, fully independent suspension, engine and transmission choices are mostly the same as the previous generation model, except for the re-introduction of the optional TDI diesel engine.

The 2010 Golf is one of the few compact hatchbacks available in both two- and a four-door hatchback bodystyles, in addition to the new wagon bodystyle (formerly the Jetta Wagon). The hatchback’s new exterior styling has more of a horizontal theme, similar to the third generation Golf (1992-1999): note the prominent ‘shoulder’ below the side windows, narrower black grille, wraparound headlight covers, narrower taillights and new bumper designs. Despite the changes though, it’s instantly recognizable as a Golf.

2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L. Click image to enlarge

Inside, there’s a redesigned instrument panel with better quality materials, improved seats with height and lumbar adjusters on both front seats, soft-touch armrests, a new radio, white illuminated gauges, new climate controls, and on some models, a large touch-screen for operating the audio system. The improved interior is more appropriate for the Golf’s market position as a “premium small car”.

Pricing and standard equipment

Starting at $20,175, the base two-door Golf 2.5L “Trendline” model is the least expensive new Golf you can buy, and while it’s more expensive than some of its competitor’s base models, the base Golf hatchback comes with an engine that’s larger and more powerful than its competitors’, and includes some items that are usually optional on base models, such as air conditioning, height adjustable driver and passenger seats, and driver information display. In many ways, the base Golf model is equivalent to the mid-level trim of its competitors, so when comparing the base Golf to other hatchbacks, it’s important to compare the list of standard features.

This week’s test car is the base two-door Golf 2.5L Trendline model with a standard five-speed manual transmission and no options. With an MSRP of $20,175 plus Freight and PDI charge of $1,365, the as-tested price came to $21,540, plus taxes.

2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L. Click image to enlarge

Standard equipment in the two-door Golf 2.5L Trendline includes a 170 horsepower 2.5-litre inline five cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, 195/65R15-inch all-season tires and full-size spare tire, 6.5X15-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist, four-wheel independent suspension, traction control, and dual exhaust tips.  Note that two-door Golfs are not available with the TDI diesel engine.

Inside are six standard airbags (dual front, side and curtain), air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with eight speakers, auxiliary input jack, speed-sensitive power steering with tilt/telescopic steering wheel, manually height adjustable ‘Scout-merlin’ cloth-covered front seats with manual lumbar adjusters, easy-entry sliding front seats for access to the rear seat, 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks and centre armrest with pass-through, rear privacy cover, anti-theft system, remote entry and folding key, power door locks, power windows with automatic up/down and pinch protection, cruise control, four cupholders and two bottle holders, power heated side mirrors, variable intermittent front wipers with heated windshield washer nozzles, and rear wiper with fixed intermittent setting,

2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5L. Click image to enlarge

A six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift mode is a $1,400 option, electronic stability control is an extra $450, and a Cold Weather Package that includes heated front seats and heated washer nozzles is $275.

Two-door Golf’s are also available in a sportier “Sportline” trim (MSRP $23,900) which adds low-profile 225/45R17-inch all-season tires and alloy wheels, and (curiously) a 205/55R16-inch spare tire and steel wheel; sportier suspension tuning, electronic front differential lock, electronic stability control, front fog lights, “Premium 8” AM/FM radio with 6.5-inch touch-screen, in-dash six-disc CD/MP3 changer, SD card input, Sirius satellite radio with three-month free subscription, heated front seats with “ME 2” sport cloth, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake, power glass moonroof, and front and rear floormats.

Four-door Golf Trendline models start at $21,175, Comfortline models at $22,575, and Highline models at $26,475. For full Golf pricing information, click here.

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