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$5,546 - $9,580
$17,995 - $29,440

Pros & Cons

  • Refined ride
  • High-quality interior
  • Great fuel economy with diesel engine
  • Lackluster fuel economy with base engine




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Volkswagen Golf Overview

Volkswagen Golf models from 2012 with diesel engines are part of the massive Volkswagen recall because they do not meet U.S. emissions standards. Volkswagen will contact owners when they have remedied the problem and will fix the cars for free. The cars are safe to drive. Read more on the Volkswagen diesel recalls

While the 2012 Volkswagen Golf’s base five-cylinder engine didn’t receive much press when it was new, reviewers loved the available turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, which offers great fuel economy and ample torque. With an automatic transmission, gas-powered Golf models achieve 24/31 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class. However, the diesel Golf gets 30/42 mpg, which is outstanding for an affordable small car. The 2012 Golf won over reviewers with its nimble handling and comfortable ride.

The Golf, available as a two- or four-door hatchback, impressed reviewers with its high-quality materials and excellent build quality. Some noted that interior volume is the same in either body style, though rear-seat passengers will have an easier time getting in and out of four-door models. Reviewers found the seats very comfortable and supportive. The base Golf comes standard with an eight-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and few other notable standard features. Available features include navigation, a power sunroof, Bluetooth, heated front seats, satellite radio and iPod integration. The Golf offers up to 46 cubic feet of cargo volume, which is on par for the class.

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers considered the 2012 Mazda3 one of the sportiest choices in the class, and a new Skyactiv engine choice for 2012 helps it achieve very good fuel economy.

The 2012 Ford Focus was well-liked by reviewers for its refined driving dynamics and high-quality interior. Like the Mazda3, the Focus gets good fuel economy for the class.

Compare the Golf, Mazda3 and Focus »


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