$6,240 - $9,854

2012 Volkswagen Golf Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Volkswagen Golf was new.


Interior: 8.7

The 2012 Golf has one of the highest-quality interiors among affordable small cars. Few reviewers complain about seat comfort, but more than one note that the Golf doesn’t come with enough standard features. There is no center armrest on the base model, and Bluetooth is optional. These features are standard on the TDI diesel trim, but it is more expensive.

  • "The interior is available only in black, but it strikes a sporty, rather than austere, note. Brushed-metallic accents and chrome trim dot the cabin and impart a much-needed bit of flash. Most surfaces are high-quality-feeling soft-touch plastics." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Compared to other vehicles in its class, the VW Golf feels positively upscale. Its interior puts others to shame (including VW's own 2011 Jetta) thanks to a sophisticated design, top-notch materials and all-around comfort. Add in optional niceties like a premium Dynaudio stereo and a navigation system and the fairly economical Golf can begin to feel like a near luxury car." -- Edmunds
  • "We can attest that that the new Golf feels like the ritziest hatchback on the market. The dash cover is soft, and surrounds the center stack with no perceptible gap." -- Motor Trend
  • "The interior initially looks somewhat spartan, but all that black plastic is very high quality and bolted down so tightly it feels like you could rampage with a baseball bat without so much as marking any surfaces." -- Jalopnik


The Golf’s front seats are comfortable and offer plenty of room, especially for the driver. An impressive standard feature for the class is the adjustable lumbar support for front seats. Heated front seats are optional.

Like many affordable small cars, rear seating isn’t perfect, but the 2012 Golf’s rear row comfortably fits two adults. If you’re worried about space in the two-door models, both body styles have the same amount of interior space. The four-door is ideal for buyers who will have passengers because entry and exit is easier.

  • “Those (seats) are firm, supportive and immensely comfortable." -- Jalopnik
  • "Whether you choose the two- or four-door route, the Golf's interior passenger space remains the same. For those who plan on shuttling multiple passengers, the four-door is the obvious choice, offering a surprisingly large backseat that's notably more spacious than that of a Mazda 3." -- Edmunds
  • "Headroom and legroom are plentiful. The seats are nicely bolstered and all-day comfortable; their gray and black check pattern is a nice touch and complements the cabin well. Visibility is generally good, but the view to the corners is compromised a bit by slightly thick rear roof pillars. Note that 2.5 cars do not have a center arm rest, which is a pretty glaring omission." -- Consumer Guide
  • “There's good rear-seat, leg and headroom for adults in the outboard positions, but pity the poor unfortunate who's sentenced to sit in the middle. What's the German word for fuhgedaboudit?" -- Car and Driver

Interior Features

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf’s interior quality is one of its strongest features, and judging by the Golf’s high base price, reviewers say it should be. The Golf comes standard with cruise control, an auxiliary input jack, a sound system and power windows and door locks. One reviewer complains that the base Golf doesn’t come with enough standard features for this price range. Adding Bluetooth and heated front seats, for example, is expensive.

The TDI diesel comes with more standard features, including Bluetooth and a touch-screen sound system. A navigation system is available, but only for the TDI trims. One test driver notes that adding navigation complicates the Golf’s easy-to-use audio and climate buttons.

  • "On models without navigation, a simple array of very large audio and climate buttons makes controlling those functions easy. The TDI's revised navigation system mimics that of the Volkswagen Jetta. It's pretty simple to program, thanks to the combination of a touch screen and BMW iDrive-style rotary knob. The system absorbs some audio controls, complicating what should be simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Many desirable features (are) unavailable on base model." -- Edmunds


Reviewers say the 2012 Golf’s cargo and interior space are impressive for its size. Both the two- and four-door models have 15 cubic feet of space, which is about average for affordable small cars. With the 60/40 split folding rear seats tucked, the interior cargo volume increases to 46 cubic feet. While the Golf’s cargo space is good for it size, it doesn’t have many interior cubbies. One reviewer notes that the base model doesn’t have a standard center armrest, but the TDI model does.

  • “Small-items-storage spaces include a large glovebox and decently sized door pockets. Instead of a center console, however, there's a small bin for holding a cell phone or something similarly sized. The rear seat backs fold to increase cargo space, but they don't lie completely flat. A fold-flat front-passenger seat is a welcome feature for loading long items." -- Consumer Guide

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