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$7,200 - $18,771
$18,095 - $36,515

Pros & Cons

  • Efficient, lively diesel model
  • Upscale cabin materials
  • Composed handling
  • Base model’s poor fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Volkswagen Golf Overview

Volkswagen Golf models from 2013 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

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf’s standard five-cylinder engine offers sufficient power for daily use, test drivers said. They praised the standard five-speed manual transmission for its clutch feel and said the base Golf’s available six-speed automatic has well-timed shifts. Reviewers were very impressed with the turbodiesel-powered Golf TDI, saying its additional torque makes it feel peppy from a stop. The 2013 Golf TDI has a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic (automated manual) transmission is available. The base 2013 Golf gets an EPA-estimated 23/33 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end of the class. TDI models get an impressive 30/42 mpg with either transmission. Auto writers said the Golf handles nimbly and offers sharp steering, as well as a comfortable, composed ride that’s quiet at highway speeds.

Automotive writers agreed that the 2013 VW Golf’s cabin features quality materials and exceptional fit and finish. The Golf seats five and test drivers were impressed with its roomy cabin, which includes comfortable front seats and a spacious back seat. The Golf has 46 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, which is pretty good for a hatchback. The 2013 Golf comes standard with an eight-speaker audio system and an auxiliary input. Available features include Bluetooth, a premium audio system with a touch-screen display, satellite radio and navigation. Auto writers said that the Golf’s touch-screen audio system makes it easy to access music on an iPhone, and that the navigation system is simple to program. However, a few also pointed out that the touch-screen display is on the small side.

See 2013 Volkswagen Golf specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers noted that the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze sedan has a very comfortable and composed ride. They also said the Cruze’s cabin feels upscale compared to rivals’ cabins thanks to classy materials and a sophisticated design.

The 2013 Mazda Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback, and an available Skyactiv engine helps it earn great fuel economy for the class. Additionally, test drivers loved the Mazda3’s sharp steering and nimble handling, saying it’s a lot of fun to drive on twisty roads.

Compare the Golf, Cruze and Mazda3 »


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