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8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Volkswagen Golf Review

Few compact cars can match the 2014 Volkswagen Golf's lively driving dynamics, roominess, or upscale cabin materials. However, it sits in the middle of the class because most competitors aren’t quite as expensive to own. 

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy in diesel models
  • Nimble handling
  • Premium cabin
  • Ample cargo space
  • Poor fuel economy with base engine

2014 Volkswagen Golf Overview

Is the 2014 Volkswagen Golf a Good Used Car?

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf is a good compact car that will appeal to shoppers who want an upscale, fun-to-drive hatchback with plenty of cargo and passenger space. However, if sharp handling isn’t a priority, you will probably prefer one of several rivals that offer more features and use less fuel.  

Used 2014 Volkswagen Golf Performance and Interior

Powering the front-wheel-drive 2014 Golf is a 170-horsepower five-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Golf produces a good amount of power for everyday city and highway outings, but it earns below-average fuel economy estimates of 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The Golf TDI – the diesel model – is powered by a 140-horsepower four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It feels a bit punchier and uses less fuel than the base model. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission with Sport mode is available. It's worth noting that the TDI model is affected by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. It will require modifications to meet EPA standards. Shoppers looking for used TDI models should be cautious, as these modifications may alter performance and fuel economy. Read more on the Volkswagen diesel recalls here.

Handling is where the Golf excels. It delivers precise steering, cornering composure, and fun behind the wheel. Its ride also remains smooth on rough surfaces.

Read more about Golf performance »

The VW Golf – a five-seat hatchback – features an attractive, simply styled interior made with premium materials. The front seats provide excellent support, and there's plenty of head- and legroom throughout the cabin. There is a complete set of LATCH child-seat connectors on each rear outboard seat, while the rear middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The Golf can store plenty of gear in its easily accessible cargo hold, which offers a maximum of 46 cubic feet.

The 2014 Golf comes standard with an eight-speaker stereo and an auxiliary audio jack. Some used models may come with Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPod connectivity, navigation, or a user-friendly touch-screen audio system.

Read more about Golf interior »

Used 2014 Volkswagen Golf Prices

Pricing starts at about $15,300 for the Golf TDI with a manual transmission. Cost can get up to nearly $16,900 for the Golf TDI with a turbodiesel engine, a sunroof, navigation, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Pricing isn’t currently available for the nondiesel models. Your final price may depend on the car's location, condition, mileage, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »
We Did the Research for You: 44 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide whether the 2014 VW Golf is the ideal used car for you, we've researched and analyzed 44 professional reviews, as well as reliability ratings, crash test data, and ownership expenses. We combine this information to give you a complete overview of the car's positives and negatives. 

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our Best Cars team has 75 years of combined experience in the automotive sector. You can trust that our reviews are impartial because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside team manages our site's advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Volkswagen Golf?

The 2014 Golf has an average reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Golf reliability »

How Safe Is the Golf?

The 2014 VW Golf received the highest rating in all four of its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It also earned four out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's rollover test. There are no active safety features available in the 2014 Golf.

See Golf safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Golf?

The Volkswagen Golf's sixth generation concluded with the 2014 model. Since 2014 Golf TDI models are included in Volkswagen’s recalls, consider the fully redesigned 2015 Golf if you are looking for a diesel option. In addition to meeting emissions standards, it offers a few more features and was named our Best Compact Car for the Money and Best Compact Car for Families.    

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Golf »

Which Used Volkswagen Golf Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Golf comes with two powertrain options: a five-cylinder gas base engine and a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The base Golf 2.5L comes with only a stereo and an auxiliary jack as standard, but if you still want its gas engine, find a model equipped with the available heated front seats, Bluetooth audio, touch-screen display, satellite radio, power sunroof, and iPod connectivity. The base Golf TDI makes all of these features standard, so it's a solid value. It also comes standard with a sport suspension, and some models have navigation. Keep in mind, however, that 2014 Golf TDI models fail to meet U.S. emissions standards and will require modifications.

A certified pre-owned Golf may give you extra peace of mind. Volkswagen provides a two-year/24,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles. Each CPO Volkswagen must pass a 100-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Volkswagen certified pre-owned program »

2014 Volkswagen Golf and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Volkswagen Golf or 2014 Mazda3?

If you like the Golf's performance, you should also consider the Mazda3. It offers agile handling, sharp steering, strong brakes, and great fuel economy estimates. The Mazda3 also has an upscale interior with user-friendly technology and plenty of space in both rows. We named the Mazda3 our 2014 Best Hatchback for Families and 2014 Best Compact Car.

Which Is Better: 2014 Volkswagen Golf or 2014 Volkswagen GTI?

The Volkswagen GTI is essentially an upscale version of the Golf. It has top-notch cabin materials and more standard features than the Golf, including Bluetooth and satellite radio. Additionally, the GTI has a stronger base engine and a sport suspension. We named it our 2014 Best Upscale Small Car for the Money.

Compare the Golf, Mazda3, and GTI »
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