$11,873 - $27,680

2016 Volkswagen Golf Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen Golf was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

The automotive press writes that the 2016 Volkswagen Golf's cabin is among the best interiors in the class, with nicely finished plastics, a refined style and lots of premium, soft-touch materials. Reviewers say the front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats are spacious. The infotainment system, which has been redesigned for 2016, responds quickly to inputs, according to critics, and they agree the center stack controls are within the driver’s reach. Test drivers like the new media and driver-assistance features. The Golf has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class.

  • "The 2016 Volkswagen Golf's interior features well-grained plastics that are soft to the touch and a cabin design that is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty." -- Edmunds
  • "The VW Golf [f]or 2016 continues a tradition of having an upscale look to its interior, using high-quality materials, soft-touch surfaces and, on higher trims, piano-black accents." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In our interior evaluation of the 2015 Golf, we were impressed by the premium vibe, from the rich dashboard and door-panel materials to the subtle brushed-aluminum accents. This doesn't feel like an economy car; in fact, it's almost like an entry-level luxury car that's been downsized." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Cabin quality has long been a Golf strength, and the latest model raises the bar even higher inside. The design is simple yet mature, with abundant soft-touch plastics and ritzy aluminum-look or piano black trim." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Seating                   

There are seats for five in the 2016 Golf, which is available in two- or four-door hatchback body styles. Cloth upholstery is standard, while leatherette upholstery, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats and sport seats are optional. Test drivers agree the front seats offer plenty of support and all-day comfort for long trips, and there's ample shoulder- and legroom. The rear seats are also roomy, according to reviewers, though some say adults may be uncomfortable due to the cushion’s low height. The cabin is well-insulated from exterior noise, a few critics report, and some find rear visibility partially blocked by the roof pillars.

  • Front seats provide ample support and comfort, even during long-distance driving stints, and not at the sacrifice of rear seat passengers. The Golf's ample leg- and shoulder room make the small hatch feel big. There's enough room in back to make the Golf a viable family vehicle, although adults will find the low-mounted rear seat cushions somewhat uncomfortable." -- Edmunds
  • "There's slightly more interior space, though you'll simply experience it as a more open and roomy cabin. The seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, holding you in place without digging into your thighs and sides." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "The seats offer enough support and cushion to make long distance trips comfortable, the ergonomics make controlling the infotainment and HVAC a breeze, and the sound dampening mutes road and wind noise to near-luxury levels." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "The only real demerit noted is that while the front and side pillars are fairly thin and easy to see around, the rear pillars are quite thick and block a lot to the corners." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

Interior Features

The 2016 VW Golf comes standard with a 5-inch touch-screen audio system with eight speakers, Bluetooth and a USB port. Features including push-button start, satellite radio, HD Radio, an eight-speaker Fender audio system, a 6.5-inch touch screen, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors and active parallel park assist are available. Smartphone integration –including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Volkswagen's Car-Net smartphone app – is new for the 2016 model year with either the 5-inch or 6.5-inch touch screens.

Volkswagen updated the infotainment system for 2016, and some critics say the touch screen responds more quickly to inputs. They like the new smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the addition of a USB port and driver assistance features. Test drivers think the center stack controls are easy to reach from the driver’s seat and have a straightforward layout.

See 2016 Volkswagen Golf specs »

  • "For 2016, a new touchscreen interface on all trims (including the base model) is quicker and more responsive to inputs than the old screen and adds comprehensive Apple and Android smartphone integration. There's finally a real USB port, too, replacing VW's less useful proprietary smartphone/media player plug. Finally, VW has added more features to the Driver Assistance package this year, including new safety features that were notably absent last year." -- Edmunds
  • "The center stack, which is thoughtfully canted towards the driver, houses intuitive HVAC controls." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Cargo

The 2016 Golf has 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 52.7 cubic feet behind the front seats. The Golf has more overall cargo room than nearly every other affordable compact car, though some rival hatchbacks like the Kia Soul offer more cargo space. Test drivers praise the Golf’s flat-load floor and low liftover height. Some critics point out that there are many small-item storage spaces around the cabin, such as a cooled glovebox, a drawer under the driver seat and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

  • "Cargo volume is 16.5 cubic feet below the parcel shelf and 22.8 cubic feet to the roof. Loading is made easy thanks to a low liftover in the rear hatch. The rear seat has a 60/40-split rear-folding back, expanding the load space to 52.7 cubic feet when lowered. There's plenty of front-seat storage in the center console and door panels." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's a good amount of interior storage, and - if the rear seat backs happen to be folded - you'll see that the resulting cargo floor is nearly level and flat (making it easy to slide in large objects), if just a bit narrow at the rear. There's some additional cargo storage beneath the cargo floor, and there's also a ski pass-through in the seat back." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

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