$16,048 - $32,767

2018 Volkswagen Golf Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf has a quiet, attractive cabin. It’s built with top-notch materials, and its interior quality rivals that of some luxury cars. Both rows of seats are spacious, and the Golf has more cargo space than most compact rivals. The features list is headlined by an infotainment system with intuitive menus and large buttons.

  • "The 2017 Volkswagen Golf's interior features attractive plastics that are soft to the touch and a cabin design that is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty. Buttons and switches are placed close to the driver and offer intuitive, simple control. Honestly, there isn't much of a difference between a well-loaded Golf and entry-level luxury cars such as the Acura ILX, Mercedes-Benz CLA or Audi A3." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The VW Golf … 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 (2016)
  • "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)

Seating

The Golf seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are available. The front seats are spacious and supportive, and they remain comfortable even after a long drive. The rear seats have ample room for adults, but they’re positioned too low for some people’s taste.

The Golf’s ample rear-seat room makes it a solid choice if you plan to carry rear passengers somewhat regularly. Its LATCH system includes lower anchors in the outboard rear seats and an upper tether for all three rear seats. These are easily accessible, though front seats will need to be moved up slightly when forward-facing child seats are installed behind them.

  • "Front seats provide ample support and comfort, even during long-distance driving stints, and not at the sacrifice of rear passengers. The Golf's ample legroom 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 (2017)
  • "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)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Golf include a rearview camera, a USB port, an eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and VW's Car-Net, which allows you to make, receive, and reply to text messages via voice commands.

Available features include push-button start, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Fender premium audio system, satellite radio, navigation, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen.

The Golf’s infotainment controls are generally simple to find and use. There are physical buttons and knobs in addition to the touch screen, which responds well to inputs. The menus are easy to navigate as well. Some of the buttons could be larger, and the touch screen’s graphics could be sharper, but these aren’t make-or-break issues.

See 2018 Volkswagen Golf specs »

  • "The Golf gets simple and well-designed controls. Audio and climate functions use large knobs and buttons. In fact, most trim levels have three easy to use knobs for climate controls. We like that the optional automatic climate control system always displays temperature settings and airflow direction. The standard touch-screen radio, common across all trim levels, works well. More good old-fashioned knobs control tuning and volume, while presets are selected onscreen. Swipe motions can move through lists or display more presets; they work well or can be skipped entirely. One minor gripe was that the preset 'buttons' are a bit small, as are some on-screen fonts." -- Consumer Reports
  • Every Golf comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen as standard. It's a little small by 2017 standards, and the graphics aren't supersharp, but otherwise there's a lot to like. It has an intuitive menu structure and large virtual buttons." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The center stack, which is thoughtfully canted towards the driver, houses intuitive HVAC controls." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Cargo

The Golf has 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 53.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Golf R models have 22.8 and 52.7 cubic feet with the seats up and down, respectively. In each setup, the Golf has a larger cargo capacity than almost every rival.

Not only is the cargo space big, but it's usable as well. The flat cargo floor and low liftover height make it easy to load items, and there are plenty of small-item storage spaces throughout the cabin.

  • "The cargo opening is nice and square -- helpful when loading larger items. … With the rear seatbacks up, the Golf has room for two suitcases and a duffle bag behind the seats. The VW emblem on the hatch doubles as a release, and it can be locked and unlocked using the key fob. The cargo area comes packed with great accessories, such as a 12-volt power supply, multiple bag hooks, tie-down loops two floor side bins, and a one-piece security cover. There are two hand pockets on the hatch to help close it." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Up to 22.8 cubic feet of cargo can be accommodated behind the rear seats, while folding the seats flat provides a substantial 52.7 cubic feet of space." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "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 (2016)

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