2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI: Car Seat Check

2015VolkswagenGolf

Both the Volkswagen Golf and its performance variant, the GTI, entered their seventh generation with 2015 redesigns. The cars haven't exactly set sales records ablaze in the past, though a reduced starting price for the Golf, a win for the GTI in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge and a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should at least spark some interest among car shoppers not already carrying a torch for the five-seat hatchbacks. Another selling point — for families with small children — should be the Golf's and GTI's accommodation of child-safety seats. Much like in 2012, when we tested the Golf R, the cars earned high marks in our tests. Check out the Car Seat Check below for more.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept Photo Gallery (21 Photos)

VolkswagenGolfR400Concept

The Volkswagen Golf R 400 concept debuting this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is part track toy, part tribute to the German automaker's racing history. As such, the hot hatch's exterior design drives the point home quickly. The body is widened, and bumper and rear fenders flared for maximum aggressiveness. Further flourishes include 19-inch wheels, a wraparound carbon-fiber splitter on the lower side, a rear roof spoiler and abounding glossy black carbon and faux-carbon-fiber trim along with LED accents.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The track theme extends to the interior, with sport bucket seats embroidered with "R" badging, glossy carbon and yellow contrast stitching, and white ambient lighting around the door accents and stainless-steel doorsill plates. Oh, and lest you think it's all for show, under the hood is a 394-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that rockets the R 400 from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Prices 2015 Golf R

Golf-R-15-1404-Dig

Volkswagen today announced pricing for the latest addition to its sporty hatchback lineup, the 2015 Golf R. The Golf R will arrive in dealerships early next year, initially available only as a four-door and with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Prices start at $37,415 for the base Golf R and $39,910 for the technology-loaded DCC and Nav trim; both prices include an $820 destination charge.

Related: Volkswagen Golf R: Up Close

VW says the all-wheel-drive Golf R is the fastest and most powerful Golf ever to hit the U.S. market. The 292 horsepower from the R's 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder represents a 14 percent power boost over the previous version, while torque is up 15 percent from the outgoing car's 243 pounds-feet. But those gains don't come at the expense of fuel economy; VW says the new R gets 30 mpg with the dual-clutch automatic compared with its manual predecessor's 27 mpg. Meanwhile, its zero-to-60 mph sprint improves by nearly 1.7 seconds to 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

Volkswagen Golf R Variant: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Fiesta ST, Nissan Juke, Hyundai Veloster
Looks like: An amped up grocery-getter
Drivetrain: A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission making 296 horsepower and 280 pounds-feet of torque
Hits dealerships: Spring 2015 for Europe; U.S.-market release is unspecified

We recently said goodbye to Volkswagen's Jetta SportWagen and hello to the 2015 Golf SportWagen; Volkswagen unveiled a sporty variant of the compact wagon at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Don't be fooled by its mild-mannered appearance. The Volkswagen Golf R Variant compact wagon may look all Clark Kent on the outside, but it's wearing its red-and-blue Underoos beneath.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Volkswagen is positioning the Golf R Variant as "one of the sportiest compact all-arounders," able to accommodate a family of five one moment and then take a few turns around the track the next.

By Matt Schmitz | November 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: First Look

VolkswagenGolfR400Concept

Looks like: A Volkswagen Golf R that came back from summer break between junior high and high school rocking a more athletic build and edgier fashions for freshman year
Defining characteristics: Sharper edges, defining creases and a squared-off shape on the outside; race-ready appointments on the inside; amped-up engine under the hood
Ridiculous features: Bolstered-and-badged sport seats with supersized head restraints resembling a sad space invader
Chance of being mass-produced: Seems pretty esoteric, most fitting as a tribute to VW's racing history

Attention race fans and hot-hatch enthusiasts: Volkswagen has taken its performance-focused compact hatchback, the Golf R, and tricked it out for the track. Following its global debut earlier this year at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, the rally-sport-themed Golf R 400 concept will make its first North American pit stop next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept car's purpose is to pay tribute to VW's racing history.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

According to the automaker, the Golf R 400's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets a hefty 100-plus-horsepower boost to 394 hp compared with the regular R's 292 hp, which VW says is delivered at roughly 200 hp per liter — on par with the output of a supercar. That's in addition to a torque increase from 332 pounds-feet from 280 pounds-feet. Power to the all-wheel-drive system is channeled through a six-speed manual transmission for a zero-to-62-mph sprint of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. Two driver-selectable modes include ESC Sport for "spirited driving" and Race mode for "high-speed track driving."

By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

Mini Cooper vs VW GTI

In our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge the Volkswagen GTI bested a field of eight contenders to take the win. However, the redesigned Mini Cooper was not part of that test. Things don't always work out the way you want, but getting a new Cooper S with a manual transmission at the same time as a new GTI with a manual transmission seemed like karma telling us we needed to go driving. OK, maybe it was just a really good excuse to get out of the office.

Related: $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

Both cars were similarly equipped to the gills with sticker prices totaling more than $33,000 including destination — not exactly "cheap." When all was said and done after a Chicago-area drive route traversing city, suburban and highway roads, the face-off was ridiculously close with the final scoring decided by one point overall.

By David Thomas | October 29, 2014 | Comments (14)

Unexpected Family Car: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

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When my husband and I became parents, we embraced our new roles with enthusiasm - except when it came to what it might mean for us out on the road. No disrespect, but we just aren't the minivan types and we both enjoy smaller cars with a little more pizazz than your average family crossover. But it didn't take long for us to realize how much a car seems to shrink with a rear-facing car seat in the backseat and a stroller in the trunk. We chose the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta as our family car, which had the largest backseat and cargo area in its class at the time. Now life's become a little simpler with a preschooler, and Mama's thinking about a new car.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

The timing was right for my family to test the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. I had some concerns about this stylish compact hatchback, but we were off to a great start with its family-friendly lower Latch anchors. The Golf's anchors are covered by plastic doors that flip up to reveal the anchor. No digging, no sweating to install my daughter's car seat; we were off and running.

By Carrie Kim | September 26, 2014 | Comments (5)

Volkswagen Prices First Electric Car; 2015 e-Golf Will Cost $36,265

2015VolkswagenE-Golf

Volkswagen today announced pricing for the all-new 2015 e-Golf as the electric hatchback prepares to "charge" into dealerships in the fall. VW's first fully electric, zero-emissions vehicle starts at $36,265, including an $820 destination charge, for the SEL Premium model.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

The e-Golf, which we first saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, is powered by a compact electric motor and 24.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, good for 115 horsepower and 199 pounds-feet of torque. It's mated to a single-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen said the e-Golf has an average range of 70 to 90 miles and a 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, achieving an 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes. The hatchback offers three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Eco and Eco Plus.

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Photo Gallery

 Cheap Speed Challenge: 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI finished first in our $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge. "Not only is this the best performance bang for the buck, bar none, it's one of the most comfortable cars here," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below of the GTI up close and on the track.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | July 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI

2015VolkswagenGTIRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 2,000 model-year 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI hatchbacks manufactured between Jan. 27, 2014, and May 12, 2014

The Problem: The stabilizer link fasteners may come loose and possibly interfere with steering, requiring additional effort to control the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash. Volkswagen earlier this month issued a stop sale order to dealers on the 2015 Golf and GTI due to the stabilizer link fastener issue, covering about 700 vehicles in dealer inventory; the automaker said no accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported.

The Fix: Volkswagen will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the front stabilizer links for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

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