Road trip in the 2015 VW Golf TDI

Road trip in the 2015 VW Golf TDI

We now understand why MotorTrend Magazine selected the 2015 Volkswagen Golf as its North American Car of the Year (NACTOY). This VW follows a long line of heritage for both functionality, practicality, and more recently, reliability. Bundled up in a small package, the Golf is anything but menial.

Image credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

First of all, a diesel Golf just makes sense. It takes the frequent pit-stop problem of a small vehicle (i.e. small gas tank) out of the equation. At times, we had more than 500 miles of available range on our tank. Overall, we averaged 40 miles to the gallon combined city and highway driving. Not bad!

Unfortunately, diesel fuel remains a bit of a cult following in the U.S. While die-hard diesel fanatics chant for VW and Audi to bring more of their European engines Stateside, diesel-powered vehicles fall around just three percent (3%) of the total U.S. market. The Volkswagen Group of America has committed to diesel anyhow.

The cult(ivation) of a beloved, practical compact hatch

We join in on the fun that is the VW Golf

Everyone has that friend who has, at one time or another, owned a Volkswagen Golf. (If not, that person may be you.) VW Golf enthusiasts love to share stories about how much fun their car is to drive, how much stuff they can cram easily fit into their car and how easy it is to park in the city (#humblebrag). Now I understand why these Golf uber-fans enjoy doing so.

My husband and I took a day trip in the 2015 Golf TDI from Washington, D.C. to southern New Jersey to visit family, hauling with us three small dogs (we were fostering the two tan pups) in their crates. It was about a 2.5 hour drive each way, giving us plenty of time to get to know the Golf.

To be honest, I haven’t driven a compact car with a smoother six-speed transmission than the 2015 VW Golf. It was literally seamless, never grasping for a higher or lower gear out of confusion. Its timely shift points, barely noticeable even to the trained human ear, are German engineering perfected.

The Golf is just easy, all around. It makes the driving and riding experience, although quite simplified, very enjoyable for everyone in the vehicle. The center stack, including tactile radio and infotainment controls, are easy to reach by both driver and front passenger. Visibility is impressive, and the large moonroof / sunroof combination helps keep the low-slung hatch feeling both roomy and airy on the inside.

Taking a couple furry friends with us. Still enough room for a few belongings in the trunk. #hatchback #VW #TDI

A photo posted by Be Car Chic (@becarchic) on

5 Truths about the 2015 VW Golf

1) The Golf actually is spacious (darnit, you can’t brush off your Golf fan boy’s humble-brags anymore!) With the rear seats folded down, we had plenty of room for our cargo, including height for the dogs’ crates. There was still room for their supplies and our overnight bag. Plus, my husband (who’s 6’2″) didn’t have to scrunch his seat forward to make room for the folding seats. The interior

2) VW’s Golf has plenty of power. With its 2.0L Turbocharged I-4 diesel engine, which pumps out 236 lb-ft of torque and 150 hp. This car won’t leave you stranded on the on-ramp to the highway. And feel free press the pedal to the metal because…

3) It’s truly a fuel-sipper, especially if that fuel is diesel. The 2015 VW Golf gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 31 city /43 highway miles per gallon. Not bad for such an affordable and useful vehicle.

4) Your friend was right, the VW Golf is fun to drive!

5) It’s compact yet highly functional. Don’t let it’s small stature fool you. The VW Golf is probably the most practical hatch money can buy (and only $17,000 – $31,000 of your money, depending on which model you opt for). We love practical cars here at Be Car Chic because they never go out of style.

Day trip in the #VW #GolfTDI – the North American Car of the Year. #NACTOY #diesel

A photo posted by Be Car Chic (@becarchic) on

At a price that hovers below the $30,000 mark, Golf TDI is a bargain buy for that young adult or young-at-heart adult looking to put the “fun” back into functionality.

I don’t mean to gush over the Golf TDI, but it truly exceeded my expectations. It ticks all the boxes for that youthful driver looking for reliable transportation with a cool vibe and a history of being a great car to drive.

Read what contributor, Bob Gritzinger had to say about VW’s compact all-star >>

Learn more about the specs and details of the VW Golf TDI from the editors at Edmunds.com.

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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.