Reviews

2017 Volkswagen Golf Walk Around


Styling is unabashedly conservative; perhaps even old-fashioned and straight-laced. Practicality, not stunning beauty, is the Golf’s forte.

Standing apart from the regular Golf, the GTI maintains a more assertive stance with its lowered sport suspension, brandishing such details as LED taillights, red brake calipers, a rear diffuser, distinctive side skirts, and 17-inch Brooklyn wheels.

Also establishing its own identity is the new Alltrack, fitted with lower-body cladding, foglamps, a honeycomb grille, and unique bumpers.

Interior

Stepping inside the Golf, the comparatively prosaic body is likely to be forgotten, overridden by a spacious, functional cabin. Hard surfaces abound in the base model, though material quality is reasonably good. The simple, straightforward layout is strictly driver-focused. For instance, the center stack leans toward the driver, who faces hooded gauges.

Upper trim levels use better-quality materials, with the same layout. Base models get a 5-inch touchscreen, while upper trim levels feature a 6.5-inch screen. Volkswagen provides good infotainment systems, too.

Front seats are class-leading. Highly supportive, they adjust easily to accommodate a variety of body types and sizes. Rear occupants may find space a little tight, but getting into and out of the back seat isn’t an ordeal at all. We recommend cloth seats rather than the too-rubbery standard leatherette.

Cargo volume in the Golf hatchback totals 22.8 cubic feet behind the back seats. Pull the quick-release latches to lower the seatbacks, and you have 52.7 cubic feet. SportWagens, built on a longer wheelbase, offer even more cargo space: 30.4 cubic feet behind the seat, and 66.5 with seatbacks folded. Seatbacks don’t fold completely flat.

GTI and Golf R models feature a sport-type steering wheel, performance-aimed instrument cluster, and special gearshift knob. Sport seats in the GTI have a tartan pattern. Red ambient lighting, stainless steel pedals, and a black headliner are standard.

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