2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI — Flash Drive
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Volkswagen's all-new 2010 Golf TDI is the latest high-mileage, fun-to-drive alternative in the hotly contested compact market — and one of the best. The Golf TDI, which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, probably won't have the green cachet with your neighbors that a hybrid will. But who cares. You'll know you're doing your part for the environment, and will have a blast doing it. Hybrid owners can't say the same. While the Golf TDI is not a GTI, they are siblings and share many of the same genes. The TDI has a nicely balanced chassis with sport-tuned suspension and quick, responsive steering. The 6-speed manual shifts direct and clean, helping the driver take advantage of the small engine's low-end torque, making the Golf TDI quick and fun to drive. Inside the design is simple and clean with nice materials and a quality feel. The cloth seats have good lateral support and would be considered sport seats in many models. –Mike Meredith
Spend any time in a modern diesel like the Golf TDI and you'll know why the rest of the diesel-driving world couldn't care less about hybrids. Who needs them when the TDI delivers killer gas mileage (35 to 43 mpg during my weekend of driving), excellent build quality and a genuinely enjoyable driving experience? For about the same money as a Prius ($25K), you get a car that's really a car, not a transportation appliance. You get a chassis that's competent, composed and comfortable; an interior that could have come out of an Audi; and an engine that serves up equal measures of power, torque and fuel economy. Sure, those seeking the highest possible fuel economy are still better served by a small hybrid or electric vehicle. But the Golf TDI shows that attention-grabbing EPA numbers need not always come at the cost of driving enjoyment. –Kim Wolfkill
I only wish more automakers brought over clean diesel automobiles to the United States. The new Golf TDI is a perfect example of the joys of the modern diesel engine. The extra torque makes it particularly fun, and fools the driver into thinking that the car has a bigger engine. The Golf TDI we tested came with a smooth 6-speed manual transmission and sport suspension. In spirited mixed driving, I achieved between 32 and 40 mpg. The Golf TDI also has a great interior, sweet sound system and spacious room for both driver and passengers. The hatchback has decent room for weekend trips for all four passengers, or you can fold the seats and store a bike inside, making it a versatile choice for people who drop the remote and get off the couch. If you like a mix of strong fuel efficiency, great acceleration and long-term engine durability, this diesel might be right up your alley. –Joe Chulick