2016 volkswagen golf Model Overview
New for 2016
A new infotainment system featuring a larger 6.5-inch touchscreen has been added to the list of available features for the 2016 Volkswagen Golf. In the e-Golf, an eight-inch touchscreen is also available. Base S models now come standard with a rearview camera and cloth seats while the SE trim now has keyless entry/ start. The Driver Assistance package has been updated and now includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear park assist with steering assist. A six-speed manual transmission is now available in the high-performance Golf R.
The 2016 Volkswagen Golf is a family of compact cars that’s available as a hatchback in two- or four-door configurations or as a wagon. Two performance models, the Golf GTI and Golf R, and an electric variant called the e-Golf are also available.
A wide variety of powertrains are available in the 2016 Golf including three gas engines, and with manual or automatic transmissions.
Model: Golf TSI, Golf SportWagen TSI
Engine: Turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4 – five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissiom
Power: 170 hp/200 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: Golf TSI: 25/37 mpg city/highway (manual), 25/36 mpg (automatic)
Golf SportWagen TSI: 25/36 mpg (manual), 25/35 mpg (automatic
Model: Golf GTI
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or twin-clutch automatic
Power 210 hp (220 hp with the performance package)/258 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 25/34 mpg (manual), 25/33 mpg (automatic)
Model: Golf R
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or twin-clutch automatic
Power: 292 hp/280 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 22/31 mpg (manual), 23/30 mpg (automatic)
Engine: electric motor – single-speed automatic
Power: 115 hp/199 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 126/105 mpg-e, range on one charge: 83 miles
Golf hatchbacks offer plenty of space for passengers and cargo with 22.8 cubic feet behind the split-folding rear seats and can be expanded to 52.7 cubic feet. The SportWagen offers even more space for cargo at 30.4 cubic feet behind the split-folding second row and 66.5 cubic feet with them down. Although Golf TDI diesels have been sold for years, as a result of Volkswagen’s EPA emissions cheating scandal, the diesels are not currently certified for sale until a suitable fix is found.
The e-Golf can travel up to 83 miles on one charge, making it one of the best range among EVs. Only the Fiat 500e and Kia soul EV have more range on a single charge at 87 miles and 93 miles respectively. Using a level three fast charger, the e-Golf can be charged to 80 percent in 30 minutes and up to 100 percent in around two hours. With a level two charger, the e-Golf’s battery can be fully charged in three to four hours.
Standard safety features include dual front, front-size and side curtain airbags. The Driver Assistance package adds a host of additional safety aids including forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind spot warning.
The NHTSA gave the Golf hatchback a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the Golf received a Good score in all five crash tests and received a Top Safety Pick+ award (Good is the highest possible score). When equipped with the Driver Assistance package, the Golf received and Advanced rating in the IIHS’ front crash prevention test after it reduced a 12-mph crash by 10 mph and a 25-mph crash by 1 mph (Front crash prevention ratings include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
In the base Golf S, standard equipment include a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, an eight-speaker audio system, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, heated side mirrors, an infotainment system with a 508-inch touchscreen and 15-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers. A panoramic sunroof is optional on the S trim. Moving up to the SE trim adds the panoramic sunroof, keyless entry/start, 17-inch alloy wheels, corner-illuminating fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats and a Fender premium audio system. The range-topping SEL trim adds navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable sport seats, interior ambient lighting, and dual-zone climate control. The Lighting package, which is available in the SE and SEL trims, adds adaptive HID headlights with LED accents.
The performance-oriented GTI comes standard with LED foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a drive mode selector, a 5.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, cloth seats with a plaid pattern, heated front seats, ambient lighting, and a rearview camera. Stepping up to the SE trim adds automatic headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a Fender audio system, leather upholstery, and keyless entry/start. Range-topping Autobahn models come with navigation, 12-way driver’s seat, and dual-zone climate control. The Lighting package adds adaptive HID headlights with LED accents. All versions of the GTI can be had with the Performance package, which adds larger brakes, 10 hp, and the VAQ differential for improved driving dynamics.
High-performance Golf R models come well-equipped with HID headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a drive mode selector, a three-mode stability control system, a 12-way power driver’s seat, leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry/start, heated front seats, a rearview camera, and an infotainment system with a 5.8-inch touchscreen. Navigation, Dynamic Chassis Control, 19-inch alloy wheels, and rear parking sensors are available as options.
On the base e-Golf SE, standard features include a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard along with most of the features found in the range-topping SEL trim. A 3.6 kW charger is standard on the SE trim while a 7.2 kW fast charger is available as an option. The range-topping SEL trim comes standard with an electrically heated windshield, full LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, navigation with an eight-inch touchscreen, leatherette upholstery, keyless entry/start, and heated front seats.
What We Think
Motor Trend’s 2015 Car of the Year continues to be one of the best offerings in its segment, with a Volkswagen for everyone from commuters and hyper-milers to performance enthusiasts. In a comparison test that also included the Kia Forte5, Mazda3, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra GT, the Golf TSI won because it expertly blended refinement, driving dynamics and a class up interior built with high quality materials. Furthermore, the Golf was the second most spacious behind the Kia Forte5, making it practical for family use or for hauling gear. In a 2015 First Test review, we noted that the six-speed automatic isn’t very refined because it tends to chatter and lets off hard shifts on occasion. The Golf SportWagen also proved to be a good choice because it’s essentially a longer version of the hatchback. While it does feel more sluggish, we said in a 2015 First Drive review that the Golf SportWagen drives well with great agility and has a comfortable, well-appointed cabin. The extra cargo space, on the other hand, makes it a great alternative to crossovers, offering plenty of room for the family.
The Golf GTI continues to be a solid choice among sport compacts and hot hatches, offering excellent performance for the money and a surprising level of refinement. In a 2015 First Test review, we said that the GTI remains a benchmark because it offers exceptional levels of driving fun, especially when equipped with the Performance package. As a whole package, the car is hard to beat since it also has an interior that’s a step above its class. The GTI also won a comparison test that included the Subaru WRX, Mini Cooper S and Honda Civic Si because it shined both on the race track and in real world driving thanks to its excellent balance of performance and refinement.
If the Golf GTI isn’t enough when it comes to performance, consider the Golf R, which is the quickest and most capable model in the lineup. We said in a 2015 First Test review, that the golf R drives confidently and comes with performance levels that rival thoroughbred sports cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C. Additionally, the electronic nannies in the Golf R aren’t as intrusive and give the driver more wiggle room to push the car’s boundaries. In a comparison test that also included the Subaru WRX STI, the Golf R won because it offered better performance thanks to its excellent steering, linear power delivery, composed chassis, and strong brakes. Additionally, the car can be daily driven thanks to its surprisingly compliant ride on less-than-perfect road surfaces.
The e-Golf, as we noted in a 2015 First Test review, felt like driving a normal car on short commutes thanks to its high-torque drivetrain, which allows it to flow well with traffic. However, when it’s in Eco mode, the throttle response is dulled so much that it isn’t worth using it.
A plug-in model called the GTE will arrive in the next couple years.
- Great performance and handling on all variants
- Well-built and spacious interior
You Won’t Like:
- Gets expensive quickly
- Navigation isn’t available on the lower-end variants
- Eco mode in the e-Golf dulls the throttle response