Can The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI Be A Family Car?

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI.pngCars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are traditionally considered to be family cars–yet the Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as large cars. And if you’ve driven them, you know the EPA’s not kidding. These sedans are big, no two ways about it.

So here’s a question: Does a car have to be large in order to be suitable for family use?

Certainly, sedans like the Accord and Camry offer distinct advantages relative to cheaper, smaller alternatives like the Civic and Corolla. But what if there was a car that combined the refinement and versatility of a large car with the manageable dimensions of a small one? We drove the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI recently, and we think it just might offer the best of both worlds. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this VW tick.

1. Deceptively spacious cabin

Most folks dismiss the Volkswagen Golf as just another small car, but they don’t know what they’re missing. Rear legroom and headroom is superb; we bet Golf owners hardly ever find themselves wishing for more. Yet this VW is compact enough to squeeze into any urban parking spot, unlike the mainstream “family car” behemoths that are a chore to maneuver through tight spaces.

And don’t forget about the handy hatchback body style. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf can swallow 22.8 cubic feet of cargo behind its rear seats, which is about seven cubes more than the typical family sedan. Plus, you can fold the Golf’s rear seatbacks to open up more than 50 cubic feet of space, a figure that no family sedan can touch.

Driving 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI.png

2. Awesome powertrain

Whenever you see “TDI” on a Golf, it means there’s a turbodiesel engine under the hood, and that’s a very good thing. The latest generation of VW’s turbodiesel 2.0-liter four is rated at just 150 horsepower, but the figure you want to focus on is the 236 pound-feet of torque. All that torque is available at low rpm, so the Golf TDI launches effortlessly from stoplights and always has some extra punch in reserve. Of course, diesels are known for their fuel economy, and the 2015 VW Golf TDI doesn’t disappoint, returning up to 45 mpg–way more than the most efficient family sedan.

3. Premium character

Here’s the other thing that prevents more Americans from buying small cars. There’s a perception out there that small equals cheap, and it drives a lot of folks to buy bigger cars than they really need. If that mindset sounds familiar, go drive a Golf and see what you think. You’ll be astonished by how nice everything is in this car, from the materials on the dashboard to the precise, expertly damped knobs and levers–not to mention the crisp, well-lit gauges and displays. The Golf presents as a more expensive car, and that’s a rare thing these days. Whereas most family cars feel built to a price, the Golf feels like the engineers had the leeway to get everything just right. It’s like having a little luxury car at no extra cost.

The best family car around $25,000?
We think the 2015 VW Golf TDI is a strong contender for this prize, all things considered. But are we wrong? Have you experienced the new Golf TDI for yourself? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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