2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI first drive shows improvement

Our first impression of the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI was at the Denver Auto Show earlier this year, where we saw the vehicle for the first time and were able to climb in and out of it and fiddle with its knobs and buttons. Recently, we were given the chance to drive it briefly at a press event in the Denver area this summer, shortly before it hit showrooms. Our initial impressions were solidified into a very positive first drive of the new 2015 Golf TDI.

2015 VW Golf TDI-1

Volkswagen has done a lot to improve this car, including expanding interior space, improving driver ergonomics, and making several engineering considerations to make production simpler and cheaper without compromising quality. All in all, the new Golf is very impressive. With the clean diesel option, it’s even better.

Officially, MPG numbers for EPA estimates have not been released for the new Golf TDI, but they will be high (well into the 40s, likely close to 50). What we learned driving it, though, is that despite that extremely high efficiency, it’s still a peppy, fun little driver. Something the Golf has always been known for and that enthusiasts expect. A friend, who is a big fan of the Golf platform, was equally impressed with this new rendition.

On the road, the Golf is a sure driver with a confident feel and sort of subconscious fun factor that creeps in once in a while as you go. It’s not in-your-face fun like some cars, but you feel like it is a good time waiting to happen while you’re in it.

2015 VW Golf TDI-3As for the diesel’s performance, well, the VW Group has really perfected diesel engines in small cars and the 2015 VW Golf TDI exemplifies that. In fact, except for which pump you use to fill it and how often you have to do so, most will never realize it’s a diesel. It’s smooth, quiet, and offers a lot of low-end torque.

Interior space, as mentioned, is now much larger and more ergonomic. Our beef with the previous-generation Golf had always been its lack of shoulder room and goofy driver’s cockpit when compared to higher-selling vehicles in the segment. Most of that is improved now, with a lot more shoulder room, great head room, and a full-sized back seat (consider this is a compact) that allows much more comfort. Driving ergonomics are more obvious to the American operator as well, though some German nuances are still plain to keep the quirkiness that marks VW.

In short, as a new Volkswagen product, the 2015 Golf TDI remedies many of the problems the car has had in the past and really comes forward as a fun little driver with extremely high efficiency despite its peppiness. Nicely done.

2015 VW Golf TDI-2

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.