2001 GTI New Car Test Drive
Volkswagen calls it the world's best-loved hatchback. Call it what you want, but the Golf is quick. It corners well, it rides nice, it's comfortable and it's practical. It has soul.
Those who don't like its styling or don't appreciate the hatchback design just don't get it. Two can sit comfortably in back. Fold the seats down and you can cram loads of stuff in the cargo area.
It's one of the most refined compact cars available. It exudes fine German engineering. With either the 1.8-liter turbo or the narrow-angle V6, this car is fun to drive.
Volkswagen's ultimate driver's car is the sporty GTI, which delivers German performance born on the autobahn, as well as a refined, high-quality interior.
Golf comes in two basic configurations: two-door GL and four-door GLS.
Volkswagen offers more engine options for its compact than any other manufacturer. Four engines are available for the Golf: 115-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4; 150-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4; 174-horsepower 2.8-liter VR6; 90-horsepower 1.9-liter TDI turbocharged diesel inline-4. GTI comes standard with the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine. GTI GLX comes with Volkswagen's 2.8-liter narrow-angle V6.
Retail prices for the Golf and GTI model lines: GL 2.0L 3-Door ($14,900); GL TDI 3-Door ($16,195); GLS 2.0L 5-Door ($16,350); GLS TDI 5-Door ($17,400); GLS 1.8T 5-Door ($17,900); GTI GLS 1.8T 3-Door ($19,275); GTI GLX 3-Door ($22,900).
All models come standard with a five-speed manual gearbox. Optional automatic transmissions add about $875. A Leather Package is available for the GTI GLS for $850.