The Volkswagen Golf looks a little different from other hatchbacks, but that’s part of its charm. Its quirky, boxy figure sets it apart from the crowd and allows it to hold more cargo than the average compact car. It’s also fun to drive and even has a sportier counterpart, the Golf GTI.
The regular Volkswagen Golf comes in only one trim, so drivers get every feature available. It doesn’t have as much tech as some rivals, but smartphone integration is a standard feature. Is the 2021 Volkswagen Golf’s infotainment system iPhone-friendly?
Getting Apple CarPlay in the 2021 Volkswagen Golf
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in the 2021 Volkswagen Golf. Pairing your iPhone is easy, and the system even reminds you to take your phone when exiting the vehicle. However, U.S. News reports that the infotainment system crawls to respond and that the graphics look outdated.
The Golf’s 6.5-inch touchscreen also makes it difficult for some drivers to read the on-screen text. But climate and audio settings are easy to configure thanks to large physical buttons. You can also use a pinch-to-zoom function to enlarge the text, but it could distract you while driving. The infotainment system also comes with Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and one USB port.
The 2021 Volkswagen Golf also boasts plenty of advanced safety features. They include automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, rain-sensitive wipers, and blind-spot monitors.
What else comes standard on the Volkswagen Golf?
The Volkswagen Golf has only one engine choice, a 1.4-liter turbo-four capable of 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but there’s also an eight-speed automatic gearbox available. Kelley Blue Book says the automatic is a welcome change from the class-standard continuously variable transmission, but both operate smoothly.
The Golf isn’t exceptionally fast, but the steering wheel provides nice feedback and turns corners with ease. The manual transmission is a little more fun to use and provides better fuel economy. It’s rated for 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
Interior quality is good for a car of the Volkswagen Golf’s price point. Every component fits nicely in its place, with several soft-padded surfaces and shiny chrome accents. The seats and steering wheel are wrapped in leatherette, another uncommon feature in most compact cars.
The Volkswagen Golf can seat up to five riders, and the front seats come with standard heating. According to Consumer Reports, visibility is great from all sides, even with a thick roof pillar. The driver seat’s manual adjustability and telescoping steering wheel allow drivers of all sizes to find a comfortable position.
Passengers also have plenty of space in the second row, though some reviewers feel that the backrest is too rigid. The cargo area measures almost 53 cubic inches when the second row is folded flat. You can also secure fragile cargo with the included bag hooks, and there’s even a 12-volt power outlet to charge electronics.
The Volkswagen Golf includes 60/40-split seat backs. So it’s still a functional hauler even with the second row partially upright. Plentiful storage cubbies also dot the interior.
Who should buy a Golf?
U.S. News scored the Volkswagen Golf well. The publication gave the VW model an overall score of 8 out of 10. However, it doesn’t place highly in its class because of outdated technology and an unremarkable powertrain. These two factors, combined with a high retail price, make the Golf a poor value.
You could still argue its interior is better than other standard hatchbacks. Plus, it boasts Apple CarPlay and a delightfully efficient engine.