2016 Volkswagen Golf Review: Zippy And Fun For Small Families

2016 Volkswagen Golf
Credit: vw.com

The sporty VW Golf can be your one and only.

My family lives in downtown Denver. So far downtown that we only have one car to match our one 13-year-old child. Before that, a lot of time was spent switching cars out of the driveway. We are considering replacing that one car we have left, so we test drove a 2016 Volkswagen Golf TSI.

If you are interested in a wagon, check out our Sportswagon review, or better yet, a sneak peak at Volkwagon’s full lineup of 2015 vehicles.

Room for fun

Volkswagen Golf

FUN in a 2016 Volkswagen Golf – along with lots of room. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

To keep using that one word: FUN. The shape, size and power of this car made driving FUN. I loved the way it handled, especially on the highway, and we had more room than I expected for our near 6-foot tall frames. Even my son could crawl into the hatchback, no problem. There is also a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and 8-way partial power passenger seat. Add in the telescoping steering wheel, and there is no way you can’t get comfortable.

The model we drove had heated seats and heated side mirrors – a must for Colorado winters. The panoramic sunroof was also perfect for Colorado summers, meaning it can open a little or a lot – but also had a shade that pulls closed when our mile high sun is blazing.

Easy navigation and tech

Volkswagen Golf

Navigating in a 2016 Volkswagen Golf is a snap. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

I was also a big fan of the navigation system – so easy to figure out! My phone synced quickly and I could input four of my favorite contacts to be at my fingertips at all times.

Volkswagen Golf

Enlarged controls are easy to see. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The controls for the radio would enlarge as it sensed when my hand came near it. How cool is that?

Best yet? A reminder to not forget your phone in the car!

Safety through technology

Our Golf also featured Volkswagen’s Car Net. This program was introduced in 2014 and covers four areas: Safe & Secure, Remote Vehicle Access, Family Guardian, as well as Diagnostics & Maintenance. They are linked up between the car, your smartphone and your desktop computer. In the event of a crash, the car will automatically call for help. Or something that would probably be used more frequently: Car Net can help you find your car in a parking lot.

Those of us with kids approaching driving age will love Family Guardian which can alert you if the car exceeds a certain limit, or goes beyond set geographic boundaries. I don’t mind being a little big Big Brother when it comes to helping my son drive safely!

Volkswagen Golf

Gas friendly and stylish. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Overall, big thumbs up from my family. The Volkswagen Golf is a great car for parents with one or two children who are looking for a gas-friendly yet still stylish ride.

OK, just one complaint

Overall, I would say my only issue with this Golf was the turbo. But wait, hear me out. As I mentioned, I live in the city of Denver, which means lots of city driving. There was just a bit of a pause as I started up from a full stop, which was a little annoying. This is a normal thing sometimes called “turbolag” and when I was driving on bigger stretches of road or on the highway, it was unnoticeable. In fact, as you might guess, the Golf handled like a DREAM at higher speeds. For me personally though, I would keep the lag in mind when thinking about what trim to purchase.

Volkswagen Golf

What a handy reminder. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What We Loved

  • Speed and handling
  • Well-designed navigation system
  • Small, sporty exterior
  • Roomy interior
  • Sunroof
  • Heated side mirrors and washer nozzles with available heated seats
  • Reachview camera
  • Fender premium audio system with 8 speakers plus subwoofer
Volkswagen Golf

Perfect size for city driving. Credit: Aimee Giese for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What You Need To Know

  • 8L Engine
  • 170 horsepower engine
  • 25 city, 36 highway MPG
  • Base price starts at $20,995 with trims going up to $27,395
  • Keyless access with push start
  • Rear logo-integrated hatch handle
  • Two 12V power outlets: 1 in front, 1 in rear
  • 3 year/36,000 miles warranty

Note: Volkswagen provided the Golf for a review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Aimee Giese is a blogger, graphic designer, web developer from Denver, Colorado. She and her small family do a... More about Aimee Giese