2020 Volkswagen Golf: plain but still awesome?
Back in 1974, Volkswagen decided to show the world a long-term replacement for the Beetle. They named this newborn Golf. After 46 years, this long-term replacement finally happened, and 2020 was the last production year of the Beetle, but the 2020 Volkswagen Golf is here, and we’re driving it today.
What does the Golf mean to me? Something that’s fun to drive, budget-friendly, and, most importantly, very fuel-efficient with a ton of flexibility even when you have an entry-level trim.
Small hot hatch. Lots of fun
The base model starts from $23,195, and that’s exactly what we have here. Only four colors to choose, and this is pretty much the same for GTI or even Golf R. For some reason, you can’t get this in beautiful Habanero Orange like we’ve seen in Jetta. Does the manufacturer want you to be invisible to the police?
The style is unique. LED taillights, the backup camera that pops up from the VW logo and never gets dirty. Even opening the hatch is something that you won’t see elsewhere. Inside you get semi-powered seats because you can move the top portion of the seat front and back but you have to do manual “slides,” and it’s the same for the front passengers as well. The infotainment system has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I would have praised VW for providing it in such an entry-level car, but… I wasn’t even able to give it a try. Why? It’s quite simple. Instead of regular USB, they’ve put USB Type-C here. I don’t consider my OnePlus 6T an old phone, and most of the new Android phones will be still shipped without Type-C cable from the factory. It’s just a little bit weird to see it in a car that still has manual climate controls. Anyways, you’ve got Bluetooth, so don’t worry about the cable if you need only music streaming and answering your phone calls.
The stereo is basic but sounds just fine. Plus, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf got VW Car-Net that can turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot and give you a ton of features like remote locking/unlocking the doors, tracking your car, and even showing your DriveView score. I hope VW won’t look at mine because I drove this car like any hatch should be driven — hard and with the big smile on my face.
You’d be surprised to see this big sunroof that slides all the way back and looks like an expensive option that you get here at no charge. Also, keyless access and push-to-start button is here, as well as some safety features for everyday use. Additionally, you get a blind-spot monitor and front assist that will alert you if you’re not maintaining the proper distance with the car in front of you. On top of that, the new VW Golf also got autonomous emergency braking in case you won’t react on time.
Power is something where VW shines. 1.4L turbo is offering you 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This not as important as MPG numbers. Ready? I was driving on freeways a lot while pushing the pedal to the metal and still got over 37 MPG after over 500 miles in one week. That’s impressive, especially when you see that VW claims only 36MPG on freeway. I’m confident you might even clock closer to 40 MPG highway, and this is something that you can’t get elsewhere.
It feels planted, firm but comfortable, and very stable when you push the corners hard. Not the GTI or Golf R but it still has this hot hatch feeling. This is the easiest solution when it comes to buying a new vehicle. Only four colors for the exterior and two for the interior. You decide if you want to “downgrade” your driving emotions and go with a “lazy” 8-speed automatic transmission that will cost you an additional $800 or if you still want to pedal the hatch your own way? Again, it’s built to be driven, and this fun factor is hard to find in any other car unless you’re buying the 2020 Volkswagen Golf. Drop the gear and floor it. The rabbit has to run!