First Look: 2014 Volkswagen Golf

By Brandon Turkus

September 05, 2012

Volkswagen has unveiled the seventh generation of its iconic Golf. The popular hatchback is getting a host of changes for its latest iteration, with big changes coming under the hood (at least in Europe). The base engine is a 105-horsepower turbodiesel that delivers 62 European miles per gallon (51.62 mpg in American). There’s also a 1.4-liter turbo, that’ll net 49 mpg (40.8 mpg) with the help of cylinder deactivation. Again, these are European specs, so don’t rush off to your local VW dealer asking about the new 1.4-liter Golf, because they’ll look at you like you’re insane.
This new Golf is roughly 220 pounds lighter than the current version, which is a change we can expect to see in the North American market. VW has really gone the full business for weight loss, going so far as to shed 15 pounds from the seats, 51 pounds from the body-in-white, and six pounds from the air conditioning. This should result in a more efficient, and hopefully, more enjoyable driving experience.
Dimensionally, the Golf has grown (again). It’s 2.2 inches longer with a 2.3 inch increase in the wheelbase. To put that in perspective, the new Golf’s wheelbase is over seven inches longer than the original VW Passat.
The interior has been given a hefty refit, with more space for occupants and stuff. Cargo capacity has grown by an unknown amount, while there's an extra .6 inches of rear legroom, and 1.2 inches of extra shoulder room. There’s also a new infotainment screen, measuring a decent five-inches that’s available as standard equipment.
We’ll have more on the new, seventh-generation Golf in the coming weeks, including, hopefully, North American specs and availability.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Jeep.
First official images of VW’s best-selling car—and the first model off the new MQB architecture.
Herndon, VA -  Volkswagen today unveiled the new Golf, its best-selling car, at a press conference in Berlin, Germany. This seventh-generation version of one of the world’s most popular cars is striking in that it offers more features, even better safety, and more performance than the outgoing vehicle, while breaking the cycle of being heavier than its predecessor.
Overcoming the weight spiral
Indeed, the latest Golf is up to 220 pounds lighter than the outgoing car, thanks to careful focus on weight savings in all aspects of the car’s construction, from the electrical architecture through to the engines and the body-in-white. The air conditioning unit is, for example, six pounds lighter than the old car’s; the seats have shed 15 pounds; and the body-in-white is 51 pounds lighter. One major reason for the bodyshell’s weight loss is the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels. The share of the high-strength steels overall has gone from 66 percent in the previous Golf to 80 percent in the new one. Of this, the share of ultra-high-strength steel has gone from six to 28 percent.
Better fuel efficiency
One benefit of lowering the Golf’s weight is better fuel economy: the European-market 1.4 TSI® that uses a 140-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine fitted with cylinder de-activation gets a European Cycle combined fuel consumption figure of 49 mpg, while the base 105-horsepower TDI® Clean Diesel engine delivers 62 mpg on the EC combined cycle.
Longer, lower, wider
The new Golf is 2.2 inches longer than the old car, with an overall length of 167.5 inches. Similarly, the wheelbase has grown by 2.3 inches to 103.8 inches. Since the front wheels are now located 1.7 inches further forward, the proportions are sportier, the crash structure is improved, and the interior package further optimized. The new car is 0.8 inches lower and 0.5 inches wider than the old car.
Improved interior
The new Golf is more spacious, with a passenger compartment that is 0.6 inches longer than before, giving 0.6 inches more rear kneeroom. Shoulder room is improved by 1.2 inches in both the back and front of the car. Cargo capacity has also been enhanced, while the load area is more accessible.
A key feature of the interior is a new infotainment system, which incorporates a five-inch touchscreen, even on entry-level European models. At the top end, the Golf features a navigation system which has a large, eight-inch touchscreen.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.