Freshly redesigned, the Volkswagen Golf is enjoyable to drive, smooth and fuel efficient. The front seats are comfortable and the cabin is austere but roomy, functional and of better quality than pre-2010 models. The Volkswagen Golf is a front-wheel-drive compact car that comes in two-door and four-door body styles. Both seat five. The Golf offers a choice of a 2.5-liter five-cylinder gasoline engine or a 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine. The diesel offers much better fuel efficiency but the purchase price is much higher. The Golf was completely redesigned for 2010, making this the sixth generation. The 2011 Volkswagen Golf carries over unchanged except for some updated technology. The 2011 Golf offers voice-controlled Bluetooth and comes standard with a single-CD RCD310 stereo. Though freshly redesigned, the Golf looks like it always has. Inside is an austere cabin with comfortable seats. The Golf is roomier than it looks, and the trunk is large for the class. Audio and air conditioning controls are simple and easy to use. Driver visibility is excellent. We found the Golf cruises quietly and easily with either engine. Handling and ride quality are better than that of the competition, and the brakes work well and hold up without overheating to repeated hard use. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that comes standard puts out a very usable 170 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque at 4250 rpm. It offers a choice of Tiptronic 6-speed automatic or, on the 2-door, a 5-speed manual. This inline-5 gets an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg with the 6-speed Tiptronic, or 22/30 mpg City/Highway with the manual. The manual offers better performance, able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, compared with an 8.1 second run for the automatic. It feels brisk from a standstill and responds readily to the gas pedal at highway speeds. The 5-speed manual gearbox is easy to shift, with a smooth, easy clutch pedal. The Tiptronic automatic shifts smoothly in automatic or manual mode. The Volkswagen Golf TDI comes with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. TDI stands for turbocharged direct injection. The TDI model offers a choice of a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed dual clutch, automated manual, called the Direct Shift Gearbox, or DSG. This alphabet soup of technology results in superb fuel economy: The TDI gets an EPA-estimated 30/41 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission, 30/42 mpg with the DSG. The TDI turbodiesel engine produces 140 horsepower at 4000 rpm, and an impressive 236 pound-feet of torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm. Note the diesel offers substantially more torque (236 foot-pounds) than does the gas engine (177), and the TDI delivers its peak torque at much lower rpm. Torque is that force that propels you from intersections and up hills. This suggests responsive performance around town from the TDI, the kind of driving most of us do most of the time, and that's exactly what we experienced. However, the gas engine propels the Golf off the line more quickly. INTERIOR Front head room 39 Rear head room 39 Front shoulder room 55 Rear shoulder room 53 Front leg room 41.2 Rear leg room 35.5 Luggage capacity 15.1 Cu.Ft. Maximum cargo capacity 46.0 Cu.Ft. Standard seating 5 EXTERIOR Length 165.4 Body width 70.3 Body height 58.3 Wheelbase 101.5 Ground clearance 5.4 Curb 3,102 Lbs. Gross weight 4,278 Lbs. FUEL Fuel tank capacity 14.5 Gal. EPA mileage estimates 24 City / 31 Hwy PERFORMANCE Base engine size 2.5 Liters Base engine type I-5 Horsepower 170 Hp Horsepower rpm 5,700 Torque 177 Lb-Ft. Torque rpm 4,250 Payload 999 Lbs. Drive type Front-Wheel Turning radius 17.9 ''