Inside the Volkswagen Golf – 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year

Inside the Volkswagen Golf – 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year

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VW Golf - Motor Trend Car of the Year
VW Golf - Motor Trend Car of the Year

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2014 – Volkswagen’s 2015 Golf lineup, including VW’s first all-electric e-Golf, surpasses more than twenty other vehicles for the coveted prize of Motor Trend Car of the year.

The 2015 VW Golf 1.8T, Golf GTI and Golf TDI “clean diesel” were also amongst the winners.

Motor Trend editor-in-chief Ed Loh says VW “floored our judges by re-imagining the seventh generation Golf for nearly every need and want. From the value-laden Golf 1.8T and high-MPG Golf TDI to the legendary hot hatch GTI and all-electric e-Golf, there truly is a Golf for everyone.”

And that’s not an understatement. The seventh generation, fun-to-drive 2015 VW Golf lineup includes four powertrains: the zippy Golf 1.8T, the super fuel efficient Golf TDI “clean diesel,” the super sporty Golf GTI and the electric-powered e-Golf.

Compared to previous generations, VW says its new best-selling Golf lineup is “bigger, lighter, more fuel-efficient, and even more versatile.”


It seems Motor Trend editors agree that this two-door compact car (which starts at just $17,995 plus $820 destination and handling) is an excellent value.

CDN Auto Columnist Greg Sanchez took the 2015 e-Golf on a road test recently. Here are his driving impressions:

“As the name implies, the e-Golf ditches the regular Golf’s assortment of gasoline and diesel engines for an electric motor. Developing 115 HP and 199 lb-ft of torque, the e-Golf is the least powerful version of the Volkswagen hatchback, but does make the second most amount of torque in the Golf family. Power is still fed to the front wheels, but now through a single-speed, direct-drive automatic transmission.

The handling, dynamics and the overall performance of this new e-Golf are exceptional. It feels smooth and friendly with one nifty driving feature available in the e-Golf is paddle-shifters (on the steering wheel) to control the level of regenerative braking. Dialing the regen up or down affects how quickly the car slows down without putting your foot on the brake. Slowing down faster—the motor-generator applies a grabbing action—means that more of the braking energy is used to recharge the battery pack. The net result is more range.”

Remember, Volkswagen will be rolling out a 292-hp, all-wheel-drive Golf R and Golf SportWagen in early 2015.

Each vehicle considered for the annual car industry award is put through a nine-day, grueling series of performance and road tests by Motor Trend writers and editors to measure acceleration, braking and handling on three separate courses at a professional automotive test center.

This year’s testing started with 23 contenders, narrowing down to ten vehicles including the Audi A3, BMW 2 series, Ford Mustang, Honda Fit, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Sedona, Lexus RC, Maserati Ghibli and Mercedez-Benz C-Class.


After the course testing, each “finalist” vehicle is then given a road test in a broad range of riding surfaces and traffic conditions. Motor Trend says the vehicles are then evaluated on “ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise and ergonomics.”

In addition, VW says each vehicle is evaluated on these six criteria:

  • Design Advancement—well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
  • Engineering Excellence—total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
  • Efficiency—low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle’s competitive set.
  • Safety—a vehicle’s ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
  • Value—competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
  • Performance of Intended Function—how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.

For more information about the award, judging process, and the contenders, check out the January 2015 issue of Motor Trend, visit and search the hashtags #MTCOTY, #VW and #Ready.Set.Golf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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