2011 Volkswagen Golf : The best golf of all-time gets updated

Written By:
Photography by:

HERNDON, Va. – Last year’s “World Car of the Year,” the Volkswagen Golf, just got better as the 2011 Volkswagen Golf updated its technology offerings to stay ahead of the competitors. All Volkswagen Golf models now come with the option of having voice controlled Bluetooth® technology. Additionally, the standard audio system on the new Golf is the RCD 310 stereo system, featuring a single disc CD player and radio.


The Volkswagen Golf will be available in both two and four-door models, carrying the Volkswagen brand heritage into overdrive with proven, German-engineered performance and refinement at affordable starting prices. The Golf starts at $17,965 for the two-door model with manual transmission, and $19,685 for the four-door automatic version. Several options are available to make the 2011 Golf a perfect choice for those consumers who demand a compact car that is equipped to not only be functional when called upon, but also looks, drives, and feels fun at the same time.




From the first glance, the 2011 Golf proudly shows off the Volkswagen brand with a front end design that includes a wide, double-bar grille that blends into angled halogen headlamps for a sportier visage (High Intensity Gas-discharged Xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting are available as an option on the clean diesel TDI model). The body-colored bumper sits above a revised lower front fascia featuring a wide-mouthed cooling duct. Crystalline oval fog lamps complete the front fascia on TDI models. These elements, combined with the Golf’s wider appearance, give the hatchback a more commanding road presence.


Black window trim and the absence of side moldings keep things simple along the sides, for a cleaner look that remains pleasing to the eye. Heading to the rear, a hatch spoiler with integrated third brake light sits atop the hatch and is painted to match the rest of the body while touching on the Golf’s sporty capabilities. Updated taillights mimic their counterparts from up front, and feature integrated clear turn signal and reverse indicators along the bottom edge. Running reflectors are blended into the lower rear bumper which adds a blacked out insert and a cutout for a pair of exhaust tips.


Engine and Transmission


Similar to last year, the 2011 Golf will be available with the choice of two engines. Customers can choose a 2.5L inline five-cylinder gasoline engine, or the 50-state compliant, 2.0L four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine.


The standard 2.5L engine puts out a very usable 170 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, and a potent 177 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm. The 2.5L features an aluminum alloy cross flow head with four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, maintenance-free hydraulic lifters, and a Motronic® sequential multi-port fuel injection.


A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on the two-door model, and a six-speed automatic gearbox with Tiptronic® control is standard on the four-door, which allows drivers to shift manually with an up or down push of the gear lever. The manual transmission with the 2.5L engine results in a quick zero to 60 mph time of 7.8 seconds, and rewards drivers with a return of 23 mpg in the city, and 33 mpg on the highway, based on EPA estimates. Drivers who option their Golf with the six-speed automatic transmission can enjoy EPA estimates of 24 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg for highway travel, and an 8.1 second run to 60 mph from a standstill.


For drivers that desire a fuel-sipping compact that emits approximately 25 percent less greenhouse gas and achieves more than 30 percent better fuel economy compared to a similar gasoline engine, the 2011 Golf equipped with the 2.0L TDI clean diesel engine is more than up to the task. Available in both two-door and four-door models, the Golf TDI is marked by its fusion of German-tuned performance and impressive fuel economy – compliments of an advanced electronically-controlled turbocharger and the electronically-controlled direct injection fuel system. The valve train consists of a single overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters for added piece of mind. All combined, the 2.0L powerhouse produces 140 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, and an impressive 236 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm.


To deliver all that power to the road smoothly, a traditional six-speed manual transmission comes standard on the TDI clean diesel, and is good for an EPA-estimated 30 mpg during city travel, 42 mpg on the highway, and zero to 60 mph time of 8.6 seconds. Drivers can also go for the optional six-speed automatic DSG® transmission with Tiptronic, and have the performance of the manual gearbox with the effortless precision of an automatic transmission. The DSG uses an automated dual-clutch system that instantly engages the disengaged gears without the need for a driver-activated clutch pedal. A computer engages one clutch on the next gear needed, just as the clutch from the previous gear is released. Each resulting shift is quick yet smooth, and lacks the power loss that occurs when using a traditional manual transmission. Tiptronic mode stops the transmission’s automated shifting and instead lets the driver control gear changes by either tapping the gearshift lever up or down, or using the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With the DSG transmission, the Golf TDI clean diesel models provide 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, as well as an 8.6 second sprint from zero to 60 mph.


Chassis and Suspension


The new Golf yearns to be driven and inspires drivers with the confidence to do so with the utmost of ease and comfort, whether cruising along the highways, or taking on the twists and turns of country roads. At its core is a laser-welded unibody construction that remains stiff and helps keep everything in line as the Golf zips along. At the front, a fully independent suspension with McPherson struts and an anti-roll bar comes standard on the 2.5L models, while the TDI models include an updated sport suspension for improved road-hugging dynamics. Moving to the rear, a fully independent four-link arrangement with coil springs, telescopic shocks and another stabilizer bar keep the Golf agile yet rider-friendly in most any driving situation.


Steering is enhanced with an electro-mechanical, variably-assisted, power rack-and-pinion system that, when combined with a quick ratio, gives an unprecedented level of control and accuracy in the corners and out on the straights. Bringing the Golf to a halt are power assisted four wheel disc brakes, with vented rotors at the front and solid rotors at the rear and the safety of an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). The advanced braking system works seamlessly with the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC®) that includes a collection of traction and safety features such as Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD).




On the inside, the latest Golf carries its refinement throughout with a variety of stylish additions that will aim to keep drivers and passengers comfortable and pleased. All models start out with eight-way manually adjustable sports seats at the front, which include two-way adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable head restraints. The rear seats include adjustable head restraints for all seating positions, a center armrest, and have 60/40 split folding capability for maximizing cargo space when needed. Both the front and rear seats come standard with Volkswagen’s “Titan Black” cloth fabric. Heated front seats are available as an option on all 2011 Golf models with the cold weather package, which also adds convenient front heated windshield washer nozzles. At the helm, the updated three-spoke steering wheel features an embossed center section, and is upgraded to leather-wrapped version with multifunction controls on TDI models.


Brushed metallic appearance trim inserts are standard on the dash and in the door panels of all Golf models, and accent the redesigned instrument panel and center console. Chrome trim surrounds the tachometer on the left side, which incorporates an integrated temperature gauge, and the speedometer on the right, which has an integrated fuel gauge. Located between the black analog gauges is a multi-function onboard computer display that provides the driver with key information regarding the selected gear, fuel mileage, odometer, and more. A full power sunroof can also be ordered on all Golf models.


The HVAC system controls are handled by a more ergonomic arrangement of knobs and buttons versus the more traditional dial and button layout, complimenting the different stereo and navigation systems available. Standard on the 2.5L models is an eight-speaker AM/FM radio system with single-disc CD player, MP3 CD readability, and an auxiliary input jack for connecting portable media players.


All Golf TDI models come standard with a touch-screen 8-speaker sound system featuring an AM/FM/Sirius Satellite Radio®, in-dash six-disc CD changer with MP3 CD readability, theft deterrence, and an auxiliary input jack. Mobile Device Interface (MDI) is also standard along with Bluetooth® connectivity in the TDI model. For audiophiles, the crystal clear 300W Dynaudio® 300W premium sound system is available as an option for TDI models.


The Golf TDI can also be purchased with touch-screen RNS 315 navigation system that includes a 5” high resolution display, WMA/MP3 audio CD playback through the Dynaudio 300W system, a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack in the center console. The system provides both visual and audible commands through the center console display, as well as the digital display located in the instrument cluster.


Active and Passive Safety


The 2011 Golf upholds Volkswagen’s full-line promise of riding protection for drivers and passengers alike, and includes the Prevent and Preserve Safety System with 40 different standard features that all work together to help avoid accidents whenever possible and help protect occupants when an accident is unavoidable. These include six airbags (dual front, dual front side thorax, and Side Curtain Protection®), optimized front head restraints, front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters, three-point safety belts in all five seating positions (two front and three rear) with emergency locking retractors, and more. Four-door Golf models also offer the option of having rear side thorax airbags for outboard passengers.


In addition to the above standout safety items, the 2011 Golf, like all 2011 Volkswagen models, comes with the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC®) as standard equipment, ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) mandate that by 2012, all vehicles produced will need to include some form of Electronic Stability Control (ESC®). According to NHTSA, having ESC® in a vehicle results in 35 percent fewer single-vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars. Volkswagen’s ESC® compares the driver’s intended course with the vehicle’s actual direction. If a discrepancy is detected, ESC® automatically brakes individual front or rear wheels and/or reduces engine power as needed to help maintain directional control.


Roadside Assistance and Warranty


For added convenience, the 2011 Golf comes standard with 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever occurs first) as standard (third party provider.)  In addition, every 2011 Golf model offers the following limited warranties:


·         Five-year / 60,000 mile (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty

·         Three-year / 36,000 mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty

·         12-year unlimited distance Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation


The Golf, like all 2011 model year Volkswagen models, is included in the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Under this program, all of the Golf’s scheduled maintenance, as described in the maintenance booklet, is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty – three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, the Volkswagen Golf uses synthetic oil which when combined with the state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change. This ultimately allows Volkswagen owners to drive farther between scheduled oil changes.


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 is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker.  Volkswagen sells the Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.  All 2011 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Control.  This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt


Special edition of the Jetta GLI goes on sale early in 2014
Special edition of the Jetta GLI goes on sale early in 2014

In 1984, Volkswagen introduced the first Jetta GLI to the U.S. market, setting the blueprint for all subsequent versions of this beloved sport sedan...

Unofficial Last Sunday cruise to Big Socal Euro
Unofficial Last Sunday cruise to Big Socal Euro

101 to the 5 this group of VW and Audi's cruise to Southern California's largest gathering of European vehicles...

The new Golf Sportsvan
The new Golf Sportsvan

Volkswagen is presenting a concept car of the newly developed Golf Sportsvan in a world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. The compact minivan will complete the Golf family at the middle of next year....

EuroCar News on youTube Follow eurocarnews on Twitter