• Longer, wider and lower than the current model.
  • More passenger and cargo space.
  • Lighter weight to improve fuel economy.

Volkswagen chose to forgo the typical auto show introduction of a new model, instead opting for a press conference in Berlin to reveal the completely redesigned version of its best seller. The 2014 Volkswagen Golf is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor to provide more passenger space. But thanks to a host of weight-saving measures, it's lighter too. That should help to improve fuel economy, even though the actual Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates for US-bound models are likely months away.

The new Golf is the seventh generation of the popular hatchback. The current model is available in 3-door and 5-door versions; the 2014 debut vehicle is a 5-door. Compared with its predecessor, the new Golf is 2.2 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that's extended by 2.3 in. It's also one half of an inch wider than the 2013 model, with a roofline that stands 0.8 in lower.

VW says the larger exterior dimensions translate to more passenger and cargo space, including 0.6 in of additional space for rear-seat passengers and 1.2 in of additional shoulder space for front and rear passengers. The 2014 Golf offers more cargo space too, but exact dimensions were not provided.

While it's common for redesigned models to grow larger (and this has certainly been the trend in the Golf's model history), bigger typically means heavier, too. But in Euro-spec trim, the 2014 Golf is actually 220 lb lighter than its predecessor. The weight savings are the result of lighter components, including the air conditioning unit and the seats. Further weight savings come from a body that uses more high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, shaving off 51 lb compared to the current Golf.

Because VW has not yet announced the specifications of the US-bound 2014 Golf, its fuel efficiency advantage over the current model is unknown. But lighter weight is usually beneficial to fuel efficiency, and the baseline definitely leaves room for improvement, especially in the gasoline-powered Golf. With the base 2.5-liter gasoline engine, the current Golf is EPA rated at a combined 26 miles per gallon. The optional 2.0-liter TDI, a diesel engine, achieves 34 mpg combined.

Expect further details on the 2014 Volkswagen Golf from AutoTrader.com as information is released in the coming months.

What it means to you: Lower, longer and wider than its predecessor, the all-new 2014 VW promises to be lighter and more fuel efficient too.


author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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