2019 Volkswagen Golf Review


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2019 Volkswagen Golf Overview

A perennial favorite for small hatchback shoppers all over the world, the Volkswagen Golf comes in many flavors, from the cheap and economical to the downright sporty. The GTI and Golf R “hot hatches” as well as the fully electric e-Golf, are covered in separate previews.

For 2019, Volkswagen dropped the performance of the Golf, at least in the lower-tier models. Instead of the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder from last year, this year’s Golf gets a 1.4-liter turbocharged-4 with 147 horsepower. The Golf comes standard with a 6-speed manual, but most will be ordered with the optional 8-speed automatic. Expect fuel economy ratings of 29 city, 37 highway, and 32 combined for the automatic and manual.

While the rear seats aren’t gigantic, the high and flat roofline of the Golf offers plenty of headroom. The Golf has 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats upright, which expands to 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. If seat space is more important than cargo room in the back, the Jetta sedan has a larger back seat than the Golf and may be worth considering.

Standard features for the 2019 Golf include a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, a single USB port, air conditioning, and cloth seats. The SE adds keyless ignition, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, a moonroof, and synthetic leather seats.

In crash testing, the seventh generation Golf gets mostly top “Good” marks with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but hasn’t gone through all the tests for a comprehensive rating. Standard safety features include forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, while available options include blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

The Golf goes up against heavy-hitters like the Mazda3 and Honda Civic, but it has decades of name recognition going for it in addition to a clean, handsome look. Buyers interested in something a little faster will want to check out the GTI and Golf R models, and those looking for a little more room and utility without stepping up to an SUV might want to look at the separate SportWagen and Alltrack versions, while the fuel-conscious will have to have a look at the all-electric e-Golf.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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