For 2019, the Volkswagen Golf and Golf Sportwagen drop the turbocharged 1.8L 4-cylinder engine making 170 hp and instead adopt the Jetta's turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder engine, which makes 147 hp. Only the all-wheel-drive Alltrack and the SportWagen with 4Motion all-wheel drive hold onto the larger engine. Elsewhere, the Golf adds advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitor, rear traffic alert and forward collision warning. Finally, the GTI gets a bump in engine output, from 220 to 228 horsepower. The brakes have been upgraded and it now features a mechanical limited-slip differential borrowed from the Golf R. A new Rabbit Edition has also been slotted into the GTI lineup.
The popular Volkswagen Golf is offered in both 4-door hatchback form and as a wagon, with 2-door hatchback variants no longer produced. The Golf 1.4 T and SportWagen are powered by a 147-horsepower turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder. In the hatchback, this is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The SportWagen 4Motion and the Alltrack, meanwhile, are powered by a 170-hp 1.8L turbocharged four. The SportWagen S 4Motion, SE, and SEL are offered with the automatic only. Meanwhile, the Alltrack S, SE and SEL all come standard with VW's 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
The Golf GTI comes with a potent turbocharged and intercooled 2.0L 4-cylinder that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and is offered with a choice of either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. At the top of the Golf hatchback range is the Golf R. The R also sports the turbocharged 2.0L, upped to 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet, with the sure-footedness of VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive. Power is put to the wheels through either the 6-speed manual or the 6-speed DSG transmission.
The all-electric e-Golf is powered by 24.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that runs a permanent-magnet 85-kW AC electric motor. The output equivalent is 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The car's range is 100-115 miles when fully charged, and a 240-volt dedicated in-home charger can recharge the battery in six hours. Using household 120-volt current takes 20 hours. The e-Golf offers three selectable driving modes: Normal, Eco and Eco+, which vary regenerative braking and throttle response to either maximize power or range.
Golf 1.4T models are offered in S and SE trims. The S trim includes 15-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free connectivity, an 8-speaker stereo with iPod hookup, 6.5-inch touchscreen with satellite radio, steering wheel audio controls, smartphone integration, remote keyless entry and a leather shift knob, as well as cloth seating with a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind-spot indicator and rear traffic alert are all standard as well. The SE brings 16-inch alloys, a power sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights and heated front seats.
GTIs come in S, SE and Autobahn trims, plus a Rabbit Edition. In S trim, the GTI offers LED fog lights, heated mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels, while inside there's plaid cloth upholstery with heated front seats, a cooled glovebox, selectable driving modes, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, the 6.5-inch touchscreen and a rearview camera.
In the SE, there's a sunroof, leather upholstery, a Fender audio system and automatic headlights. GTI Autobahn models add adaptive LED headlights and various performance upgrades like a limited-slip front differential, bigger brakes plus enhanced handling thanks to adaptive damping and a larger rear stabilizer bar. Dual-zone climate control, navigation and a 10-way power driver seat round out the selection.
The range-topping Golf R is packed with premium standard features that include a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, HID headlamps, heated power-adjustable leather seats and dual-zone climate control.
SportWagens are offered in three trims: S, SE and SEL, with an all-wheel-drive 4Motion variant also available in S trim. The S trim is configured similarly to the Golf S, with the addition of LED exterior lighting. In the SE, buyers will find 17-inch wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, halogen fog lights, a power panoramic sunroof and a rearview camera. Inside, amenities include a Fender premium audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer and heated front seats. The top-of-the-line SEL trim includes 18-inch wheels, touchscreen navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control and front sport seats with 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat.
With the exception of a more rugged exterior appearance, elevated ride height, and standard 4Motion all-wheel drive, the Alltrack in S, SE, and SEL is outfitted similarly to its SportWagen siblings.
All Golfs come with standard safety features that include anti-lock brakes, traction control and engine braking assist, plus a host of airbags to protect the cabin.