When you think of VW’s best-selling car, I’m sure you first think of the VW Golf.
Now, the 2019 Golf GTI has taken another step in its evolution, and one that might upset the purists among us. Exterior styling that doesn’t immediately identify it as an EV might make it appealing to introverted drivers, though, and that’s something that can’t be said of the Bolt or the wacky-looking Toyota Prius Prime. Uneducated onlookers might dismiss the Golf as a little economy car. Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates.
Our 2018 Golf reached 40 mpg, while the 2019 model’s fuel economy was better than 39 mpg during an 80-mile, mostly highway trip. While torque has remained consistent, horsepower is 4 less than the 2018 VW Golf R. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is equipped with a turbocharged TSI 2L inline 4 engine. The Clubsport is expected to have an engine that develops more than 300 horsepower, while the top-notch Golf R may even end up in the same mad segment with the Audi RS3. Most issues minor, though may be elusive. The traction control on the TCR is well-tuned in its default mode but flickers regularly in the wet as it reels in all that power being fed to the front wheels.
The Golf GTI also comes with a limited-slip differential, pretty essential for exiting corners quickly. Changes for 2019 are incremental, as it now comes standard with a high-resolution infotainment screen that offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Other changes from the facelift include new wheels, a revised fascia incorporating new LED headlights and bumper. The taillights are also full LED car lights now, and all Golf R’s come with the full LCD Digital Cockpit, like the one found in some Audis.
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Rowing through the gears is easy, the clutch pedal has precisely enough resistance and heel & toeing is a breeze thanks to pedal positioning. Final thoughts. Volkswagen keeps the pedal to the metal with its Golf, which is a lot of fun to drive with excellent ride quality. The powerful binders actuate via a progressive and firm brake pedal to halt the automatic-equipped R we tested from 70 mph in a solid 157 feet. Now, by soft, I mean softer than an STI and a Type R, because for common mortals like you and me, the Golf R is still rather stiff, and rock solid. Golf arrived in late 2014. Now, the all-new 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI will be unveiled.