The Volkswagen Golf used to simply be a hatchback that had the style and spunk to be a vehicle we wanted to drive, but it’s elevated the lineup to become something more. Now we have the e-Golf, an all-electric model, a pair of high performers in the GTI and R models, and even a new wagon that is offered this year. The Golf has gone from being the hatchback that looks cute and has the drive that can give you a lot of fun to being a car that offers something for nearly everyone who drives on the road to enjoy.
The Golf is a car you can love if you want a European feel on the road but don’t want to pay the high prices of the European luxury vehicles. This car offers an interior that is impressive to look at and enjoy and a host of personality traits that can make the Golf your fun and funky party partner or your unassuming and reliable friend on the road. For 2017 the Golf has dropped all the two-door models and reduced the number of trims for the TSI to just two. The GTI gains a new Sport trim and the Autobahn adds adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking and a Driver Assistance Package to the mix.
No matter where you start with the Golf, you can assume you’ll have what the S trim offers. This trim gives you power windows and locks, air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, cloth seats, steering wheel audio controls, a rearview camera and cruise control. Moving up to the Wolfsburg model brings in the V-Tex Leatherette upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, push button starting, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts and autonomous braking. The GTI SE trim adds a Fender premium audio system, rain sensing windshield wipers and leather seats. The Autobahn adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system and 12-way power adjustable sport comfort seats. In the R you will add the performance package along with leather seats, automatic climate controls and bi-xenon headlights.
As a car that is its own lineup, the Golf offers four different powertrains for you to enjoy. The Golf TSI model uses a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is attached to either a five speed manual transmission to produce 25 city/36 hwy mpg or a six-speed automatic that offers you 25 city/35 hwy mpg.
The GTI model uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that can give you 210 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is attached to either a six-speed manual for 24 city/34 hwy mpg or a six-speed DSG automatic to return 24 city/32 hwy mpg. Moving up to the Golf R you will use the same size engine but have it tuned to 292 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. This version of the Golf is offered only in AWD and uses the same transmissions as the GTI. The fuel numbers come in at 22 city/31 hwy mpg for the manual and 23 city/30 hwy mpg for the automatic.
The e-Golf is completely different, making use of an AC synchronous electric motor. This gives the car 115 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque while returning an estimated 115 mile range on a single charge. This battery can be recharged in as little as four hours with a 240-volt outlet and is also compatible with DC fast-charging stations.
When you want to add more to your Golf model, the options you can choose are plentiful. You can add the Driver Assistance Package and enjoy the benefit of autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring. This package also brings in lane keep assist, front and rear parking controls, parking steering assistance and automatic high beams. For the GTI you can add an adaptive damping system and a performance package that gives you larger brakes. The Golf R can be upgraded with the DCC adaptive damping system to give you a car that offers driving modes of Comfort, Normal and Race for you to enjoy.
The question isn’t as much whether or not the Golf is the right car for you, with this lineup there is certain to be one you can enjoy and make your own. It’s more a matter of which Golf you want to drive. Come in and see your local Volkswagen dealer and find out for yourself.