Last year, the seventh-generation Golf received an update to its exterior look that added more precision and fine detail to its unmistakable silhouette. The front bumper and chrome-surround grille are flanked on either side by striking LED daytime running lights that provide the Golf a light signature, and meld into the character line that runs the length of the vehicle. At the rear, full standard LED taillights complete the display without distracting from the strong C-pillar and overall grace of the Golf’s lines.
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf S comes equipped with 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, wrapped in 195/65 all-season tires. The SE trims upgrade to 16-inch wheels for 2019 with 205/55 tires. SE models are fitted with the available Driver-Assistance package and 17-inch wheels with 225/45 tires. Automatic headlights with rain-sensing windshield wipers are standard across the lineup and SE models feature a standard panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof and fog lights.
From the start, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf has offered an expansive cabin for a vehicle of its size. There’s 93.5 cu-ft of interior room, 16.5 cu-ft of cargo space up to the parcel shelf, and 22.8 cu-ft. to the roof. The versatility of the load space is enhanced by a trunk floor that can be moved up or down by 3.9 inches, while the 60:40 split backrest can be folded to give an almost flat cargo area that can accommodate a full-size bicycle. With the rear seats folded, the Golf has 52.7 cu-ft of cargo capacity.
The standard 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel emphasizes the driver-centric nature of the Golf, and on models with the eight-speed automatic, includes paddle shifters for increased driver control. This driver-centric design focus is also evident from the center stack, which is angled towards the driver—a trait frequently seen in premium luxury or performance vehicles. White backlighting for the controls further highlights this upscale ambience, as well as the use of premium materials throughout, such as soft-touch plastics and trim pieces available in chrome, aluminum, and piano-black finishes.
All 2019 Volkswagen Golf feature a raft of comfort and convenience features often found on more expensive vehicles. The Golf S has standard power windows (with one-touch up/down from all window switches) and exterior mirrors, along with Climatic® air conditioning, cruise control, rearview camera, partial leather-wrapped handbrake and shifter knob, and partial power front seats. SE models are equipped with heated washer nozzles; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; KESSY keyless access with push-button start; heated front seats and Voice Control.
All 2019 Volkswagen Golf models feature the MIB II touchscreen infotainment system. The display utilizes a capacitive-touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling gesture controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming.
The Golf S is equipped with the Composition Color unit, which features a 6.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The infotainment system also offers SD card and USB (one port) multimedia interfaces, as well as a rearview camera and standard Bluetooth technology for compatible devices. The Golf SE models are equipped with a glass-covered 8.0-inch Composition Media unit with a capacitive touchscreen display. Composition Media units offer a USB port, JPEG viewer, SiriusXM radio for a three month trial period, and HD Radio. Both units also have the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with Bluetooth with compatible phones and pair two phones simultaneously.
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf adopts the 1.4-liter four-cylinder EA211 TSI engine from the all-new 2019 Jetta. The 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine makes 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. As in the Jetta, the TSI engine is mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® in both S and SE trims.
The engine, internally coded EA211, features an air-to-water heat exchanger built directly into the intake module in place of an intercooler. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the head, reducing the distance that exhaust gases must travel to reach the turbocharger. This integration is designed to allow for faster response and catalytic converter light off. Valves work to regulate coolant flow into the head, which allows for rapid engine (and thus cabin) heating, as well as efficient cooling when the engine reaches normal operating temperature. Both the intake and the exhaust valves feature variable valve timing, which results in both improved low-rpm performance, as well as increased torque throughout the rev range. A relatively high 10:1 compression ratio further helps the engine’s efficiency, yet it still takes regular (87 octane) gasoline.
A Start/Stop System is standard on automatic-transmission models. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held (such as when waiting at a red light). When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts. EPA-estimated fuel economy for 2019 Volkswagen Golf, whether equipped with the six-speed manual or the optional eight-speed automatic, is 29 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway.
To help protect occupants, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
A standard feature on the 2019 Volkswagen Golf is Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The Golf also includes a standard rearview camera and Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.