2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

Safe, reliable, and economical to drive
By Durhl Caussey, Epoch Times Contributor
April 8, 2019 Updated: April 8, 2019

Volkswagen refreshed its venerable Golf GTI in 2018. It has gained standard safety features like Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitor, and rearview camera with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Rearview camera system. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0L TSI turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine. The 228-horsepower engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and Start/Stop System. This powertrain achieves 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 27 mpg.

Although priced at just $31,795, Golf GTI SE is the second-highest trim in the line-up, and has some standard features that are usually found on vehicles in higher price brackets.

These features include panoramic sunroof, mechanical limited-slip differential, rearview camera, leather seating surface, heated front seats with manual lumbar support, plus leather-wrapped multi-functional steering wheel, shift knob, and hand-brake lever.

Dual-zone climate control allows you to set temperature to your personal preference, so everyone stays comfortable.

Ambient interior lighting helps to set your driving mood. Golf’s Composition Media infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, AM/FM/HD radio, CD, USB input, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and voice control becomes the communication headquarters.

A 60/40 split-folding rear seat with arm rest allows extra long-items to pass through from the trunk, and adds flexibility in carrying passengers or large cargo. On the outside, automatic Halogen head lights with LED Daytime Running Lights, LED taillights, and LED license plate lights announce your approach or departure.

Golf GTI interior with cloth seats. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

There are a few nice features to ensure adequate visibility in bad weather conditions, such as rain-sensing variable intermittent front wipers with heated washer nozzle, and rear-window washer and wiper. The power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof connects you to the sky above, while 16-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires keep you grounded.

Volkswagen has a history of making performance vehicles while providing features that enhance communication and safety. All encompassed in a comfortable environment.

Saying that, I must add that Volkswagen should look at the price point to remain competitive with market rivals like Toyota, Honda and, Hyundai in today’s auto market. The Golf GTI packs performance and standard features, but that places the base MSRP at just shy of $28,000 for the base S model, and the price goes up quickly as you step up through the trims, until you hit $35,995 for the Authbahn model.

Volkswagen offers a 6-year or 72,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty that covers bumper-to-bumper. Powertrain warranty is included in this comprehensive warranty.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.