The 2018 Volkswagen Golf is peppy, practical, and on point. An affordable hatchback that starts at $21,760 (including an $850 destination charge), the latest Golf is available in two trims, returns excellent fuel economy, and is loaded with safety and technology features that offer consumers plenty of bang for their buck. The Golf is an exceptional vehicle for single commuters, those with small families, or consumers looking for a fun-to-drive and reliable daily driver.
What's New for 2018
Volkswagen dropped last year's range-topping SEL and Wolfsburg Edition models, moving the five-door Golf to a two-trim lineup with the S and SE. Standard LED taillights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a new 6.5-inch infotainment center lead the list of changes to the S, while the SE gains standard 16-inch wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, and automatic dimming mirrors.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Golf
The Golf's standard 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine belts out 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while upgrading to a six-speed automatic requires an additional $1,100. In manual transmission configuration, the Volkswagen Golf returns an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon city and 36 mpg highway. With the automatic, fuel economy drops to 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
The Golf is but the base of an entire family of products – Volkswagen offers an all-electric e-Golf, along with two high-performance variants in the GTI and Golf R, a long-roof Sportwagen, or a high-riding proto-crossover, with the Alltrack. Each of these variants is listed separately.
Volkswagen dropped the three-door Golf body a few years back, leaving customers with a five-door hatchback that features 60/40-split rear seating and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on all Golf models, as is intelligent crash response, which will shut off the fuel pump, unlock doors, and automatically activates hazard lights when the vehicle is involved in an accident.
While there are a plethora of dealer add-ons, there are no option packages available for the S or SE in 2018.
While VW has been in PR damage control for the past few years, the gas-powered Golf continues to be one of the company's more dependable models. The lack of extra add-ons might deter some consumers, but overall, the S or SE offer features that will please most potential buyers. We'd recommend spending the extra on the Golf SE – while the S' feature set is fine, there's a lot more value in moving up to the range-topping model.
Volkswagen's Sign & Drive offers are no longer available this month. The 2020 Arteon is the best lease value this month starting at $299/month. For those looking for something... View All Volkswagen Lease Deals