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Matthew Keegan
Contributing Editor - January 23, 2019

2019 Volkswagen GTI OVERVIEW

The 2019 Volkswagen GTI is a compact performance hatchback with room for five. This front-wheel-drive model comes with a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a limited-slip differential, which make the GTI a true track pleaser.

What's New for 2019

Volkswagen continues to turn up the heat in the segment even as competitors such as the Ford Focus ST depart. Volkswagen’s on again, off again flirtation with the Rabbit name is back on, thanks to a limited-edition GTI Rabbit edition slotting between the S and SE trims. A newly-available Driver Assistance Package comes to the SE. Other changes include an updated front end. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also now available.

Volkswagen GTI

Choosing Your Volkswagen GTI

The 2019 Volkswagen GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This small sport hatchback has a six-speed manual transmission or a newly available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission ($1,100 extra). Models with the manual gearbox make an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 combined. The GTI with the automatic transmission delivers 25/31/27 mpg (city/highway/combined). All models take regular grade gasoline. When fueled with premium grade, the GTI makes 230 horsepower.

Volkswagen outfits the 2019 GTI with a long list of standard features, including LED lights, heated front washer nozzles, aluminum-alloy wheels, a sport steering wheel wrapped in leather, sport front seats with driver lumbar support, heated front seats, and a six-speaker audio package.

The VW GTI is available in four trims:


Priced from $28,490 (all prices include an $895 destination charge), the S trim kicks things off for the 2019 GTI. This model has automatic headlights, LED fog and taillights, heated side mirrors and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. It comes with a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, cloth-covered seats, heated front seats, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, an automatic post-collision system, and hill hold control. The Driver Assistance Package ($450) adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Rabbit Edition

The Rabbit name is nothing new and has been swapped with the Golf previously. Under the GTI umbrella, it represents a tribute or heritage model and starts at $29,790. It builds on the base model, adding LED headlights with adaptive lights and keyless entry with push-button start. Two special exterior colors, Urano Grey and Cornflower Blue, offer a handsome complement to the Clark Plaid seating inside. Other modifications include special badging and red-trimmed floor mats. Beginning with this trim, Volkswagen includes the safety equipment from the Driver Assistance Package as standard.


Starting at $32,690, the GTI SE adds a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, leather seats, and an eight-inch touchscreen display with a CD player. Satellite radio and an upgraded security package are also included. The Experience Package ($860) bundles a Fender premium audio system and VW's dynamic chassis control (DCC).


The top-trim GTI Autobahn starts at $36,890. It adds features such as adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and navigation. This model gains DCC chassis control, a 12-way power driver’s seat, and a Fender audio system. Summer tires are a no-cost upgrade.

CarsDirect Tip

You can’t go wrong with any of the 2019 Volkswagen GTI trims. The base model with the Driver Assistance Package delivers solid value. The Rabbit Edition, however, is the sentimental favorite. The only dilemma facing shoppers is choosing between the manual and quick-shifting automatic. Choose the latter if maximizing your speed times takes priority over rowing your own.

Get your price on a Volkswagen GTI »

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