Smart looks; entertaining driving experience; high-class cabin; hatchback practicality.
DSG automatic transmission a bit slow to respond in stop-go traffic.
Engine output bumps up from 220 to 228 horsepower (torque stays the same), some driver-assistance features are now available as options in the entry-level S trim, and a limited-run Rabbit Edition slots between the S and SE trims, resulting in extra standard-equipment and option eligibility for the SE. The 2019 GTI also receives the stronger brakes and mechanical limited-slip differential from the Golf R (replacing the brake-based simulation).
The Autobahn version is pricey but comes with virtually everything the GTI has to offer. It's good to see the basic S receive some more standard equipment, but we still think the SE is a good middle-ground choice. Find a Volkswagen GTI for sale
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a 4-door compact hatchback. The trim levels are S, Rabbit Edition, SE and Autobahn. The DSG transmission is an extra $1,100.
The S ($28,490) gets the ball rolling with 18-in alloy wheels, limited-slip differential, LED fog lights/daytime running lights/taillights, a rear spoiler, heated side mirrors, heated front washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, air conditioning, plaid cloth upholstery (a GTI specialty), aluminum-look pedals, heated front seats with manual adjustment/power recline, a leather-wrapped/tilt-telescopic steering wheel, ambient cabin lighting, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a central pass-through, a trip computer, a 6.5-in touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, a 6-speaker audio system, a USB port, a rearview camera, satellite radio and VW Car-Net telematics (automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing -- so parents can establish limits for teen drivers). High-performance summer tires are optional.
The S is now eligible for a few driver-assistance features, such as forward-collision mitigation with emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The Rabbit Edition ($29,790) has LED headlights and keyless entry/ignition, plus the S trim's optional driver aids as standard, as well as a few distinctive cosmetic touches inside and out.
SE ($32,690) adds a powered tilt-and-slide sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, leather seating surfaces and an 8-in touchscreen. It also becomes eligible for the DCC adaptive suspension and Fender-branded audio-system upgrade.
Autobahn ($36,890) brings navigation, a 12-way power adjustable driver's seat (with power lumbar adjustment) and dual-zone automatic climate control, a self-dimming rearview mirror, DCC adaptive damping (which includes adjustable shock absorbers and a larger rear anti-roll bar), a Fender audio system, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist, automated parallel and perpendicular parking, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control and active blind spot monitoring.
Behind the rear seats is 22.8 cu ft. of cargo space. Fold them down for a cavernous 52.7 cu ft.
|Basic||6 Years/72,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/72,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||7 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2019 Honda Civic Si -- It comes as a sedan or a coupe (no hatchback Si version is planned for the United States). But the Civic provides an excellent platform for sportier thrills.
2019 Subaru WRX -- It comes in sedan form only. All-wheel drive is standard, which is useful in bad weather as well as through corners. It has a lower-rent interior, though, and lacks special styling.
Used BMW 3 Series -- It doesn't have quite the same level of practicality, but the always-desirable 3 Series sedan compensates with a great balance between a sporty ride and premium equipment.