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2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

#19
in Compact hatchbacks
2018 MODEL

$20,910 - $24,755

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Overview

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf is the latest addition to the 7th generation of the famous small car, which made its debut in 2015. The latest iteration makes Golf a smarter, better, spacier and comfy ride.

Regardless of the make, the ride comes with a 1.8L turbocharged and lightweight engine, capable of delivering 170 horsepower. With an impressive 184 lb.-ft. of torque, the latest Volkswagen Golf build is capable to deliver 25 mpg in city conditions and 34 mpg on highways.

With the latest additions, including an attentively redesigned cargo area and front grille, 2018 Volkswagen Golf appeals greatly to users like never before. This time, it gives a fierce run for money to its contemporaries like the Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) and Mazda 3 (Sport).

See detailed review »

Pros

A combined mileage of 29 mpg

Smart infotainment system integration

A neat and clean, clutter-free interior redesign

52.7 cubic. ft. of cargo space

NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating

Cons

Dull bulging design

A limited number of available configurations

What's New?

2 colors added to the lineup

No significant Change


Features

Engine

i4 cyl

1.8 disp

MPG

25 city

34 hwy

Power

170 hp

199 torq

drivetrain

front wheel drive

transmission

Manual



Styles

 2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback in Tungsten Silver Metallic color  2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback in Silk Blue Metallic color  2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback in Pure White color  2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback in Tornado Red color  2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback in deep black pearl metallic color
Tungsten Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.9

Engine

8.0

Interior

8.1

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.6

Driving

7.8

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback S

S

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$20,910 - $22,010

Configurations
S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Transmission: 5M Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (25/29/34) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (24/28/33) Torque: 184 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback SE

SE

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$23,655 - $24,755

Configurations
SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Transmission: 5M Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (25/29/34) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
SE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (24/28/33) Torque: 184 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 3, 2018

7.9

Overall Rating


6.9/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine

 
 

8.1/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 

8.6/10
Safety

 
 
 

Regardless of the make, the ride comes with a 1.8L turbocharged and lightweight engine, capable of delivering 170 horsepower. With an impressive 184 lb.-ft. of torque, the latest Volkswagen Golf build is capable to deliver 25 mpg in city conditions and 34 mpg on highways.

With the latest additions, including an attentively redesigned cargo area and front grille, 2018 Volkswagen Golf appeals greatly to users like never before. This time, it gives a fierce run for money to its contemporaries like the Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) and Mazda 3 (Sport).

Features

6.9/10

There are two trims available for the 2018 incarnation of Volkswagen Golf, namely S, and SE. Both the trims have a powerful 1.8L turbocharged engine capable of providing a sturdy power output of 170 hp. While the S trim comes with a big 6.5-inch infotainment screen, the SE trim offers even bigger 8.0-inch display.

Both 2018 Volkswagen Golf trims are customizable. Pricing options start at $20,910 and $23,655 for S and SE, respectively. For those aiming for LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), the S trim is one to go for while opting for the SE trim benefits one with power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof and a blind spot monitor.

Trims S SE
MSRP $20,910 $23,655
Features
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • 6.5″ touchscreen sound system
  • VW Car-Net App-Connect
  • 8” touchscreen sound system
  • Power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof
  • Blind Spot Monitor

We Recommend

Both Golf S and SE trims are great to go for. When you’re looking to squeeze in every possibility of the budget, then it’s the S variant that you should go for. However, if you believe that the bigger is better than the SE trim might work perfectly for you as it has bigger infotainment screen and the Blind Spot Monitor feature.

Engine

8.0/10

“The 2018 Volkswagen Golf is one of the stronger performers in the class. It offers energetic gas engines plus an electric powertrain option. Gas mileage is below average but athleticism is decidedly not, as the Golf is more maneuverable and responsive than many rivals. It also provides a comfortable ride.”- cars.usnews

Engine and Transmission

The base engine for 2018 iteration of the Volkswagen Golf is a 1.8-liter TSI DOHC 16V Turbocharged 4-cylinder. Both S and SE trims feature the same engine. It is capable of generating 170 hp and a solid 184 lb.-ft. of torque. There is only a single 5-speed transmission available for the ride.

Models Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
MSRP $20,910 $18,300 $20,050 $18,095
Engine 1.8L TSI DOHC 16V Turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0L, DOHC, 16-valve I-4 1.5L I-4 DOHC 16-Valve Turbocharged engine 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine
Transmission 5-Speed manual 6-Speed Automatic 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
Power 170 hp 164 hp 174 hp 155 hp
Torque 184 lb-ft 151 lb-ft 167 lb-ft 150 lb-ft

Volkswagen Golf competes with the Kia Forte5, Honda Civic Hatchback and Mazda 3 in the Hatch segment. All of which offer a 6-speed transmission. While Civic and Mazda 3 have manual transmission mode, Kia Forte5 goes for an automatic transmission mode.

Moreover, both Kia Forte5 and Mazda 3 feature a 2.0-liter engine, while Honda Civic Hatchback comes with a 1.5L I-4 DOHC turbocharged engine. To put it simply, Volkswagen Golf engine is the most versatile in terms of power, torque, and price as well.

Acceleration

Volkswagen Golf packs an effectual acceleration, allowing one to gear up and gear down easily in the traffic. The powerful 1.8L turbocharged and lightweight engine allows, the ride to outlast its competition in terms of acceleration and covering a quarter mile. However, it falls short in terms of CO2 emissions.

Models Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
0-60 MPH 6.7 sec 6.9 sec 7.5 sec 7.6 sec
Quarter mile 15.3 sec 15.2 sec 15.5 sec 16.0 sec
Engine 1.8L 2.0L 1.5L 2.0L
Emission(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 6.1 6.3 5.3 5.6

2018 Volkswagen Golf is capable of reaching 60MPH from nothing in 6.7 seconds. This is quickest among its competitors. It is given close competition by the Kia Forte5, which takes about 6.9 seconds to accomplish the same feat.

Ride and Handling

As always, driving the Volkswagen Golf is a joy to have. In addition to offering stability at high speeds, the 2018 iteration of the classic hatch offers impressive steering. No matter whether it’s strict traffic conditions or open countryside roads, a ride with Volkswagen Golf is nothing short of a well-balanced and powerful road cruise.

The Golf is a capable vehicle to make people reach places even in bad weather conditions. Nonetheless, the vehicle isn’t advised to be used frequently for endeavors involving extreme weather conditions.

Braking

One thing that Volkswagen Golf needs to work on is its braking system. The brakes are soft to use in ideal conditions but not that powerful in extreme conditions. Compared to Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf takes 3 feet less to hit 0 MPH from 60 MPH i.e. 117 feet. However, it is 2 feet more than the economical Kia Forte5 (LX) and the powerful Honda Civic Hatchback (LX).

Model Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
Brake Front(in) 11.3 11.0 11.1 11.0
Brake Rear(in) 10.7 10.3 10.2 10.4
Curb weight(lbs) 2963 2928 2822 2899
60-0 MPH (ft.) 117 115 115 120

Fuel Economy

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf offers a decent fuel economy. May it is a city ride or a long one on the highway, you will get good, if not great, mileage. It gives a competition to its contemporaries, but falls short, of course, in terms of both individual and combined fuel economy.

Model Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
mpg (city) 25 25 29 28
mpg (highway) 34 34 38 38
mpg (combined) 29 28 33 31

Having a combined fuel economy of 29 isn’t bad. Yet, of course, it is less satisfying than that of 33 and 31 for Honda Civic Hatchback and Mazda 3, respectively. Nonetheless, the 29 combined fuel economy is 1 more than that offered by the Kia Forte5. So, not great but good fuel economy the latest iteration of Volkswagen Golf has.

Interior

8.1/10

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf has a quiet, attractive cabin. It’s built with top-notch materials, and its interior quality rivals that of some luxury cars.”-cars.usnews

Seating and Comfort

The front seats of Volkswagen Golf offer plenty of room to accommodate an average person. It has headroom and legroom of 38.4 inches and 41.2 inches, respectively. The legroom is enough but 1 inch less than the Mazda 3 and Kia Forte5. In fact, the headroom and shoulder-room are also less than that offered by the competition. Nonetheless, the front seats offer good support and comfort.

Model Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 39.5 98.2 97.2 96.3
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.4/55.9/41.2 39.4/56.1/42.2 39.3/57.0/42.3 38.6/57.2/42.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.1/53.9/35.6 38.7/54.9/35.9 37.4/55.0/36.0 37.6/54.4/35.8

The rear seats are little smaller with 38.1 inches of headroom and 35.6 inches of legroom. Even though the legroom is the smallest among Golf, Civic, Kia Forte5, and Mazda 3, the headroom is bigger than that offered by Civic and Mazda 3.

Infotainment System

One of the leading highlights of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf is its stylish and superb infotainment system. While the S trim comes with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, the SE trim offers bigger 8.0-inch screen to the Golf passengers. In addition, to enjoying connectivity via means of Bluetooth, the smart infotainment system provides support for powerful features like intuitive proximity sensor display and voice control.

The infotainment features include:

  • A 3-month free trial of SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • Driver Assistance
  • VW Car-Net Security and Services

Interior Features

The best thing about the latest avatar of Volkswagen Golf is the comfort and coziness on the inside. As soon as you enter the Volkswagen Golf, you’re going to have a feeling of pure comfort.

2018 Volkswagen Golf is about:

Simplistic-yet-Stylish Design – The design of the latest iteration of Volkswagen Golf is simpler and cleaner. No clutter inside, none outside.

Connectivity Options with Powerful Infotainment System – the inclusion of the infotainment system and leather seating takes it to a whole new level.

Focus on the Rider – As the Volkswagen Golf is a driver-centric car, passengers might feel a bit jealous of the stylish and comfy driver seating.

Cozy, Comfort and Spacious, of Course – There is enough space inside the car to feel airy and refreshing. Even though there are lots of addition to the car’s dashboard, the ergonomic design avoids it looking cluttered and crowded.

Cargo Capacity

Probably the most celebrated highlight of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf is its cargo capacity. Unfortunately, it lags behind the competition in the capacity of space behind 2nd row, which is 17.4 ft.-cube. However, it offers a gigantic 53.7 ft.-cube of 2nd row folded space, easily outlasting Kia Forte5, Honda Civic and the Mazda 3 (Sport).

Model Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
Behind 2nd Row (ft.cube) 17.4 23.2 25.7 20.2
2nd Row Folded (ft.cube) 53.7 N/A 46.2 47.1

Exterior

8.0/10

“One of the most recognizable and popular cars in the world, the 2018 VW Golf is also one of the most attractive cars in the compact class.”- Kelley Blue Book

Dimension and Weight

The best thing that people like about Volkswagen Golf is its compact build, which is adhered to in the 2018 model. With a chrome exterior finishing with streamline design, the Golf is one smooth car that feels comfy to ride as well as a joy to watch gliding on the streets.

Golf has a length of 167.5-inch, which is the shortest among the competition. However, it is wider than Kia Forte5 and Mazda 3 (Sport). Even though the car gives the impression of a sleeker look, it is actually heavy among the competition with a total curb weight of 2963 lbs.

Model Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Mazda 3 (Sport)
curb weight(lbs) 2963 2928 2822 2899
Length(in) 167.5 171.3 177.9 180.3
Width(in) 70.8 70.1 70.8 70.7
Height(in) 57.2 57.1 56.5 57.3
Ground clearance(in) 5.4 5.5 5.1 6.1
Wheelbase(in) 103.8 106.3 106.3 106.3
Track width(in) F/R 61.0/59.8 61.5/62.0 60.9/61.5 61.2/61.4

Exterior Features

If you think is that the 60/40-split folding rear seats are the best, maybe reviewing the exterior features of the latest Golf will make you change your mind:

  • Feel the Journey – With panoramic sunroof that slides and tilts
  • Sharper, smarter and brighter Taillights – Sum up any long or routine journey with effectual, long-lasting LED tail lights.
  • Bolder Avatar – Redesigned bumpers, retouched spoilers, and the addition of rain-sensing windshield wipers make the Golf bolder than ever.

 

Safety

8.6/10

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf strictly adheres to safety and reliability. Ranging from ABS and Driveline Traction Control to Rear Child Safety Locks, the ride ensures you stay safe and enjoy your journey without any security issue.

It has Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags for maximum crash security. Moreover, the Golf flaunts to have a 5-star overall security rating and a 4-star rollover rating.

Safety Features

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Back-Up Camera

IIHS Safety Rating

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side Acceptable
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Crash Avoidance And Mitigation
Front Crash Prevention Basic
LATCH Acceptable

 

NHTSA Ratings
Overall Rating 5 Star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 5 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 Star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5 Star
Rollover Rating 4 Star

 

Competition

2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback vs 2018 Kia Forte5

In terms of the price, Kia Forte5 outshines the 2018 Volkswagen Golf. There are also several areas where the former emerges out to be a better option than the latter. For instance, it offers 98.2 ft.-cube of passenger space. This is not only greater than that offered by the Golf but from all other options of the same segment.

However, Golf stays ahead of Kia Forte5 and the rest with cargo volume, strong engine configuration, powerful infotainment system, and reliable safety options.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback vs 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback

Priced at $20,050, Civic Hatchback still remains less costly than the Volkswagen Golf. Moreover, it offers a little more cargo space. It has a powerful engine that is capable of delivering more power but less torque. It has lesser CO2 emissions too.

The advantage that Golf features over Honda Civic are several. Powerful infotainment system, better safety systems, shorter length and faster acceleration are some of the many.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback vs 2018 Mazda 3 (Sport)

For those looking for a small family car with some speedy feats and feel, the best option is Mazda 3 (Sport). Of course, it has lesser emissions than Golf. Moreover, it is the most inexpensive car in its league with Golf, Civic, and Kia Forte5 and about $3k, $2,815 to be precise, cheaper than the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Model S.

Major setbacks of Mazda 3 are lesser cargo space, the lowest power of that of 155 hp among the competition, lowest torque. However, it has the most ground clearance of 6.1 inches.

 

Final Verdict

2018 Volkswagen Golf is a powerful car to go for, no doubt about that. If you are seeking a car with powerful engine, sleek design, and greater cargo capacity then there’s no other better option than that of the Golf. Plus, it offers good fuel economy too.

However, if it’s the price that you need to keep small, then there are pretty good options than the Volkswagen Golf. Also, if you like a ride with lesser CO2 emissions then Golf is the worst option to go for. It offers a comfortable ride, but so does the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 Sport.

 

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