2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

2019 MODEL
$27,595 - $37,095


Overall Rating


2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Amratya Nigam's image

Amratya Nigam Automotive Journalist Updated on: November 19, 2019

The year 2019 welcomes the latest iteration of the iconic hatch from Volkswagen’s stable -- The Golf GTI. A car designed to serve your daily commuting needs and also those occasional track days. The Golf GTI looks almost exactly like the conventional Golf but it’s a whole different story under the hood. Packed with 228 HP on tap, the Golf GTI can be outright brutal when slammed on the tarmac.

See detailed review »


Peppy acceleration and spirited character

Brisk and sporty handling

Very practical for a hot-hatch

Good quality interiors now with more tech inside


Competition offers much more power

Transmission isn’t so smooth at slow speeds

Stiff ride quality due to low-profile tires

What's New?

Increase in power by 8 bhp

Optional 7-speed dual clutch transmission

Larger brakes and limited-slip differential now standard across the range

Introduction of a new trim badged as Rabbit Edition


vehicle bio

base price



4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity




engine type


121 cu.in.


228 hp @ 4700 rpm


258 lbs.-ft @ 1500 rpm


6-speed manual


frame type


suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)




103.6 in.


168 in.


70.8 in.


57.8 in.

curb weight

3062 lbs.

ground clearance

5.1 in.


passenger volume

93.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

52.7 cu ft.

payload capacity

959 lbs.


zero to 60 mph

6.3 sec.

fuel economy


24/27/32 mpg

highway range

422.4 mi.


basic warranty

6 yr. / 72000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr. / 72000 mi.

powertrain warranty

72 months. / 72000

corrosion warranty

7 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.

Pictures & Videos


 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Cornflower Blue color  2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Dark Iron Blue Metallic color  2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Deep Black Pearl color  2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Great Falls Green Metallic color  2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Blue Night Metallic color  2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback in Pure White color
Cornflower Blue

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




Engine And Performance






Trims and Configurations


 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback S


228 hp @ 4700 rpm
Premium unleaded (recommended)
27 combined

$27,595 - $28,695

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $27,595 MSRP (24/27/32) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $28,695 MSRP (25/27/31) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Rabbit Edition

Rabbit Edition

228 hp @ 4700 rpm
Premium unleaded (recommended)
27 combined

$28,895 - $29,995

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Rabbit Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $28,895 MSRP (24/27/32) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
Rabbit Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $29,995 MSRP (25/27/31) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback SE


228 hp @ 4700 rpm
Premium unleaded (recommended)
27 combined

$31,795 - $32,895

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $31,795 MSRP (24/27/32) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $32,895 MSRP (25/27/31) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Autobahn


228 hp @ 4700 rpm
Premium unleaded (recommended)
27 combined

$35,995 - $37,095

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $35,995 MSRP (24/27/32) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5
Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $37,095 MSRP (25/27/31) 228 hp @ 4700 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

Expert Review


Overall Rating

While the competition like Honda Civic Type R, the Subaru WRX STI and from Volkswagen's stable itself - the Golf R may seem overpowered for the GTI, it's still quite a potent car and perhaps as capable as its competitors. With the base trim priced at $27,595, let's also consider that the GTI is amongst the less expensive rivals in the segment which acts as a big point in the V-dub's favor. Having said that, let's move ahead and put things in motion.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit Edition Front Three quarter view
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit Edition Front Three quarter view
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit Edition Rear Three quarter view
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit Edition Rear Three quarter view



Engine and Performance




2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Features


The 2019 Golf GTI now comes in four trim levels – S, Rabbit Edition, SE and the Autobahn. The Rabbit edition has been introduced just this year. All trims are powered by a 2.0L, turbocharged engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission driving only the front wheels. The trims come with different levels of equipment but powertrain remains the same essentially. 


2.0T S

2.0T Rabbit Edition

2.0T SE

2.0T Autobahn






Key Features

18" machined w/painted accents aluminum Wheels

18-inch gloss black wheels

Driver and front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback Heated front seats

Three-mode adaptive suspension system


Sport-tuned suspension

Black rear spoiler

1st row LCD monitor

Limited-slip differential lock


Brake torque vectoring system

Keyless entry with push-button start

Remote keyless entry

A surround-view camera system


Red Brake Calipers

LED headlights

Front Fog/driving lights

8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen


LED fog lights and taillights

Adaptive front lighting

Heated mirrors

LED adaptive headlights


Drive mode selector

Rabbit badging

Windshield wipers - rain sensing

Adaptive cruise control


Clark Plaid cloth seating

Front assist

Driver and passenger Lumbar support

Leather-trimmed seating


Heated front seats

Blind spot monitor

Front air conditioning, Climatic manual

SiriusXM satellite radio


6.5-inch multimedia system touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Rear traffic alert

ABS and driveline Traction control


We’d Recommend

If only performance is on your mind, then the Autobahn trim makes the best sense out of the available options as it comes equipped with a limited-slip differential and adaptive suspension which makes a really good value for money. Also, do opt for the 7-speed DSG gearbox which really enhances your performance.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Engine and Performance


“The turbocharged four-cylinder that graces the GTI's engine bay is one of the greats. It doesn't offer overwhelming power but delivers instant response and solid acceleration practically anywhere in the rev range. The clutch pedal in models with the manual transmission is light, which means that shifting is never a chore.” – Car and Driver

The Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0L, Turbocharged, inline-4 cylinder mill that churns out 228 hp at 4,700 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. The engine is really lively and loves to redline. It also sounds wonderful with pops and crackles. You would always want to rev the engine out just to hear that sweet exhaust note.

2019 volkswagen Golf GTI engine bay TSI

Power delivery is linear and progressive. The peak torque sits quite low in the rev range, although there is a tiny amount of turbo lag. The 7-speed DSG gearbox is responsive and shifts really quickly. We have already seen the DSGs over the years and it has proven its worth. The transmission can be a little jerky at slow speeds though.


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R







2.0L, Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5L, Turbocharged, Inline-4

2.5L, Turbocharged, Boxer-4

2.0L Turbocharged inline-4


6-speed manual/7-speed dual-clutch

6 Speed manual

6-speed manual

7-speed dual-clutch automatic


228 hp @ 4700 rpm


310hp @6000 rpm

288hp@ 5400 rpm


258 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

295 ft-lbs@2500rpm

290 lb.-ft. @4000 rpm

280 lb.-ft. @ 1800rpm

When compared to its rivals, the Golf GTI might seem a little underpowered but that’s not the point with the GTI. What’s really commendable about it is how easy it is to drive and how easy it is to exploit the power. All cars have a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. That said, the WRX emerges to be a crown bearer in this comparison here, with the most powerful engine of the lot. The Type R follows it closely, thus, leaving the Golf-twins behind. However, this could be a whole different story once the weight factor is considered.


The Golf GTI needs 6.0 ticks to clear the 60MPH mark and it further goes on to clear the quarter-mile in a staggering 14.5 seconds. While it isn't going to plunge you into the seats, the GTI still manages to offer the thrill you would expect from a $30k car.

2019 golf gti gear shifter manual


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

0-60 MPH

6.0 sec*

5 sec

5.7 sec


Quarter mile

14.5 sec*

13.7 sec






2.5 L



(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)





The GTI isn’t the quickest car here, as expected. However, with its very efficient launch control system and limited-slip differential in the front wheels, the GTI manages to give you the chills. That said, the Golf R is miles ahead of the competition with a 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.6 seconds. The Type-R is the second-fastest one, followed closely by the WRX STI, and the GTI concludes this race in the end. The quarter-mile story also follows the same suit.

Ride and Handling

The suspension of the GTI is set on the stiffer side. Of course, it is because it’s meant to be a sporty car. Undulations on the road are not the GTI’s forte but it will take them up fairly well. The comfortable cabin and seats further compensate for that. The good news is that you are rewarded with extremely good handling dynamics.

2019 golf volkswagen steering wheel virtual cockpit

The car remains extremely composed through corners and you can really push this car like you wouldn’t in any other car. It’s very easy to drive and the power remains extremely usable. There are three drive modes which sharpen the suspension and the steering at each higher setting.

The steering is predictable, sharp and precise and adequately weighted at every speed. It weighs up at higher speeds and remains light and easy at low speeds which makes it a great daily driver. There is great feedback from the steering wheel and the limited-slip differential on the front wheels does a great job to ensure maximum grip levels.


The braking figures here are from 2018 and we do not have the 2019 braking figures yet. The brakes in 2019 are larger and we expect it to perform better. That said, the 2018 Golf was able to make the stop from 70 MPH to a standstill in 172 feet. This number is expected to significantly improve once the braking details for the 2019 Golf is surfaced.

red brake callipers on golf gti 2019 volkswagen


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

Brake Front (in.)





Brake Rear (in.)





Curb Weight (lbs.)





70-0 MPH (ft.)





By the numbers from 2018, the Golf GTI fares the worst in the braking test. However, the brake pedal is adequately firm and delivers a good feeling. The car remains composed under hard braking as well. The Type R seems to be the most capable in the braking department as it requires the smallest piece of stretch to make the same stop. The Subaru WRX and the Golf R stack up head-to-head with a difference of merely three feet between them. But winning's winning right? Well, in that case the Subaru takes the lead over the Golf R clearly.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Fuel Economy

With so much performance on offer, the Golf is expected to compromise on the mileage front. However, that's not the case here. The GTI manages to churn out 24 Miles per gallon inside the city. Take it to the highway and the number escalates to 32 MPG and the overall mileage bumps upto 27 MPG which is also the best in the segment. All in all, scenes like these (as shown below) is a rare sight inside a Golf GTI.

2019 golf gti infotainment refuel


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

MPG (city)





MPG (highway)





MPG (combined)





The Golf GTI has the best fuel economy in the competition which is not surprising considering the fact that it is much lower on power than the rivals. However, the figures are pretty impressive for a hot hatch. It’s a car that packs in a bucket load of performance and is still quite economical in this segment. The GTI clearly takes the winning prize here. The Type R follows the lead very closely and the Golf R stacks up head-to-head with it. The WRX STI stands at the last.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Interior


“The available adaptive suspension dampers allow the driver to select a composed ride that is far more relaxed than others in the class. The supportive seats and rear air vents ensure everyone remains comfortable. Exterior noise can be intrusive, but you will never have to raise your voice to converse with passengers.” - Edmunds


The interiors too carry the same idea of simplicity and neatness. It hasn’t changed much over the years except for the infotainment screen growing larger. The design is familiar with an 8-inch infotainment screen in the center of the dashboard. The AC vents and the climate controls sit on top and bottom of the screen respectively.

2019 volkswagen golf gti interior

Fit and finish of the interiors are really nice although there are some cheap bits of plastics used here and there. There’s a small digital screen in between the analog dials in the instrument cluster that focuses on the vitals of the vehicle. The analog dials look quite cool. The flat-bottom steering wheel also feels very good to grip.


The seats in the Golf GTI are quite comfortable. They come wrapped in leather and the comfort factor is further accentuated with the integrated heating and ventilating functions. There is also a no cost option of wrapping your seats in Clark-Plaid cloth striped upholstery which are classic Golf GTI signatures. The rear seats have central arm rests and  dedicated AC vents as well. However, legroom in the rear seats are a little low compared to its rivals but the seats themselves are very comfortable. Also, seating five may be a problem because the central tunnel is quite high.


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

Passenger capacity





FRONT (cu.ft)

Head room





Shoulder room





Leg room





REAR (cu.ft)

Head room





Shoulder room





Leg room





When pitted against the rivals, the Type R overpowers them clearly. It offers more room all around the cabin making sure you do not compromise on the comfort factor with more performance. The WRX STI is the second-best of the lot. The Golf twins sit at the last in terms of passenger volume with the GTI just nudging itself slightly ahead of the Golf R.

Infotainment System

The infotainment system is pretty easy to use. The screen size is 8-inches with really good graphics. It has all the features you’d ever require in present times including a surround view camera system. The system is a touch screen unit and it responds to commands adequately without any delay. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes as standard which is a great boon.

Cargo Capacity

The folks at Volkswagen haven't forgotten about the utility part of the Golf that gave its identity in the first place. The GTI's trunk can hold luggage upto the volume of 22.8 cu.ft which is more than many of its rivals. Furthermore, if this much space doesn't solve your purpose, then you can fold the rear seats down-flat to increase the space to 52.7 cu.ft which should certainly solve your purpose.


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

Cargo Capacity





The Golf GTI does not have the largest cargo area. At 22.8 cu.ft, the Golf GTI has the second largest boot after the Civic Type R and lines up head-to-head with the Golf R. The Subaru WRX has the least cargo area at 12 cu.ft. The boot in the GTI is large enough to hold at least four large bags for a family.

2019 golf gti interior volkswagen
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior
2019 volkswagen golf gti seat cloth
Golf GTI optional Clark Plaid seating surface
2019 volkswagen golf gti meter console
Golf GTI meter console
2019 volkswagen golf gti dsg gear shifter
Golf GTI DSG Shifter
2019 volkswagen golf gti steering controls
Golf GTI Steering Controls
2019 volkswagen golf cargo rear armrest see through
Golf GTI see-through tunnel
2019 volkswagen golf gti cargo space with upright seats
Golf GTI Cargo space with upright seats
2019 volkswagen golf cargo capacity with down-flat seats
Golf GTI cargo space with folded seats
2019 volkswagen golf gti rear seats clark plaid
Golf GTI rear seats

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Exterior


The Golf GTI is a smart looking car, yet quite understated about the performance it packs. The new LED headlamps are sharp and distinct. The bumper is quite bold housing the fog lamps and quite aggressive series of horizontal strakes along with a unique grille mesh pattern. The side profile remains very simple and plain but the 18-inch wheels add some contrast to the design. The five spoke 18 inch wheels have been very tastefully designed.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Side view

The rear of the car also remains fairly simple with LED tail lamps, dual chrome tipped exhaust pipes and a mild diffuser. Save from the GTI badge on the grille and the aggressive bumper, it’s much understated about the design. The Rabbit edition still comes with some visual perks such as unique blackened wheels, black rear spoiler and some Rabbit badging.

It has the classic Golf like look and the designers haven’t messed around much with it. Honestly, we like it that way. Bearing clean lines and a neat profile, the Golf will always remain a classy hot-hatch.

Exterior Dimensions

While there are barely any differences between the Golf twins in terms of dimensions, the Golf GTI still nudges itself slightly ahead of the Golf R in terms of height and ground clearance. That said, the Golf, otherwise, is a very compact contender in this segment. Is it a boon or a bane completely depends on your perception. For instance, the smaller dimensions also mean that the Golf is the most conveniently maneuverable vehicle in the segment.


Volkswagen Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf R

Curb weight (lbs.)




















Ground clearance (in)





Wheelbase (in)





Track width (in) F/R





The Golf GTI is pretty compact with its dimensions. It’s the lightest vehicle in the competition. It is also the shortest in length. The compact dimension really help the nimble character of the car. However, the compact dimensions translates to a comparatively smaller interior.

Exterior Features

  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Bright-red horizontal strip visually connects the headlights to a revised grille
  • Red-painted brake calipers
  • Unique mesh pattern grille
  • Bespoke GTI wheels
  • Subtle side skirts
  • Chrome tipped exhaust pipes
  • Unique rear diffuser
  • Rear Spoiler
2019 volkswagen golf gti red front view
Golf GTI front
2019 volkswagen golf gti side view
Golf GTI side
2019 volkswagen golf gti rear view
Golf GTI rear
2019 volkswagen golf gti front fascia red
Golf GTI front fascia
2019 volkswagen golf gti front headlight with gti badging
Golf GTI front headlight
2019 volkswagen golf gti front grill
Golf GTI Honeycomb Grill
2019 volkswagen golf gti front alloy wheel
Golf GTI front alloy wheel
2019 volkswagen golf gti taillights
Golf GTI tail lights
2019 volkswagen golf gti exhaust tips chrome
Golf GTI chrome exhaust tips

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Safety

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI has not been tested by either NHTSA or IIHS and we cannot offer you their ratings yet. However, the Golf GTI is well loaded with quite a lot of safety features and that is quite reassuring. The 2018 model of the Golf GTI had received a 5 star rating from the NHTSA, particularly because of the exterior design which can absorb collisions really well.

2019 volkswagen golf gti body structure chassis

Safety Features

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist)
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Rear Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist)
  • Park Distance Control
  • Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist)
  • High Beam Control (Light Assist)

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Competition

Volkswagen Golf GTI vs Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is an extremely capable car. Yes, you may not be fond of it’s over styling but you certainly cannot miss it. It’s surprising how it can balance between sporty handling and comfortable ride so drastically. The engine is powerful and it pulls like a beast. However it does not sound quite as good as you’d think. It’s a great track machine.

The Golf GTI on the other hand is a great daily driver. It is perfect to take to shopping and then go mad on a twisty mountain road. It’s much understated inside out than the Type R and is much easier to live with every day. The choice comes down to your preference. If you want a sporty daily driver with lots of practicality at a much lesser price, it’s the Golf GTI. If you want drama, outright performance and a lot more power for some extra money, it’s the Civic Type R.

Volkswagen Golf GTI vs Subaru WRX STI

The Subaru WRX STI is a thoroughbred rally car. It has extremely capable driving dynamics and its all-wheel drive gives you great traction off the road. It looks like a proper old-school sports sedan with that huge wing. The interiors are functional but do not feel much special.

It also has a very stiff suspension, low fuel economy, less cargo space and the cabin isn’t as refined as a lot of noises seem to filter through. The WRX STI is a pretty performance focused car. If that is your only priority, the WRX STI is a great buy. For every other person, the Golf GTI is the best every day car that also promises bucket loads of thrill.

Volkswagen Golf GTI vs Volkswagen Golf R

The Golf R and the Golf GTI are essentially the same cars except that the engine in the Golf R produces some more power and hence performance is better. There is very little visual difference, the interiors are the same, and the handling characteristics are the same too in that they both are great daily drivers balancing both worlds very well.

However, in spite of the extra power and performance that the Golf R packs in, it does not justify such a hefty premium over the GTI of around $13,000. The GTI already is all the car one should need and while the Golf R does it better, it is not worth so much money. The Golf GTI is the better buy among the two as it’s very usable and really very satisfying.

white honda civic type r 2019
2019 Honda Civic Type-R
subaru wrx sti 2019
2019 Subaru WRX STi
2019 volkswagen golf r
2019 Volkswagen Golf R

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Final Verdict

The Golf GTI is one of those performance cars that you not only buy from your heart but also from your mind. It’s a good looking, smart hatchback with good feature loaded interiors that could take you shopping or drop your children to school.

Also, on your way back, when no one’s watching, you’d want to take a slight detour to find yourself that perfect piece of road and let this car unravel itself around you from its understated stature. And boy, it really is rewarding then. It’s all the car one would need to keep yourself and your family happy and at the price it’s offered, its great bang for your buck.