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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn Review – All-around Advantage, or the Auto Journalist’s Perfect Car

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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI turbocharged 4-cylinder (220 horsepower @ four,seven hundred rpm; 258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm)

Six-velocity guide, entrance-wheel drive

25 metropolis / 33 freeway / 28 mixed (EPA Score, MPG)

9.6 metropolis, 7.2 freeway, eight.5 mixed. (NRCan Score, L/100km)

Base Worth: $35,070 (U.S) / $35,895 (Canada)

As Examined: $35,920 (U.S.) / $37,640 (Canada)

Costs embrace $850 vacation spot cost in the United States and $1,745 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border gear variations, can’t be immediately in contrast.

There’s a purpose why the Volkswagen Golf GTI is fetishized by journalists and lovers as maybe the good day by day-driver sporty car.

As a result of if it isn’t, it’s rattling close to shut.

Modifications for 2018 have been minimal. The 2018 obtained a light standard horsepower bump (assuming you’re utilizing premium fuel) to 220, up from 210. Different modifications included a reshuffled trim lineup, newly out there LED headlights, bigger infotainment, and driver-help tech that was now standard on the SE and Autobahn trims. It additionally gained the Golf R’s brakes and an obtainable electronically managed restricted-slip differential.

Torque from the turbocharged 4-cylinder is listed at 258 lb-ft, and that’s sufficient to maneuver with alacrity, if not authority. Positive, a Honda Civic Sort R presents extra torque and extra pressing acceleration, and the Subaru WRX feels a bit stronger (regardless of having the similar torque output), however the GTI will nonetheless offer you the grins when passing.

As regular, it stays a blast to hustle by means of corners. The steering might use slightly extra heft, nevertheless it’s correct, and the car simply strikes by way of a flip in a trend that places a smile in your face. The strut-sort suspension with anti-roll bar up entrance and the rear multilink with roll-bar unit work collectively to offer you a car that turns in urgently but easily, with some rear-finish rotation should you play issues proper. But freeway experience isn’t sacrificed, no less than not by a lot.

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Though I don’t recall there ever being beef about the GTI’s earlier brakes, the addition of the Golf R’s brakes is welcome. Stout braking is important throughout arduous cornering, and the GTI gained’t depart you worrying about getting the correct quantity of deceleration dialed in.

The six-velocity guide transmission stays a gem, even when throws are a bit looser than I’d like, and even when the clutch engagement might use some stiffening up. It’s not only a pleasure to row throughout exhausting driving, but in addition throughout sedate commuting.

Ah, sure. Commuting. The GTI doesn’t simply exist to be pushed exhausting, however to get you to the workplace the remainder of the time. Or the grocery retailer. A part of the purpose the car will get so many plaudits is due to its utility. Not solely does it hand over little in experience high quality, however the hatchback form provides it a leg up over its sedan and coupe rivals (the Sort R can also be hatchbacked). Almost 23 cubic ft of cargo area in comparison with the WRX’s 12 is an effective promoting level for VW.

2018 Volkswagen GTI

As per ordinary with Volkswagens, the interior is practical to the level of being a bit boring. Awash in black and acquainted by now, the cabin is nice, and purple trim accents do break up the monotony a bit. Most of the supplies really feel applicable for the price level, however there are areas by which the cockpit supplies really feel underwhelming for a car that prices 35 giant.

The GTI’s attraction is, in fact, based mostly on greater than sportiness or its capacity to deal with the duties of day by day driving. Content material issues, and the Autobahn trim provides smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto) whereas additionally providing up a navigation system, twin-zone local weather management, leather-based seats, heated seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-visitors alert, ahead-collision warning, keyless entry and beginning, satellite tv for pc radio, premium audio, panoramic sunroof, and 18-inch wheels.

You’ll be able to have your cake and eat it, too – the GTI will cross by fuel pumps, because of its 25 mpg metropolis/33 mpg freeway/28 mpg mixed EPA ratings (sure, I do know – your mileage will differ).

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

So, you get a car that’s a blast to drive, with hatchback utility and respectable fuel financial system. Its styling is extra sedate than that of the boy-racer Sort R, it’s much less stiffly sprung than a WRX, and doesn’t have the three-door weirdness of the cheaper Hyundai Veloster N. Sure, a Civic Si undercuts it in price, however solely compared towards the SE and Autobahn trims. To not point out the Si isn’t out there with a hatchback or a few of the out there features of the GTI.

No marvel seemingly each auto journalist recommends the GTI to those that need an reasonably priced every day driver that’s additionally enjoyable to drive. The general packaging makes up for any flaws, or for any particular person elements during which the GTI doesn’t examine favorably to sure rivals.

No car is ideal. However for a lot of scribes, and lots of consumers, the GTI comes closest.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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