Volkswagen may have refreshed its Golf lineup, including the SportWagen station wagon and Alltrack crossover, in 2018, but that doesn't mean the German automaker doesn't have any extra tricks up its sleeve.
A new engine for FWD Golfs
Volkswagen announced a series of changes for the Golf as it enters the 2019 model year. The most notable difference is the introduction of a new engine. All front-wheel-drive Golf variants, including the SportWagen, will receive the 2019 Jetta's 1.4-liter gas I4. It puts out 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed automatic.
This only applies to FWD Golfs, though. All-wheel-drive variants, including the AWD SportWagen and every trim of Alltrack, will continue on with Volkswagen's 1.8-liter I4. This engine can also be mated to a six-speed manual, but buyers can opt for a six-speed dual-clutch transmission if they prefer.
The base S trim for the five-door Golf and Golf Alltrack now includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring as standard equipment. It's still optional on the SportWagen. Pricing for the Golf starts at $21,845 for the hatchback, $22,995 for the SportWagen and $26,895 for the Alltrack.
Special-edition GTI, plus more power
VW's mid-level hot hatch GTI also receives a few improvements. All models now come with 228 horsepower, an 8-horsepower bump over last year, in addition to Golf R brakes and a mechanical differential. The S trim has an optional package that adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring, but it's standard on all other trims. The mid-level SE trim now gets leather seats and optional adaptive dampers.
There's also a new throwback trim. The GTI Rabbit Edition is a limited-run trim that sports 18-inch black alloy wheels, a black spoiler, black mirror caps, adaptive LED headlights and keyless access. Inside, there are Rabbit tags on the seats and floor mats with red stitching. It comes in just four colors: Blue, gray, white and black.
: Check out our latest review of Volkswagen's perennially-great hot hatch.
: Looking for something more pedestrian? The Alltrack is what you're after.