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Base model shown as 2020 1.4T TSI Manual
2020 Volkswagen Golf 1.4T TSI Manual - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Added standard safety features for 2019
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard
  • Upgraded transmission and powertrain makes it really fun to drive
Pro Review

Volkswagen Golf: Everything You Need to Know

About the Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a compact, five-door, hatchback car that is built by the German company, Volkswagen. The 2019 VW Golf is in its seventh generation and has been produced by Volkswagen since 1974.

The Volkswagen Golf was recently named as a 2019 10Best by Car & Driver magazine and was awards Good Housekeeping’s Best New Car Award. Volkswagen was also recently named as one of Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2019.

There are four different powertrains available in the VW Golf. Each engine gives the Golf a different name:

  • The Golf TSI or Golf: A 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder that makes 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and optional eight-speed automatic transmission. This is front-wheel drive.
  • The Golf GTI: A 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder that makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This comes standard with the six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed DSG automatic. This version is also front-wheel drive.
  • The Golf R: This is the souped-up version of the Golf, and it comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine that makes 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This version is all-wheel drive and comes standard with the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic DSG transmission.
  • The e-Golf: This is the electric version of the Golf, and it makes 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 125 miles on a single charge.

In addition to these variants, the Golf gets two trim levels the S and SE. More details on these trim levels below.

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf TSI gets an EPA-estimated 32 miles per gallon combined when equipped with the six-speed transmission, and an estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city, and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.

What’s new in the Volkswagen Golf?

The Volkswagen Golf gets a new engine at the base level this year and a suite of added safety features.

The 2019 VW Golf gets the same engine as the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta and drops the 1.8-liter turbo engine from the line-up for this year. That gives the VW Golf an eight-horsepower boost over the previous generation. It also gets a GTI Rabbit edition that harkens back to Volkwagen’s heritage.

In addition to the different engine, the new Volkswagen Golf gets an upgraded DSG automatic seven-speed transmission on the GTI and Golf R. The e-Golf gets a DC fast charger for this year.

Additionally, the VW Golf gets safety features like blind-spot monitor and automatic emergency braking for 2019.

What does the Volkswagen Golf compete with? The Volkswagen Golf competes with the following cars:

The Volkswagen Golf is a great first car or commuter car.

Exterior Design of the Volkswagen Golf The 2019 Volkswagen Golf gets an updated look. At the front, the VW Golf gets a chrome surrounded grille flanked by LED daytime running lights, a steep hood, and low and wide stance. The GTI models get a red stripe at the front and two tailpipes at the back. The Golf R gets four exhaust tips for a more aggressive look.

On the S trim, the Volkswagen Golf gets 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires. The SE trims get 16-inch alloy wheels, and if you opt for the Driver's Assistance package, you will get larger 17-inch wheels. The SE trim also gets a panoramic tilt and slide sunroof and fog lights.

Interior Style in the Volkswagen Golf

The Golf has always done a ton with interior space. While hatchbacks or hot hatches have never been extremely popular in the US, they are popular overseas and those in the know, know how wonderful it can be to own a hatchback car. First, there's the cavernous interior space. Inside the Golf gets more than 93.5 cubic feet of interior space and 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up. The trunk floor can be moved down for added space, and the 60:40 split backseat offers up even more room. With the rear seats down the Golf gets just over 50 cubic feet of cargo room (52.7 cubic feet to be exact, which rivals most SUVs).

Up front, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and angled center stack gives the cabin of the Golf a very driver-centric feel. Controls are simple to use, and the front seats are comfortable and at the base come with eight-way adjustments with power recline. Legroom in the rear is rather ample (more than 35 inches of space!). At the center of the dash is a 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Step up to the SE model to get heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, while the GTI gets 12-way power seats and dual-zone climate control.

Notably, interior space in the electric version, the e-Golf does not change even with the battery packs. Volkswagen placed them low in the vehicle to prevent infringing on interior space.

What Technology Comes in the Volkswagen Golf?

The Volkswagen Golf has a ton of included technology even at its base level.

The Volkswagen Golf offers a wide array of standard technology including:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard
  • A 6.5-inch touchscreen
  • 6-speaker AM/FM radio with USB

Stepping up to the Golf SE trim adds things like:

  • A larger 8-inch touchscreen
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • CD player

The Golf GTI gets:

  • Navigation
  • Fender premium audio
  • Parking sensors

You can also get a digital cockpit design on the SEL Premium trim of the Volkswagen e-Golf.

What Safety Features are in the Volkswagen Golf?

The new Volkswagen Golf comes with a suite of safety features as standard. The S Trim gets:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and auto emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear traffic alert
  • Rear camera

The SE trim gets an available Driver Assistance package that includes:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Automatic high beams
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels

Buyers can opt for Volkswagens “Car-Net Security & Service,” if they so choose, too. This system comes as a six-month trial and then an additional cost if you decide to continue it. It includes:

  • Automatic crash notification
  • Roadside assistance
  • Stolen vehicle location assistance
  • Remote vehicle access
  • Last parked information
  • Remote status check (for doors and windows)
  • Family Guardian: A system that allows you to set speed alerts, boundary alerts, curfew alerts, and valet alerts.
  • Diagnostic and maintenance information

Many of these features also integrate with your smartphone or smartwatch (Apple Watch compatible) as well.

The Volkswagen Golf is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Top Safety Pick and gets a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA.

What is the Volkswagen Golf like to drive?

The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most fun and agile hatchbacks on the road. The Volkswagen Golf gets a smaller engine and a better drivetrain than the previous generation Golf.

While the new Golf has a smaller engine and loses some of its oomph from the previous generation, it makes up for it in the fuel-efficiency department. Both the transmission set ups in the base level (either the six-speed manual or the eight-speed automatic), are smooth and easy to use. The eight-speed automatic really works seamlessly and truly stands out amongst the competitive set’s continuously variable transmissions.

The Golf's sweet spot where price and performance are just right is in the Volkswagen Golf GTI. With the larger engine and the DSG transmission, the GTI really stands out. It's got a good value proposition that offers both ample interior space and great driving experience.

To get dynamic cruise control, you'll need to add it on.

Should I buy a Volkswagen Golf?

If you are looking for a safe, reliable car, with German driving dynamics, a Volkswagen Golf is a great bet. It blends the space of a hatchback with some truly enjoyable driving experiences and fuel efficiency.

Should I buy a used Volkswagen Golf?

The Golf has been around for more than 40 years, which means there have been some dogs in the past. In general most VW Golf's are a great used buy, but Consumer Reports suggests avoiding the 2015-2016 model years of the Golf and the 2011 through 2012, and 2015 through 2016 models of the GTI because of reliability issues.

How much does the Volkswagen Golf cost?

The Volkswagen Golf starts at $21,845 plus delivery. This is for the base model with the manual transmission. The addition of the automatic will cost you an additional $1,100.

The Golf GTI starts at $27,595 for the S model. The specialized Rabbit Edition with its tartan seats starts at $28,895 and the top of the line Autobahn trim with adaptive cruise control, and upgraded touchscreen starts at $35,995.

The top-of-the-line Golf R will cost you $40,395 plus delivery, and the electric e-Golf starts at $31,895.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf


  • Practical with tons of interior space
  • Improved fuel efficiency for 2019
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard
  • Fun to drive


  • Only comes in hatchback body style
  • Pricey to get into an all-wheel-drive model
  • Automatic transmission is optional on all versions except the e-Golf
Model History

The History of the Volkswagen Golf: Forty-plus years of the Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen has built the Golf for the past forty-five years, and it's widely considered the reference point for hatchback design. It was initially named the Golfstrom, which was German for Gulfstream and designed by the famed automotive designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Golf MK1 first appeared in 1974. By 1976 Volkswagen had sold more than 1 million Golfs. What started out as an efficient family car has since evolved into a hot hatch with a variety of engines and options available depending on your needs.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf


Body Style
1.4L TSI DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder Turbocharged
147 hp
6-Speed Manual
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Bluetooth
  • Cruise Control
  • Heated Seats
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Leather Seats
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 1.4L TSI DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder Turbocharged -inc: direct fuel injection
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 3.39 Axle Ratio
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • 60-Amp/Hr 480CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • 140 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 13.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
  • Security System Pre-Wiring
  • Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential
  • Wheels: 16" Split-V Alloy
  • Tires: 16" All-Season
  • Wheels w/Silver Accents
  • Steel Spare Wheel
  • Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st Row Sunroof w/Sunshade
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Chrome Bumper Insert
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Chrome Bumper Insert
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Black Grille w/Chrome Accents
  • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
  • Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Cornering Lights
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: Composition Color w/6.5" Touchscreen -inc: AM/FM w/USB-C input, 6-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, VW App-Connect smartphone integration and interface w/Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, capability for in-vehicle 4G LTE enabled Wi-Fi (cellular data plan required; includes limited trial) and capability for VW Car-Net services (capabilities for certain services vary; requires enrollment or subscription), All VW Car-Net services are subject to terms and limitations-some services, which include emergency assistance services, require a paid subscription, Please see dealer or visit for details
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
  • Audio Theft Deterrent
  • Integrated Roof Diversity Antenna
  • 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
  • Heated Front Comfort Seats -inc: 8-way partial-power front seats, power recline and manual lumbar support
  • 6-Way Driver Seat
  • 6-Way Passenger Seat
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Leatherette Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Compass
  • Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
  • Valet Function
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Fuel
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Cloth Door Trim Insert
  • Leather Gear Shift Knob
  • V-Tex Leatherette Seating Surfaces
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Rigid Cargo Cover
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
  • VW Car-Net Safe & Secure Tracker System
  • Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Refrigerated/Cooled Box Located In The Glovebox, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Redundant Digital Speedometer
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Seats w/Leatherette Back Material
  • Manual Anti-Whiplash Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru w/Storage
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot Sensor
  • FCW w/Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Side Curtain Protection Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 Volkswagen Golf (5)










Roadside Assistance






Available Trims for the 2020 Volkswagen Golf (2)

1.4T TSI Manual
MSRP Starting at
1.4T TSI Auto
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2020 Volkswagen Golf

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Volkswagen Golf 1.4T TSI Manual:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating

Dynamic Test Result

No Tip

Risk of Rollover


Rollover Note

Dynamic (moving) test results (Tip or No Tip) and measured rollover-related properties determine vehicle's risk of rollover in single vehicle crash and its rollover rating. The Rollover Resistance Rating utilizes a "fishhook" maneuver which is a series of abrupt turns at varying speeds to see how "top-heavy" a vehicle is.


Male: Average sized adult male dummy in 35-MPH crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs. Female: Small-sized adult female dummy in 35-mph crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs.