2018 Volkswagen Golf SEFeatured Test Drive Reviews Volkswagen 

The Full Package: 2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Test Drive

We absolutely love hatchbacks. Not only because of their design but also because of their utilitarian use. While most young car shoppers tend to go for a compact sedan, in general, we’d highly recommend for them to check out hatchbacks. That said, one of our personal favorites is the Volkswagen Golf, and we recently got to spend some time with the 2018 model year. We came away very impressed.

Not only is the 2018 Volkswagen Golf fun to drive it also offers 60/40 split rear seats, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and what Volkswagen calls the People First Warranty. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look a the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Golf.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Exterior

While the overall presence and appearance of the Volkswagen Golf hasn’t changed much, the 2018 model years gets a few changes. The 2018 Volkswagen Golf gets a new front bumper, chrome-surround grille, and LED daytime running lights. The rear features full standard LED taillights and 15-inch ‘Lyons’ alloy wheels. Our test model, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SE, gets standard 16-inch ‘Toronto’ wheels, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Size wise, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf sits on a wheelbase that measures 103.8-inches with an overall length of 167.5-inches. The width spreads a total of 70.8-inches while the height stands at a total of 57.2-inches.

Compared to its opponents, the Ford Focus Hatchback, Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, the Volkswagen Golf employs a more subtle and less-flashy approach. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as Volkswagen is going for the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Interior

Take a seat inside and you’ll notice that the 2018 Volkswagen Golf isn’t much different from the outgoing models, so any Golf enthusiast will feel right at home. There is a perfect blend of high-quality materials and a great balance of ergonomics.

Since this is a hatchback, let’s talk about cabin and trunk space. Legroom wise, front-row passengers will enjoy a total of 41.2-inches while rear passengers will get an ample 35.6-inches. Cargo capacity comes in at a strong 22.8 cubic feet with the seats in user position and the 60:40 split backrest can be folded to increase cargo space to a total of 52.7 cubic feet.

Tech wise, all 2018 Volkswagen Golf models come standard with the MIB II infotainment system, an SD card slot, one USB port, a rearview camera, Bluetooth (with audio streaming), and a new 6.5-inch touchscreen display. Our test model, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SE is equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen display, V-Tex leatherette heated seats, push-button start, and more. All 2018 Volkswagen Golf models also come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Performance

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo engine making a total of 170 horsepower with a maximum torque of 199 lb-ft. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. With the six-speed automatic transmission, zero to 60 mph comes in 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph. However, don’t let those numbers fool you. The Volkswagen Golf is still one of the most fun to drive models in its class. The acceleration is extremely quick, so you can easily shift in and out of lanes with confidence. Handling on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf is also very dynamic so you can really throw this thing into corners, which ensures you’ll arrive at your destination with a smile on your face. The Volkswagen Golf is very nimble and predictable and the overall driving experience is something cars like the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla aspire to.  When it comes to fuel economy, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf averages a respectable EPA-rated 25/34 mpg* (city/highway).

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Safety

Along with the standard rearview camera, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf comes with a long list of available driver-assist safety features including blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and rear traffic alert.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE Overall

If you’re in the market for your first compact vehicle we highly recommend checking out the 2018 Volkswagen Golf. Most likely, the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, or even the Volkswagen Jetta will be on your list, but definitely give the Volkswagen Golf a spin. We promise that you won’t be disappointed. With its fun driving characteristics, a quality-built spacious interior, and standard tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Volkswagen Golf is really the full package. Prices for the 2018 model year start at $20,190** for the Golf S and $23,655** for the Golf SE. Visit your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealership for a test drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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