The car that defined the term "hot hatch" embodies a classic formula: refinement, style, power, and playful performance. In 2019, the Golf GTI returns with a host of enhancements that continue the tradition of affordable performance it has built since its U.S. debut in 1983. The GTI has been awarded more than a dozen awards since its redesign for the 2015 model year, and in 2019 it only gets better.
New for 2019
The 2019 Golf GTI is available in the usual three trims-S, SE, and Autobahn-and alimited-edition GTI Rabbit Edition slots between the S and SE trims and pays homage to GTI heritage.
All models now come with 228 horsepower standard (achieved with premium fuel), an eight-horsepower increase from previous years, plus Golf R brakes and the VAQ mechanical differential. Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are now available in the optional Driver Assistance Package on S models, and standard on the rest of the lineup.
The heritage-inspired Rabbit Edition is new for model year 2019. It will have a limited production run, and features 18-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, a black rear spoiler, LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), black mirror caps, Rabbit-badged seat tags, red-stitched floor mats, KESSY(R) keyless access with push-button start, Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. Rabbit Edition will be offered in four colors: Cornflower Blue, Urano Grey, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl.
SE models get new standard equipment, including leather seating surfaces, plus a new available Experience Package, which offers Fender(R) Premium Audio and DCC(R) chassis control.
Pricing for the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $27,595. The new seven-speed DSG(R) automatic transmission with Tiptronic(R) starts at $28,695. The destination charge for all Golf GTI models is an additional $895.
The seventh-generation car is wrapped in sheet metal that is modern, yet equally unmistakable as a Volkswagen Golf GTI. The shape and design elements remain as defined as ever, with a distinctive C-pillar, roofline framing, and classic Golf GTI side windows, but the striking new front end and steeply sloped hood leave no doubt this is different from previous generations.
All models feature standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and, for the SE and Autobahn models, LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) are standard. A bright-red horizontal strip visually connects the headlights to a revised grille and bumper. Those fascias carry a strong character line that travels along the side and all the way back to the taillight clusters, only breaking for the wheelarches. Just above, another body line can be traced from the rear side window all the way back up to the headlights. These subtle body lines help create a poised yet elegant appearance.
In addition to the red horizontal highlight on the grille, the 2019 Golf GTI has several other visual differences from its conventional Golf brethren. The lower front fascia incorporates standard LED fog lights housed within a series of horizontal strakes on either side of a unique mesh pattern grille. Red-painted brake calipers peek behind bespoke GTI wheels and subtle side skirts help to give the GTI a more planted appearance. Around back, bright exhaust tips sit on either side of a unique rear diffuser, while a roof spoiler and LED taillights further differentiate the car.
The Golf GTI has a lower visual center of gravity and a more dynamic stance than the regular Golf, thanks to a sport suspension that lowers the car by 0.6 inches. The Golf GTI is equipped with large 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels as standard equipment, wrapped in standard all-season or, exclusively optional on the Autobahn trim, 225/40 summer performance tires.
Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers along with automatic headlights are standard across the lineup. A panoramic power tilt and slide sunroof is standard on SE and Autobahn trims.
The large, mature cabin has an emphasis on comfort and a substantial features list. There is 93.5 cu-ft of interior room, along with 16.5 cu-ft of luggage space up to the parcel shelf and 22.8 cu-ft to the roof - space that rivals even the largest midsize sedan. The versatility of the load space is enhanced by a trunk floor that can be raised or lowered, while the 60:40 split backrest can be folded to give an almost flat cargo area that can accommodate a full-size bicycle. With the rear seats folded, the Golf GTI has 52.7 cu-ft of cargo capacity.
In addition to the spacious interior, the driver controls are positioned to help optimize ergonomics and usability. The seat position, height of the shifter and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for increased driver comfort. This new driver-centric design focus is evident from the center stack, which is angled towards the driver-a trait frequently seen in premium luxury or performance vehicles.
The Golf GTI's premium performance personality is further accentuated from the regular Golf model by the red ambient lighting and illuminated door sills; black headliner and trim inserts; buttons and switches that are backlit in white; and the use of premium materials and soft-touch plastics throughout. A GTI-specific instrument cluster, sporty aluminum-look pedals, the unique shifter knob, and the flat-bottomed sport steering wheel also ensure differentiation from its less-sporty siblings.
An equal amount of attention has been paid to helping maximize comfort and convenience. The standard front sport seats, with classic GTI "Clark" plaid seating surfaces, can be heated, and there are six cup holders. Cruise control switches and media controls are housed on the leather-wrapped and red-stitched multifunction steering wheel.
The Golf GTI S includes a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, ambient and footwell lighting with LED reading lights, LED fog lights, and Driving Mode Selection. SE models add with KESSY keyless access with push-button start, a sunroof, and leather seating surfaces.
The top-of-the-line Autobahn variants add standard DCC chassis control, Climatronic(R) automatic dual-zone climate control, a 12-way power driver's seat, and the highly-acclaimed Fender Premium Audio.
MIB II Infotainment. All 2019 Golf GTI models feature Volkswagen's innovative MIB II touchscreen infotainment system. The display utilizes a capacitive-touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling gesture controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming.
The GTI S and Rabbit Edition are equipped with the Composition Color unit, which features a 6.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The infotainment system also offers SD card and USB (one port) multimedia interfaces, as well as a rearview camera and standard Bluetooth(R) technology for compatible devices.
All other GTI models are equipped with a glass-covered 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display-SE models with the Composition Media unit; Autobahn models with the Discover Media system with navigation.
Both units offer one USB port, a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM(R) radio for a three month trial period, and HD Radio. Both units also have the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with Bluetooth with compatible phones and pair two phones simultaneously. The Discover Media unit offers 2.5D navigation, featuring one-shot voice destination entry, destination entry with search and auto-complete, and predicts possible destinations based on often used routes.
Volkswagen Car-Net. Volkswagen is committed to driving the development of more connected and intelligent vehicles, and the Car-Net(R) connectivity system is a major element in achieving that goal. Features available through Car-Net are divided into three key areas: "App-Connect," "Security & Service," and "Guide & Inform."
Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices is standard on all GTI models. App-Connect offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicle's display through services such as Apple CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink(R).
Equipped on SE and Autobahn models, Car-Net Security & Service is a suite of elements that provides security features and also allows owners to access their VW remotely through vw.com/carnet as well as a smartphone app.
Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with VW Car-Net Security & Service will receive a six-month trial subscription from Verizon Connect Inc. that starts on date of your Volkswagen purchase for no additional charge. To extend the benefits of this system after the trial, customers can choose from a number of payment options: One year for $199 and two years for $378, or month-to-month for $17.99, plus applicable taxes and fees. App-Connect can be used free-of-charge and is not included as part of the subscription-based services.
Available Car-Net Security & Service features include Automatic Crash Notification, which can help automatically notify an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of a collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement with locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
In addition, Car-Net Security & Service offers remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash of lights, last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows). Consumers will also be able to send a location from their connected smart device to the factory-installed compatible navigation system on select models. For consumers who prefer a more personal touch, Agent Destination Assist is also available.
Car-Net Security & Service also includes Family Guardian, which offers features such as: speed alert, which notifies you when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary; curfew alert, which notifies you if your vehicle is driven while curfew alert is on; and valet alert, which lets you know if your vehicle is driven more than 0.2 miles from the valet drop-off location.
Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through Car-Net Security & Service. In addition to the vehicle's warning and indicator lights, a Vehicle Health Report provides customers easy access to diagnostic information. When it's time for scheduled service, Car-Net Security & Service not only notifies the customer, but provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit.
The available VW Car-Net app for smartwatch (supports select Apple Watch(R) and Android WearTM operating systems) allows VW customers to control a host of Security & Service features and functions available through the iPhone(R) and Android TM apps and Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Smartwatch wearers can keep tabs on their vehicle from afar, remotely locking and unlocking doors and viewing the status of doors, windows and sunroof (open or closed). These consumers can also find a parked vehicle more quickly, with a map of the current vehicle location, and get walking or driving directions to the vehicle. Drivers can check their fuel level and receive alerts with a compatible smartwatch.
Equipped on Autobahn models, Car-Net Guide & Inform offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for VW consumers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that empowers consumers. The in-vehicle navigation system features fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three-month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary three-month SiriusXM Traffic trial.
In classic Volkswagen style, the Golf GTI is powered by a compact turbocharged engine. The 2.0-liter TSI(R) turbocharged and direct-injection unit that powers the Golf GTI is a member of the latest, third-generation EA888 engine family and is built in Volkswagen's state-of-the-art factory in Silao, Mexico. The EA888 engine line is a masterpiece of modern engine design that provides high levels of performance, efficiency, and drivability in a lightweight, compact package.
The EA888 engine has been retuned for the 2019 model year and produces 228 horsepower (achieved on premium fuel) at 4,700 rpm, and torque peaks at 258 lb-ft, beginning at just 1,500 rpm and lasting until 4,500 rpm. It can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or-new for 2019-an optional seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic, the most advanced such unit Volkswagen offers. The DSG transmission incorporates a launch control feature and a Start-Stop System designed to save fuel.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2019 Golf GTI is currently pending EPA certification. Official EPA estimates will be available prior to the vehicle's market launch.
The A7 Golf GTI was the first U.S.-market vehicle built on Volkswagen's MQB modular platform. The unitary construction chassis has two solid-mounted subframes with bolt-on front fenders, and utilizes technologies such as the laser clamp welder, which produces "wobble seam" welds in a wave pattern to help maximize strength in a limited space, offering significantly more strength than a traditional spot weld.
The Golf GTI's stamped steel body and chassis boasts a large percentage high-strength, hot-formed steel. This technology allows much of the chassis and body to be constructed from thinner and lighter parts without loss in strength.
The Golf GTI features a strut-type front suspension with lower control arms and a multilink rear suspension, both of which are controlled by coil springs with telescopic dampers. The Golf GTI has a lowered sport suspension, which is 0.6 inches lower than Golf TSI models. The front suspension includes a 24-millimeter anti-roll bar while the rear has a 20-millimeter version, 2 mm larger at the front and 1 mm thicker at the back compared with a regular Golf TSI model.
The Golf SE with optional Experience Package and GTI Autobahn feature the latest version of the DCC adaptive chassis control system, which manages the suspension's rebound and compression rates individually, helping to improve vehicle dynamics.
All 2019 Golf GTI models come equipped with large 13.4-inch front and 12.2-inch rear vented discs, with single-piston calipers all around.
The Driving Mode Selection feature was introduced in 2015 for the seventh-generation Golf GTI. There are three modes on cars with the standard sport suspension: "Normal," "Sport," and "Individual." The DCC adaptive damping system adds a "Comfort" mode. Normal and Sport have a different steering heft and throttle response, while Individual allows a driver to tailor the steering and throttle. On cars with the DSG transmission, the Sport mode gives more aggressive shifts. With the DCC system, Comfort mode puts the dampers in their softest setting for a smooth highway ride and to their firmest setting in Sport for better cornering performance.
Another standout feature on the Golf GTI is the ESC Sport function for very experienced drivers for use on closed courses, such as a racetrack. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. If the driver pushes the button once, the ASR (traction control) function is deactivated. When the button is pressed longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ESC Sport mode. In high-speed driving, such as on a racetrack, the ESC system operates at a higher threshold for even more agile handling. ESC can also be activated through the "Car" settings menu.
All 2019 Golf GTI models come equipped with the torque-sensing limited-slip differential, dubbed VAQ. This electronically-controlled differential works in concert with the existing stability systems to help improve traction and performance. Tests at the Nürburgring Nordschleife track have shown lap-time improvements of more than eight seconds compared to Golf models without the differential.
The VAQ acts as a traditional limited-slip differential-which reacts by transferring a set amount of torque to non-slipping wheels when others lose traction-but adds to its effectiveness by monitoring the data from each wheel sensor at all times. Since this data includes both vehicle and wheel speed, as well as yaw and lateral g-force, the system can make precise adjustments to help maintain an optimum torque balance between the left and right front wheels. Up to a full 100 percent of torque can be transferred to either side, as opposed to the fixed "best guess" percentage seen in traditional limited-slip differentials. The result of this proactive (rather than reactive) system is the reduction of the understeer and torque steer that can afflict sporty front-wheel-drive cars.
The Golf GTI also features the progressive electric power steering system. This is an elegant solution to help with a common problem with steering systems, which is that different speeds and maneuvers ideally require different steering rates. In this case, Volkswagen has spaced the teeth on the steering gear's rack more tightly toward the center. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car can respond more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack can reduce the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when parking. The Golf GTI steering wheel goes from lock to lock in just 2.1 turns, whereas the standard Golf needs 2.76 turns.
To help protect occupants, the Golf GTI provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
A standard feature on the 2019 GTI is Volkswagen's Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact-the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The GTI also includes Volkswagen's Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.
All GTI models feature a standard rearview camera.
To meet the demands of American drivers, the 2019 GTI offers a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance technology. Available features include: Forward Collision Warning and 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); and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
Front Assist, available on the base GTI S as a part of the optional Driver Assistance Package and standard on all other GTI models, is intended to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking).
Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning warns the driver of potential critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. Furthermore, an automatic jolt of the brakes can warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, or if the car is traveling below 18 mph, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).
Blind Spot Monitor is available on the base GTI S as a part of the optional Driver Assistance Package and standard on all other GTI models. Blind Spot Monitor uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and is intended to warn drivers of potential danger in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors. Even if the driver does not use a turn signal, the LED symbol in the mirror will illuminate if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot. The system is designed to help alert drivers in specific situations; stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings, nor do vehicles more than one lane across away from the vehicle.
If combined with Lane Assist (Autobahn models, see below) the system not only warns the driver with the flashing LED symbol if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, but within system limits, it can also countersteer to help keep the car in the lane even if the turn signal is on. If the driver still tries to steer out of the lane, the system will warn with an additional vibration of the steering wheel.
The Rear Traffic Alert system, available on the base GTI S as a part of the optional Driver Assistance Package and standard on all other GTI models, is intended to detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. It offers a sizable range of about 65 feet on either side of the vehicle, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, if a potential collision with a crossing vehicle is detected. If the driver does not react, the system can apply the brakes to help mitigate and, in the best case, can help prevent a collision. The system is activated by putting the car in reverse.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), standard on Autobahn models, uses a forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can further use those buttons to adjust and cancel the ACC function while the accelerator can be used to override the ACC function. Pressing the brakes always cancels the ACC function. All ACC-related system messages appear in the central multifunction display. When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is clear, the system maintains the set speed. GTI models fitted with ACC can match a vehicle in front and come to a stop if the vehicle in front does.
Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist) is standard on Autobahn models. When driving above 40 mph, if there is an indication that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane without using a turn signal, Lane Assist actively countersteers to help keep the vehicle in the lane. The system's camera recognizes visible lane markings and, using a special algorithm, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. If the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, the system provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over.
The system can work in the dark and/or in fog, but it will not engage if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Assist system will not engage or give a warning. The driver can "override" the system at any time by applying minimal force to the steering wheel.
Park Distance Control, standard on Autobahn models, uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to approximately five feet in front or behind the vehicle. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged or below a speed of 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight spaces. The system has audible and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects from the front or rear.
Maneuver Braking, a part of the Park Distance Control system, is intended to mitigate or help prevent collisions with static obstacles to the front and rear while the vehicle is maneuvered. The system is active when reverse gear is selected. If the system detects a stationary object while the vehicle is in reverse and moving between 1-6 mph, it can apply the brakes automatically to help prevent or mitigate a collision. The system can be deactivated at any time using the touch display or permanently in the setup menu.
Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) is standard on Autobahn models. This system can automatically steer the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces (the latter both forward and in reverse). While driving below 12 mph, pressing the Park Assist button will preselect the likeliest parking maneuver based on the size of the parking spot but it will also show other available maneuvers in the instrument cluster. The driver only needs to activate the accelerator pedal and brake once a gear is selected, as Park Assist can automatically help steer the vehicle into the parking space.
The driver can override or deactivate the steering assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the button. Below 12 mph, the system scans both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the road-for example, in a one-way street-for any parking spaces as it drives past. By activating the turn signal, the driver stipulates which side of the road they wish to park on.
High Beam Control (Light Assist), standard on Autobahn models, automatically raises the headlamp high beams above 40 mph on dark or poorly lit roads, if there is no oncoming traffic detected.
For the 2019 model year, Volkswagen Golf GTI models in the United States will come with the People First Warranty, a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the remainder of which can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout its duration.
The six-year/72,000-mile People First Warranty includes powertrain coverage for engines, transmissions and optional 4Motion(R) all-wheel-drive systems. Additionally, all the elements of the remaining warranty coverage can be transferred to a subsequent owner.
Most mainstream competitors to the Volkswagen brand in the United States such as Honda, Toyota and Ford offer only a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on their cars and SUVs. While Hyundai and Kia offer a five-year/60,000 mile basic warranty and a higher time and mileage limit on their powertrain limited warranties, if the vehicle is sold to a second owner, the powertrain limited warranty is not transferable beyond five years or 60,000 miles from the date it was first sold new.
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About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Atlas, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, e-Golf, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and Tiguan Limited vehicles through more than 650 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.