2018 Volkswagen Golf 1.8TSI Highline: Classic family hatchback is hard to beat

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By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2018_Volkswagen_GolfThe Volkswagen Golf has always been one of my favorite cars and for good reason: It has great heritage, decent build quality, fine engineering and has always been a practical, fun to drive car. It is also available in a number of permutations to suit different buyers and driver needs. The fast and exciting GTI and Golf R models offer superb performance and of course the five-door and three-door model hatchback format offers great flexibility. There is even a wagon version of the Golf. The new MK7 Golf looks upmarket and smoothly refined with a redesigned front and rear end, a larger Infotainment system display, and standard App-Connect. A few well-placed nips and tucks to keep it looking modern and desirable.

Our 2018 Golf 5-door hatchback tester was a well-optioned Highline edition in a very sublime Peacock green paint with the four cylinder 1.8TSI engine. Note the 1.8L mill produces a creditable 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Transmission options include the as standard five speed manual or as on our tester, a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic shift function. The Highline we tested added such niceties as 17” inch Karlskoga alloy wheels and all-season tires, 12-way power driver seat, KESSY keyless access and a panorama tilt and slide power sunroof. Also added was a premium audio sound system, climatronic dual-zone electronic climate control. The Light package adds LED headlights with Adaptive Front light system (AFS).

Meanwhile, the excellent Driver Assistance package adds: Adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection with rear traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, lane assist, automatic high beams, park assist and park distance control.

Interior wise, the Golf is roomy with two comfortable heated sport bucket seats up front and a roomy rear split bench seat and ample rear cargo room. The cabin is still sublimely efficient and neat as a pin, with a choice of trim and sporty, meticulous detailing. Standard equipment includes: satellite radio, Bluetooth and navigation. a larger Discover Pro 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, proximity sensors and a slew of as standard safety systems such as blind spot monitoring, active cruise control, active park assist for automated parallel, perpendicular parking, and autonomous emergency braking. A premium Fender 8 speaker audio system with a subwoofer adds to the in-car enjoyment.

The Golf has German design written all over the interior with a neat fastidious look to the dash and cabin trim; there is high quality look and feel to all the controls as standard is a standard rear-view camera, universal USB input and compatibility with smartphones for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. Interior room is good with good space for five people and decent enough luggage and storage areas. On the road, the Golf’s performance is delightfully competent with confidence-inspiring, handling and driving dynamics. I like the slightly firm steering and stable solid feeling chassis. It just feels so right as all German cars do. Our tester with a cool Shetland –Vienna leather interior rang in at a base price of $30,495 with the optional Light package ($795), Driver Assistance Package ($1750) for a total cost of $33,040 plus fright, PDI and AC Excise tax.

For the price it hard to find a car of this pedigree. Fuel efficient, comfortable, built like a bank vault, and eminently refined, the Golf is still amongst the best in its segment. Highly recommended.

2018 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T Highline priced from $30,495 plus options. Freight, PDI and taxes.