Review and Test Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

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The 2018 Golf is also very well equipped. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the base model, as are automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a 6.5” touchscreen. Options include keyless entry and start, the aforementioned 8” touchscreen, navi, and LED headlights.

Once underway, the 2018 Golf provided the Fahrvergnügen one expects from a VW. The higher level of refinement is immediately noticeable and the ride firm yet comfortable.

While it’s clearly not a diesel the 199 pound-feet of torque were available on demand, whether driving around twisties or accelerating onto a highway, I was never left wanting. Steering was responsive with excellent feedback, making the car quite nimble, even when pushed hard into the corners.

The improved interior materials push the Golf further into Audi territory and controls, as one would expect in a German automobile, are precisely where expected.

Apple CarPlay is of course a welcome addition. There was no pairing required to use my iPhone and all of my recent and saved destinations were immediately available, as were my Tune-In Radio and Pandora favorites. While CarPlay has no weather option, Siri will provide spoken weather information and forecasts upon request.

BOTTOM LINE

The 2018 Rabbit, ahem Golf, is impressive. It really doesn’t matter what you call it, however: the combination of superb handling and very good fuel economy make it one of our all-time favorite cars to drive.

THE DETAILS

2018 Volkswagen Golf SE
Base price/price-as-tested $24,755 / N/A
Drivetrain Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 1.8-liter inline 4
Horsepower/Torque 170 / 199
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 5,467
Wheelbase (inches) 103.8
Length x width x height (inches) 167.6 x 70.8 x 52.2
0-60 mph (seconds) (est.) 7.3
Fuel economy (mpg) (city/hwy) 24/33

Jonathan Spira contributed to this review.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

 

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