2018 Volkswagen Golf TSI: Still the People’s Car

Posted by Wheels On Edge about 11 months ago
No matter your motoring needs, chances are – there’s a Volkswagen Golf that fits your needs. Need lots of room? There’s the Golf SportWagen. Performance? There’s the Golf GTI. Even more performance with All Wheel Drive? There’s the Golf R. All around practicality with great fuel economy? There’s this – the Golf TSI. VW’s iconic hatchback has been a popular choice for motorists around the world – especially here in Canada – and for good reason. As we just mentioned, there is a Golf for virtually everyone.

How do you keep such a hot seller fresh? For the 2018 model year, Volkswagen have added some small but very meaningful tweaks to the hatchback. For instance, a restyled front and rear that includes standard LED lighting and larger touchscreen in the centre console with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.
Inside, the Golf remains largely unchanged. Its familiar and intuitive layout is easy to navigate. The multifunction touchscreen offers a number of functions including Bluetooth, media, vehicle settings and optional navigation. Climate control functions have remained relegated to buttons – which is not a bad thing at all. Premium feeling materials and comfortable, lightly bolstered seats help make the interior of the Golf feel more Audi than VW. Especially with its crisp 8-speaker Fender sound system. It is worth noting our tester was the highest “base” trim level – the Highline.

Legroom and headroom for passengers in the front is surprisingly good for such a compact vehicle. Taller passengers may feel a bit cramped in the back, depending on the front seat position, but overall, interior space is excellent given the dimensions of the vehicle. Cargo space is generous too, coming in at 1,521 L total. More than competition like the Honda Fit, but less than others like the Ford Focus. The trunk space features a hidden compartment under the floor mat, useful for storing valuables like laptops, cameras and tablets. The rear seats fold down easily to expand storage, but don’t fold completely flat.
While it’s not as hot as a GTI or as hardcore as a Golf R, the Golf TSI feels surprisingly spirited. The 1.8-litre turbocharged engine on the TSI model is good for 170 horsepower and can net a fuel economy return as good as 6.7 L/100km. Couple that with the TSI’s limited slip differential and your daily commute will certainly feel a little more engaged. The TSI has a much softer ride than a GTI, but it’ll still handle curvy roads an on ramps with surprisingly little body roll. Our tester featured a 6-speed automatic that did a fine job of shifting through the gears smoothly. But for drivers who prefer to do it themselves, a 6-speed manual is also available.

Volkswagen literally means “People’s Car” in its native German language. Throughout its history, the company has thrived on making motoring accessible to the masses, and even now, that mantra is still present. The Golf continues to be one of the hottest sellers for the company and for good reason. No matter your tastes, there is likely to be a Golf that will satisfy it. The new Golf TSI takes that to heart, giving a sporty ride, premium feeling interior, generous cargo space and excellent fuel economy at an affordable price.

Written by Shane Kalicharan

Pictures by Kevin Wylie

2018 Volkswagen Golf, Android Auto. German, Golf TSI 

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