Volkswagen Golf GTI: the original hot hatch gets even hotter for 2019

By Paul Gover, August 2 2018

Too much is never enough for the legion of mid-level executives who get their driving jollies from the punchy yet always-practical Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Case in point: the 2019 edition of this turbocharged pocket rocket, which will be burning up the bitumen from October with even more performance, more luxury and more safety in a car that has taken over from the Subaru WRX as the benchmark in its class.

The new Golf GTI’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine now bristles with same 180kW/370Nm output – a peppy 10 percent boost – as the sold-out GTI Performance 1 special edition.

An upgraded set of safety features counts auto safety braking, radar cruise control and lane assistance as standard kit.

Equally potent buy-me-now lures: the brilliant ‘active info’ digital dashboard that’s a hit across the Volkswagen family, an 8-inch satnav display and crunchy 400-watt sound system.

Volkswagen Australia has also tweaked the car to reflect the purchase preferences of owners, dropping both the manual gearbox and three-door body in favour of the five-door layout with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto shifter.

“We are bringing the car that people want,” says Volkswagen Australia spokesman, Paul Pottinger. “People are seeing the premium value in the car, and we’re seeing more and executives getting into the GTI.”

Optional extras atop the $45,490 base model – which is as from a 'basic' build as you could imagine – include a ‘sound and style’ package (19-inch alloys up from the standard 18 inchers, plus and a larger infotainment screen) and a luxury skew boasting leather trim, heated seats and panoramic glass sunroof.

Paul Gover

As Motoring Editor for Executive Traveller, Paul Gover spends less time at his Gold Coast home than he does on the road (literally) test-driving the best of the four-wheel world.

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