The 10 Best Cars of 2019
It’s official, Car and Driver has put the Golf GTI on their 2019 10 Best Cars list!
As the Volkswagen Golf lineup has expanded, we’ve granted a growing group of variants a spot on our 10Best Cars list. This year is no different, as the Golf, Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, and e-Golf all share the award.
But we do have a favorite among these siblings: the GTI. It delivers automotive ecstasy in spades, starting with the 228-hp turbocharged inline-four with smooth, satisfying power delivery and a strong shove of torque down low in the rev range. A well-judged suspension tune turns a highly competent chassis into a brilliant one, with unflappable composure and an endearing eagerness to change direction. The GTI also exhibits a welcome sense of polish with its wonderfully presented interior (the plaid seats are a must) and a sophisticated exterior treatment that eschews overwrought vents and scoops.
If you need more trunk for your junk, the SportWagen compromises none of the hatchback’s strengths while offering SUV-like luggage capacity. It also can be had with all-wheel drive, or in Alltrack garb, which brings a higher ride height and extra body cladding—marketing concessions that hardly bother us, because it drives so well.
Even the $22,740 Golf S feels rich in content and construction. Its interior is ergonomically sound and airy, while its fluid body motions, communicative primary controls, and sense of solidity make it engaging and refined. And the 288-hp Golf R speaks to our power lust—it’s a legitimate performance car, both in terms of numbers and feel. But anyone can add power to a car and make it more fun to drive. Not everyone can build a family of cars as coherent as this.