STATUS: The wagons and Golf R are gone for 2020 - The departure of the Sportwagen, all-wheel-drive Alltrack wagon and the 292-horsepower AWD Golf R for 2020 leaves the GTI, electric e-Golf and, of course, the basic Golf hatchback. That model's single Value Edition trim comes with a panoramic power sunroof, faux leather seat covers, heated front seats and windshield washer nozzles, and 16-inch alloy wheels. A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It's linked to a six-speed manual transmission, or available eight-speed automatic. With the Golf R's departure, the less-powerful GTI becomes the designated hotrod in the group. Along with a sport-tuned suspension (with three driver-controlled settings) and beefier brakes, the GTI comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox or optional seven-speed dual-clutch (automated manual) transmission handle the shifting duties. The e-Golf's electric propulsion system produces 134 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque. It delivers a Volkswagen-claimed 125-mile maximum range and pulls down the equivalent of 119 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
Base price (incl. destination): $24,200; $29,500 (GTI); $32,800 (e-Golf)
Type: Compact hatchback
Engines (h.p.): 1.4-liter I-4, turbocharged (147); 2.0-liter I-4 turbocharged (228, GTI)
Transmissions: Six-speed manual; eight-speed automatic; seven-speed automated manual (opt. for GTI); single-speed controller (e-Golf)
Base mpg (city/highway/combined): 30/40/34 (1.4, MT)
Base weight (lb.): 2,900