Review and Test Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Golf SE

By Paul Riegler on 13 February 2018
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Volkswagen’s sporty Golf is now in its 44th year and it’s as popular as ever. Introduced as the Rabbit in U.S. and Canadian markets because Rabbit sounded cute and Golf was a term only associated with the sport, it was Wolfsburg’s replacement for the Beetle (Käfer in German-speaking markets).

Indeed the name “Golf” was not chosen because of the sport but due to VW’s practice for naming its cars after winds, including in this case Gulf Stream, as well as Scirocco (a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara), Jetta (“jet stream”), and Passat (“trade wind”).

Rabbit conveyed small, agile, cute, and perhaps even economical and the car sold like rabbits, although VW eventually changed its mind and, in 1984, bestowed upon it the Golf name. Oddly enough, it brought back the Rabbit name from 2006 to 2009 in an attempt to lift sagging sales, but that effort wasn’t successful and, for a second time, the Golf nameplate returned.



Now in its seventh generation, with a midlife refresh revealed ahead of its official debut at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, the Golf received a new optional infotainment system, the Discover Media navi, with an 8” touchscreen display that was originally seen on the e-Golf. VW has discontinued the two-door hatch model, leaving only the four-door hatch and the wagon as options.

Outside, the Golf received new bumpers, a new chrome grill, LED taillights, and new alloy wheels, while inside VW opted for higher quality interior materials.

The Golf comes standard with VW’s turbocharged 1.8-liter four banger that develops 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, mated in the case of the hatch to either a five-speed standard or six-speed automatic transmission. Front wheel drive is, of course, standard, as it has been for the past 44 years.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2018 VW Golf SE

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