he front-drive-only Golf is propelled by a turbocharged 1.4-liter/4-cylinder engine making 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, running on regular 87-octane gasoline. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, or there’s the option of an 8-speed automatic. Models with the automatic also have an engine stop/start feature that saves some fuel when idling.
The Golf comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags. Both trims feature an automatic post-collision braking system that applies the brakes after an impact, reducing the risk of damage from subsequent collisions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Golf its maximum score of five stars overall. That breaks down to four stars for frontal impacts and five for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named it a Top Safety Pick
The S has 15-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/parking brake lever/shift knob, heated side mirrors, climate control, an infotainment system with a 6.5-in screen, an 8-speaker audio system, satellite/HD radio, Bluetooth (for two phones) and USB connectivity, an SD card slot, auxiliary input, cruise control, cloth-covered seats (with manual lumbar adjustment up front), a cooled glove compartment, power accessories, forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with a rear-traffic alert, and Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics system (integrating Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link).