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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
2018 GOLF IS A LOT OF COMPACT CAR FOR THE MONEY!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Many may recall that the VW Golf won the 2015 North American Car of the Year. Indeed, along with its counterpart GTI, which we recently test drove, the Golf has set fresh benchmarks in innovation, design, value and available driver assistance features (examples: adaptive cruise control, front assist, blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert).
The GTI is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine generating 220 horsepower (up by 10 hp) @ 4700 rpm and 258 pounds-feet of torque @ 1500 rpm. It is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox though a 6-speed manual also is available.  You are assured that the lively and stylish Golf will get up to speed with urgency, and slow down as quickly and with self-assurance.
The seventh-generation hatchback shows off a steeply sloped hood that meets up with a narrow but bright-red horizontal grille strip, flanked by halogen headlights. Cabin passenger volume is respectable at 93.5 cubic feet of space. Trunk space is 22.8 cubic feet and fold down the rear seat to get 52.7 cubic feet. Occupants will find the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system user friendly. Other standard goodies are single-zone manual a/c, 6-way power front seats, front center console with cup holders, armrest and storage, cruise control, 60/40 rear seat, and a flat-bottomed/leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic steering wheel, shifter and brake handle.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and hydraulic brake assist, stability control, hill hold control, rearview camera, three-point safety belts for all, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system come at no extra cost. 
Base-priced at $27,515, the Golf S is a lot of compact car for the money. The peppy and supple ride eked out an impressive average of 36.2 mpg in city/highway driving. Besides, the potential buyer is promised sufficient power and abundant space. More honors are in order for this remarkably competent hatch!

GOLF GTI (S)
Tires: 225/40R18
Wheelbase: 103.8 inches
Length: 168 inches
Weight: 3,078 pounds
Suspension: strut-type front; multi-link rear
Steering: electric power rack and pinion
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
City: 24 mpg;
Highway: 32 mpg;
Web site: www.vw.com

CALLING ALL VW DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com