2019 VW Lineup Is A Mixed Bag As The Golf Loses Power And The Passat Climbs $2,300

Volkswagen has announced an assortment of new editions and updates for their 2019 model year lineup.

Starting in alphabetical order, the 2019 Atlas gains an assortment of newly standard safety features including Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert. The entry-level Atlas S also comes with additional convenience features including automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and heated side mirrors.

One step up the trim ladder is the Atlas SE which largely carries over, but now has a standard tri-zone automatic climate control system. The mid-level Atlas SEL goes even further as it gains a digital instrument cluster, a heated steering wheel, GPS navigation and LED taillights.

Engine options carryover and include a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 235 hp (175 kW / 238 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. Customers can also order a 3.6-liter VR6 which develops 276 hp (205 kW / 279 PS) and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque.

Pricing starts at $30,895 which is a minor increase of $145.


The Beetle is entering its final year of production and the company is celebrating with two special editions which will be available as a coupe and convertible. Since we already covered those models last week, we’ll focus on the standard Beetle which now comes equipped with additional body-color accents (coupe only), a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert.

Pricing starts at $20,895 and the car is powered exclusively by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 174 hp (130 kW / 176 PS) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission.


The Golf enters the 2019 model year with a new turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 hp (109 kW / 149 PS) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque. This is a big step down from the previous turbocharged 1.8-liter engine which developed up to 170 hp (126 kW / 172 PS) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque.

Besides losing a significant amount of horsepower, the Golf gains an assortment of safety systems including Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert.

Pricing starts at $21,845 which means less is more – $935 more to be exact.

Golf Alltrack

The Golf Alltrack gains the aforementioned driver assistance systems, but it eschews the new turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. There aren’t any additional changes, but pricing starts at $26,895.

Golf GTI

While the standard Golf loses power, the Golf GTI gains 8 hp (6 kW / 8 PS) to bring its total output up to 228 hp (170 kW / 231 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque when running on premium fuel. The increased power isn’t the only change as the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine can now be paired to a new seven-speed DSG transmission.

Other upgrades for 2019 include brakes sourced from the Golf R and a newly standard VAQ mechanical differential. The GTI SE also gains leather seats and a newly available Experience Package which adds a Fender premium audio system and a DCC chassis control system.

The big news for 2019 is the Rabbit Edition which slots in between the GTI S and GTI SE. The model has a modestly revised exterior with LED headlights, black mirror caps, a black rear spoiler and 18-inch alloy wheels with a gloss black finish. Other highlights include “Rabbit-badged seat tags,” special floor mats and a keyless entry system with a push button ignition. Lastly, the model comes equipped with Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert.

Pricing starts at $27,595 for the six-speed manual and $28,695 for the DSG variant.

Golf R

The Golf R, on the other hand, moves into 2019 with a special color program that includes 40 unique hues. Buyers can further customize their car’s appearance by ordering a new Black Wheel package which adds – surprise, surprise – 19-inch black wheels.

The model starts at $40,395 and features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 288 hp (214 kW / 292 PS) and 280 lb-ft (379 Nm) of torque.

Golf SportWagen

The final Golf variant is the 2019 SportWagen and it’s an oddball as it features the old turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as well as the new turbocharged 1.4-liter unit. Front-wheel drive models feature the new engine, while the all-wheel drive variant gets the older powertrain.

Additional changes are minor and customers will need to shell out at least $21,895 to get behind the wheel.


The 2019 Passat will only be offered in two trims including a new Wolfsburg Edition which replaces the previous S variant. Despite sitting at the bottom of the pecking order, the Wolfsburg Edition has several upgrades over the previous Passat S. These include leatherette seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats. The model also has a larger 6.3-inch infotainment system and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Pricing starts at $25,295 which is a significant jump from the previous base price of $22,995.


Finally, we’re getting to the 2019 Tiguan which now comes standard with an alarm on the SE variant. SEL model gains a digital instrument cluster and park distance control, while the previous SEL R-Line will be replaced by the SEL R-Line Jet-Black.  The latter has similar equipment as well as black exterior trim and black 19-inch wheels.

The 2019 Tiguan starts at $24,295 with front wheel drive and $25,595 with all-wheel drive.

Note: Prices exclude destination charges

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  • willhaven

    The 1.4t is a sweetheart of an engine. Surprised the hell out of me in a recent rental.

    • SteersUright

      hmm…count me intrigued…and glad to hear it! You never know what to expect when they downsize and power goes down.

  • Shane

    2019 VW Lineup Is A Mixed Bag As The Golf Loses Power, The Passat Climbs $2,300, and the Atlas is just as boring as ever.

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      And tell me which three row mommie mobile isn’t boring?

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        CX-9, GLS63, Durango SRT.

  • Able

    So the American Golf engine range has been aligned with the rest of the world. Congrats.

    PS it might be a good idea to look up acceleration times and fuel economy. You’ll find that the 1.4TSI is barely slower than the 1.8TSI, yet more fuel efficient. Finally a 6-speed manual too!

    • Rocket

      Engine maybe, but not the gearbox. The 8-speed slushbox will not offer the performance of the DSG. This is not progress in my eyes.

    • Miknik

      Actually not, as in Europe the 1,4 is already getting replaced with the new 1,5, as the old engine does not comply with the new Euro 6d temp standards.

  • WalthamDan

    Have had the 1.4 engine in many Golf rentals in Germany and Austria. Always an enjoyable ride with a manual. Never have experienced it with an auto though.

  • Rocket

    Yet more evidence that VW simply doesn’t understand the American consumer. Not that we didn’t have sufficient proof already.

  • The Tiguan has already has 7 recalls. There are also some major flaws buyers are finding with its powertrain and interior rattles. Fyi, the Atlas also isn’t faring so well either. It also had 7 recalls, 2 very dangerous involving fuel leaks (VW/Audi/Lamborghini specialty) and leaking A/C causing airbag to unexpectedly deploy. Cost cutting has engineering consequences.

    • SteersUright

      VW has already spent close to or over $30b on its recent legal woes. Think if that money went to R&D instead. Anyhow, the sad thing is that the thousands they employ will shoulder a greater burden than any executive who will likely depart with millions, like all executives seem to do these days.

  • SteersUright

    Atlas needs more powerful engines yesterday. Golf R at $40k with 288hp? Hell no. Shrinking base engines hopefully at least translated to huge strides in fuel economy, otherwise its looks like they just used that move to pay for the new standard safety equipment. GTI with all the goodies they mentioned will likely exceed $30k and its jus too slow and underpowered in 2019 for that kind of coin.
    VW is likely struggling to bring their “A” game at the moment given all the lawsuits and other issues.

  • dumblikeyou2

    The sidewall on the Rabbit-edition’s tires are really tall. Is that on purpose to make it look more retro?

  • Six_Tymes

    Grand Cherokee, heavily influenced that design (very top image)

  • Stuart C. Hancock

    That’ll never happen; they’d have to charge $80,000 for it, and Americans aren’t going to pay $80,000 for a VW, as has been demonstrated before (even though they’ll shell out $120,000 for a Porsche Cayenne, which is essentially the same car with more engine variants). Plus, we caught VW cheating, and now we can’t have nice things anymore…

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    That vehicle has one saving grace. The big twin turbo ecoboost engine. Other than that…it’s not new enough to be competitive.

    I actually almost bought one. But then I realized that bad ass engine can’t make up for the cramped third row, the outdated interior, this awful flat/wide front seats…it’s just so old.

    Bought a 2018 Atlas SEL Premium. Wish it had more balls, but everything else about it i like.

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