Volkswagen has refreshed the Golf clan with sharper styling, more tech, and additional driver assistance systems across the board. These are among several tweaks that were introduced at the 2017 New York auto show for 2018 models, which go on sale this fall.
The 2018 Golf GTI receives a power upgrade and a simplified lineup for the S, SE, and Autobahn trims. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine cranks out 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a choice of a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
VW’s GTI S offers a rearview camera, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, ambient lighting with LED reading lights, and LED fog lights. SE models get LED headlights with a red GTI stripe outlining the new design, performance Golf R brakes, and an electronically controlled, torque sensing, limited-slip VAQ differential.
For speed fans, the Golf GTI Autobahn offers DCC suspension control, a panoramic power tilt and slide sunroof, leather seats, a 12-way power driver’s seat, and a Fender Premium Audio System.
The 2018 Golf R retains its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. VW offers the Golf R with either a six-speed manual transmission or a new seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
All Golf models receive sharper exterior lines, new bumpers, a chrome grille, and brighter lights. LED daytime running lights and taillights are now standard. Several new wheel designs and body colors are also featured.
Infotainment screens are larger, bumping up to 6.5-inch displays over the 5-inch ones from last year. SE and SEL trims get even better sized 8-inch touchscreens. The new and customizable Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is now standard on the Golf R.
Safety wise, Volkswagen offers forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert on most SE trims and above.
The regular Golf hatch, as well as the Alltrack and SportsWagen, models are available with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque.
If you opt for the 5-speed manual on the Golf, it drops to 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s also available with a 6-speed automatic transmission on S, SE, and SEL models.
Golf Alltrack gets standard all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and increased ground clearance over the Golf SportWagen. A six-speed DSG remains for all trims, along with the option of a six-speed manual for S and SE trims says VW.
The SportWagen’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic and front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive combined with a six-speed manual or the six-speed DSG automatic.
S models are available in manual or automatic transmissions and have the option of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. SE and SEL SportWagen trims only come with front-wheel drive and the six-speed DSG automatic transmission.
You want choices? Now you have plenty. VW says pricing for the new Golf models will be announced closer to the launch later in the year.