VW Golf lineup nipped, tucked, tech’d

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Volkswagen’s ever-growing lineup of compact hatchbacks and wagons has a modestly revised look and some additional technology for the 2018 model year.

The updated range was revealed on Wednesday at the 2017 New York auto show.

Set to go on sale this fall, the 2018 Golf, Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, and Golf R will all stand slightly apart from their predecessors with new LED taillamps and LED running lights, plus revised wheels. But there’s a little more the deeper we dig.

Inside, the Golfs will come standard with an upsized 6.5-inch touchscreen (to replace outgoing 5.0-inch unit), while SE and SEL trim levels are upgraded with a larger 8.0-inch unit with available navigation.

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

Perhaps the biggest upgrade is VW’s Digital Cockpit, a wide LCD screen that replaces the conventional instrument cluster in the Golf R. It has a digital tach on the left and speedometer on the right with a configurable center section that even includes a lap timer.

For 2018, the Golf GTI’s lineup has been pared a bit to S, SE, and Autobahn trim levels; last year’s Sport trim has been dropped. Moreover, all models now ship with 220 horsepower instead of the 210 that came standard on the Golf GTI S last year. 

For the most part, the changes match those announced for the European Golf lineup all the way back in November. VW didn’t mention the 2018 e-Golf but the electric hatch did just receive some changes for the 2017 model year, including increased range.

VW says it will release pricing details for the 2018 Golf lineup closer to the models’ on-sale date. Suffice to say that if you’re urgently hankering for a VW-badged hatchback or wagon, you probably don’t need to wait until fall.

For more N.Y. auto show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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