VW Golf lineup nipped, tucked, tech’d

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

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. Changes for the all-electric e-Golf weren’t announced, but they should be coming soon.

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. 

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