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2018 Volkswagen Golf: New York Auto Show

 What Is It?

Sharing a legacy of wide appeal and grin-inducing performance, the versatile 2018 Volkswagen Golf also benefits from some exterior styling updates and technology upgrades. Applying not only to the hatchback models, but to the Alltrack and SportWagen wagons, as well, the changes are more notable than monumental.

The sporty Golf GTI and hot-shoe Golf R aside, Golf is an accessible sporty driver even in its most basic form. Thrust for both trim levels of the regular 4-door hatchback comes from a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. A standard 5-speed manual transmission hustles engine output to the front wheels. A 6-speed automatic is available. Nothing new here.

Finding the changes in the 2018 Volkswagen Golf demands a high level of determination. Leading the charge are new front/rear bumpers and grille. LED taillights and daytime running lights (DRLs) are new and standard across the Golf lineup. Available full-LED headlights will replace last year’s optional Bi-Xenon ones. Otherwise the exterior changes are limited to a couple of fresh colors and new wheel designs.

Inside, VW replaced the 5-inch touchscreens in Golf with a 6.5-in one for the current model year. For 2018 those will be replaced with 8-in touchscreens in SE and SEL grades. Improving its Front Assist emergency braking, VW has added to it Pedestrian Monitoring. The emergency braking, as well as blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert will now be standard on most SE trims and above.

 How Much?

To be announced. Prices for the 2017 Golf start at $20,715.

 When Can You Get It?

Fall 2017.

 Add It to Your Shopping List Because….

Roomy for its class, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf delivers impressive handling and better-than-expected acceleration. Its hatchback design offers generous cargo room. And, although not segment leading, its government-estimated 36 miles per gallon highway fuel economy is easy on the wallet.

 Other Cars to Consider

Mazda3 — Fun, sporty, fuel stingy and hot-looking as a hatchback.

Honda Civic Hatchback — Outstanding fuel economy, sharp looks and plenty of room inside.

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback — Terrific styling inside and out, and loads of interior space to boot.

Ford Focus — Solid fuel economy and an arsenal of available technology.

See all 2017 New York Auto Show articles

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More

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