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2018 Volkswagen Golf Review: First Impressions and Photo Gallery

img 1494729930 1492095506077 jpg 2018 Volkswagen Golf | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Volkswagen has embraced its compact car, the Golf, expanding the range to include variants from electric to fire-breathing. For 2018, the automaker has decided to do a little freshening of its lineup, which you can see at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

I like the Golf in just about all of its variants, and still shed a sooty tear for the passing of the TDI diesel model, but its absence doesn’t diminish the remaining models’ goodness (much).

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

The Golf family now includes the electric e-Golf, Golf hatchback, Golf SportWagen … um, wagon, Subaru Outback-style Golf Alltrack wagon, Golf GTI hot hatch and Golf R hotter hatch. All models have received updated styling to their front bumpers and headlights that’s meant to help differentiate them at a glance — for instance, the e-Golf gets blue headlight surrounds while the GTI gets red ones.

img1509685776 1492095561285 jpg 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

The Golf hatchback gets a chrome strip across the lower bumper, and all Golf variants get new LED daytime running lights. In back, the cars get new LED taillights as well, with some interesting patterns that will immediately allow enthusiasts to identify these cars as the new 2018 models at night. The new look isn’t all that different from the old model, but it doesn’t do anything to ruin the traditional Golf styling. Everything is still very much Golf-shaped.

img 1636185285 1492095599320 jpg 2018 Golf Alltrack | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Inside, the roominess of the Golf continues to be a strong selling point. The versatility of the two-box design is real, with true room for five people or the ability to carry big, bulky cargo when needed even in the hatchbacks. The new multimedia system — shared among all the models — is slick, with a higher-tech appearance and improved functionality versus the old version.

img1555747437 1492095669698 jpg 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Volkswagen needs a bit of a shot in the arm after its whole diesel scandal disaster. While it’s likely to get it more from its revised Tiguan and all-new Atlas SUVs, keeping the bread-and-butter Golf range fresh certainly won’t hurt its chances.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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