Volkswagen Refreshes 2018 Golf

img736510730 1491883263987 jpg 2018 Volkswagen Golf Family | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — Volkswagen has announced the U.S. versions for the refreshed 2018 Golf lineup already unveiled for Europe. The new line — hatchback sedans, GTI and R performance models, and the SportWagen and Alltrack wagons — will be displayed this week at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

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It’s an understatement to say that the exterior changes are subtle. The bumpers are slightly reshaped and are a little crisper. There now is a dash of chrome in the grill, some new wheel designs and some new paint colors. LED taillights and daytime running lights now are standard on all models; full LED headlights replace the bi-xenon units as the upgrade option.

More is changed inside where, in additional to some materials upgrades, there is a revised dashboard to accommodate a new media system with bigger screens – a 6.5-inch display on base models and an 8-inch touchscreen for SE and above models.

The top-of the line Golf R performance sedan is the only U.S. Golf that will have the new configurable digital instrument cluster available on more models in Europe. LED adaptive headlights also will be standard on the 2018 R model.

Driver safety and assistance technology, including a front collision system with automatic braking that now includes pedestrian detection, will be more widely available on most models with the second-level SE trim and above.

Powertrains carry over from 2017, but the GTI gets a 10-horsepower boost to 220 hp. The GTI also gets upgraded brakes and an electronic limited-slip differential standard.

Pricing will be announced closer to when the 2018 Golfs go on sale later this year.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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