VW is bringing the whole family to the New York Auto Show – its family of 2018 Golfs, that is. For the new model year, the base Golf, GTI, Alltrack, SportWagen, e-Golf, and the hotted-up Golf R get a host of changes just in time for their summer release.
On the exterior is where the Golf range will see most of its updates. New LED taillights, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, and a new chrome grille give it an updated look. Fresh 16-inch wheels are available on the SE trim, while new 17-inch alloys can be optioned on the SEL trim. All of the standard safety equipment on the 2017 models carry over, including things like lane assist, park distance control, and park assist.
Inside, a larger eight-inch touchscreen system sits front and center, available on the SE and above, and comes with previously available equipment like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base S trim comes with a larger still 6.5-inch screen over the outgoing model, and includes the VW Car-Net App-Connect feature. Power from all trims comes courtesy of a 1.8-liter TSI engine that produces 170 horsepower (126 kilowatts) and 199 pound-feet (269 Newton-meters) of torque.
The 2018 Golf Alltrack sees all the same exterior updates, including new LED taillights, LED daytime running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels in S and SE trim, with optional 18-inch wheels available in SEL. The same 6.5-inch (S trim) and 8-inch touchscreen (SE and SEL) systems are available, with all of the same features. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t see any bump in power, still producing 170 hp (126 kW) and 199 lb-ft (269 Nm) of torque via a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine.
The SportWagen, meanwhile, will continue to offer all-wheel drive only in the SEL trim. The base S and SE trims get front-wheel drive exclusively. Both the Alltrack and SportWagen come with manual and automatic options, the Alltrack opting for a new six-speed DSG and a six-speed manual, while the SportWagen makes do with a five-speed manual and a six-speed DSG.
The 2018 GTI is where the fun begins. Gone is the GTI two-door, in its place is a more simplified lineup offering the four-door option exclusively and three trims; S, SE, and Autobahn. The same 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine can be found under the hood, but in this application, producing 220 hp (164 kW) standard and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque, up from 210 hp (156 kW). All three trims can be had with either a six-speed manual or automatic.
All of the same exterior updates found on the standard Golf will carry over to the GTI. New 18-inch wheels, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped multifunction sport steering wheel, and ambient and footwell lighting give the hot hatch a more upscale feel.
The SE model gains full LED headlights and performance brakes off the Golf R, along with added safety features like blind-spot monitoring and keyless entry. The range-topping GTI Autobahn gets the new eight-inch touchscreen system, a panoramic power tilt and slide sunroof, leather seats, and a Fender premium audio system.
The peak of Golf performance, though, continues in the form of the 2018 Golf R. Though it’s slightly less powerful than its European sibling, the Golf R gets 292 hp (217 kW) and 280 lb-ft (379 Nm) of torque courtesy of the 2.0-liter TSI engine. All that power is managed via either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a Golf R-exclusive seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.
Naturally, it gets all of the same exterior upgrades as the rest of the Golf range, but includes new features like Drive Mode Select with Race Mode, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic headlights with a rain sensor, and optional 19-inch alloy wheels that are brand new for the 2018 model year. Whatever Golf you do decide for 2018, they all come with plenty of options to choose from.