Volkswagen has revealed the refreshed U.S.-spec 2018 Volkswagen Golf family ahead of its official debut at the 2018 New York auto show, and the biggest news is that the automaker has finally added its new infotainment system, the Discover Media navigation system with 8.0-inch touchscreen that first debuted on the e-Golf, as an option. Two-door hatch models were officially discontinued leaving only the four-door hatch and the wagon. Exterior design updates include new bumpers, a new chrome grille, as well as new alloy wheel designs and improved interior materials.
The standard 2018 Golf hatchback returns with the same 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo-four paired to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Opt for the Golf SportWagen or the Golf AllTrack and you get the same engine but your transmission choices now include a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard on the Golf SportWagen and all-wheel drive is optional on the base S trim, meaning you don't have to go for the high-riding AllTrack to get all-wheel drive in your family-friendly Golf.
On the performance-oriented Golf GTI, all trims continue to utilize the same 2.0-liter turbo-four now tuned for 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque on all models, negating the need to opt for the Performance package to get the power boost. A six-speed manual remains standard and the six-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. Features that were originally part of the Performance package such as the VAQ differential and larger brake pads now come standard on the SE and Autobahn trims while the DCC adaptive suspension system is only available on the latter. The range-topping, all-wheel-drive Golf R, retains its 292-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four and standard six-speed manual but the six-speed dual-clutch automatic has been replaced by a new seven-speed unit. DCC adjustable suspension is an option on the 2018 Golf R bundled together with navigation. Golf GTI and R models equipped with the optional dual-clutch transmission also come standard with a stop/start system to help save fuel.
Standard features on the base S trim include a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and 15-inch alloy wheels. Mid-grade SE variants add keyless entry/start, the larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, 16-inch alloy wheels, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and front assist with pedestrian detection. The Golf AllTrack builds on the same standard equipment as the Golf hatch with 17-inch alloy wheels for the base S trim and a panoramic sunroof for the SE grade. Standard features on the Golf SportWagen mirror those of the Golf hatchback in every trim level, but all-wheel-drive models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and heated front seats in the S trim. The range-topping SEL grade adds navigation, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, 12-way power driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and interior ambient lighting. LED headlights, the Fender premium audio system, lane assist, light assist, park assist, and parking sensors are available as part of optional packages in the Golf hatchback, Golf AllTrack, and Golf SportWagen.
The 2018 Golf GTI comes with LED taillights, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration as standard in the base S model, and the distinctive Clark plain seating surfaces. Move up to the SE grade and it adds the 8.0-inch touchscreen, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry/start, and front assist with pedestrian detection. The range-topping Autobahn trim in the Golf GTI is similar to the SEL grades in more pedestrian models but adds LED headlights,leather upholstery, and the Feder premium audio system as additional standard features. Additional active safety features are part of an optional package, just like the hatch, AllTrack and SportWagen variants. The range-topping Golf R gets additional standard features like LED headlights, the 8.0-inch touchscreen, new 19-inch alloy wheels and Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit, which is similar to sister brand Audi's Virtual Cockpit feature. Front assist with pedestrian detection now comes bundled with the DCC adjustable suspension and navigation option.
The refreshed 2018 Golf will go on sale this fall, and VW says pricing will be announced as we get closer to launch.