The popular Golf family gets a fairly extensive round of changes for the 2018 model year, which includes powertrains, advanced safety features as well as infotainment systems.
The refreshed Golf will spearhead what the company calls “the largest product offensive in the history of Volkswagen.” Ten new or updated models will be presented in 2017, and by 2020, the German brand will have completely renewed its lineup.
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Visually, the new Golf will be recognizable by its redesigned bumpers and front fenders. The headlight clusters get different halogen bulbs and LED daytime running lights, while upscale trims swap their xenon bulbs for LED units. At the rear, every Golf will boast LED taillights that will incorporate animated flowing turn signal indicators in higher-end versions. The adaptive cruise control camera will be relocated from the lower front bumper to behind the VW logo on the grille. Inside, the Golf will benefit from redesigned dash panels and seat upholstery.
A new turbocharged, 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine will be introduced in the European market, although at this time, it is unclear if it will be offered in Canada and the United States. Called TSI Evo, this new engine develops 150 metric horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. While it boasts the same output as the 1.4 TSI four currently found in the Jetta, it includes active cylinder management for better fuel economy. A BlueMotion variant of the 1.5 TSI Evo will also be available, which produces 130 metric horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, providing even better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The six-speed, dual-clutch DSG automated gearbox will gradually be replaced with a seven-speed unit, again for improved efficiency.
The Golf GTI’s output will increase from 210 to 230 horsepower, while the GTI Performance variant will get a 25-hp bump for a total of 245.
A 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen will still be standard. However, the optional Discover Pro system will see its screen increase in size from 8.0 to 9.2 inches, and will add gesture control, a technology similar to the one found in the current generation of the BMW 7 Series. However, the good old volume knob will be replaced by touch-sensitive buttons. A fully digital, 12.3-inch driver instrument panel, a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging are also new, although again, whether any or all of these new features will be offered in Canada remains to be confirmed.
In addition to adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf will also feature Traffic Jam Assist—which provides semi-autonomous stop-and-go driving when we’re stuck in traffic. Pedestrian detection is also new.
The refreshed Golf family should appear on the Canadian market sometime in 2017 as a 2018 model-year vehicle. Finally, the fully electric e-Golf—which might be sold in Canada—will also get updated with increased range, and will make its world debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.