Volkswagen Golf

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf is offered in 2- or 4-door hatchback models, both with a choice between two engines, one gasoline, the other diesel. The gasoline choice, which is lower-priced, is a 170-horsepower, 2.5L 5-cylinder, while clean-diesel fans will like the 2.0L turbo-diesel 'TDI' 4-cylinder. Two-door gasoline models come with a 5-speed manual. A 6-speed automatic is optional, but is standard equipment on the 4-door models. Meanwhile, Golf TDI models come with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. Both automatics include Tiptronic manual mode, while the DSG shifts much quicker than a typical automatic. TDI models achieve much better gas mileage, with EPA ratings of up to 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway.

With its excellent variable-assist electromechanical power rack-and-pinion steering, strut-type front suspension and fully-independent rear suspension, the Golf is tuned to feel responsive, which goes well with this compact hatchback's maneuverability and parking ease. Four-wheel disc brakes provide strong stopping power, and electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are included across the model line. The Golf also rides quieter and with more refinement than other on-a-budget hatches.

The 2013 Golf's interior exceeds expectations for those seeking basic transportation, as it adds a little more pizzazz than other hatchbacks in its price range. The instrument panel and door trims are nicely detailed, and there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Front seats are adjustable for height and lumbar and 4-door models get a power recline feature. Rear seats are just spacious enough for most adults and seatbacks are split 60/40 and fold forward to expand cargo space up to 46 cubic feet; otherwise with them up, there's 15.2 cubic feet--about enough for a standard load of groceries.

With a simplified model lineup this year, the base Golf now includes power windows and locks, cruise control, air conditioning, a trip computer, a rear wiper and washer, steel wheels and an 8-speaker system with an auxiliary input. A Convenience Package adds heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a front armrest, while a top level adds a sunroof, premium sound, SIRIUS satellite radio and iPod interface.

Golf TDI models come standard with more-- including 17-inch alloy wheels, heated washer nozzles, and footwell lighting--while a sunroof and navigation system come with a middle trim. Loaded TDI models include a Tech Package with bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, a Dynaudio sound system and push-button start.

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Last year, Volkswagen showed off a refreshed version of the seventh-generation Golf, but didn't say much about when or how it would come to the US. That all changes at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

All models receive a facelift that includes new front and rear ends. But the 2018 Volkswagen Golf family is huge, and unsurprisingly, there are changes for just about every member of that family. So let's break it down by model.

2018 Golf

The standard bearer of the family, the regular ol' Golf gets several standard pieces of equipment that were previously optional. The base Golf S now comes with LED running lights and taillights, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a new grille. The base infotainment offering is now a 6.5-inch touchscreen.

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