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 |  Oct 29 2012, 4:16 PM

Golf Preview

The Golf is arguably Vee Dub’s most important product. Since its introduction in 1974 more than 29 million have been sold worldwide. Now in its seventh generation, this perennially-popular little car just received a grille-to-tailpipe overhaul.

Among many other improvements, engineers were able to cut its mass by an impressive 220 pounds in spite of offering more features and greater interior space than its predecessor.

Ahead of the firewall, European buyers can choose from a dizzying array of gasoline and diesel engines. When equipped with the base 1.2-liter TSI gas powerplant the car is 23 percent more efficient than before. How’s that for progress?

American customers can expect drastically fewer choices under the hood. The 1.8-liter turbo is expected to make a return, now serving as the base engine and replacing the unloved five-cylinder unit offered today. A diesel is expected to be on the menu as well. Look for the Golf at U.S. showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.