With more than 35 million units sold in the last four decades, the Volkswagen Golf is one of the most successful cars in the world. In a new chapter of the family hatchback’s history, Volkswagen has unveiled the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, claiming it to be the biggest technological leap in the history of the model.
Underneath the hood, the new Golf will be available in a whole raft of powertrain options. At the low end, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine will be offered with 90 hp and 110 hp, while a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine will come in 115 hp and 150 hp versions. Volkswagen says that the new petrol engines have particularly low consumption values and emissions in part due to a new combustion process.
On the diesel side, two four-cylinder oil-burners are available in 115 hp and 150 hp guises. Using a twin-dosing technology featuring two catalytic converters, Volkswagen says that the new TDI engines significantly reduces nitrous oxide emissions by up to 80%, while lowering consumption by approximately 17% compared to its predecessor.
For the first time in the segment, Volkswagen is offering three 48V mild hybrid powertrains with the new Golf, carrying the eTSI badge. Available in 110 hp, 130 hp and 150 hp versions, Volkswagen claims that the 48V lithium-ion battery reduces fuel consumption by around 10%, while offering better acceleration off the line.
Two plug-in hybrids are also available on the new Golf, starting with the performance-oriented GTE variant. Combining a 1.4-litre TSI engine with an electric motor, the GTE plug-in hybrid pushes out 245 hp, making it the most powerful Golf at launch.
A slightly milder eHybrid variant is also available, generating a combined 204 hp. Both plug-in hybrids utilise a 13 kWh battery pack – which is 50% more capacity than the outgoing GTE – increasing the battery-only range to approximately 60 km.
In certain Europe markets, a natural gas TGI engine is also available, with power output rated at 130 hp.
Sitting on the latest MQB platform, the dimensions of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf remain largely unchanged. The new Golf retains the MacPherson Strut front and multi-link rear suspensions from the Mk. 7.5.
Exterior proportions changes are also minimal compared to the Mk 7.5. The C-pillar on the new Golf has been reshaped to provide more presence at the rear.
At the front, the revamped headlights come with LED illumination as standard. As a cost option, the headlights can be upgraded to Volkswagen’s IQ.Light matrix LED system, which can be dipped for oncoming traffic.
Over at the rear, the taillight enclosures are reshaped to a more angular design with a cutout at the bottom, along with a new Golf inscription badging positioned centrally underneath the new Volkswagen emblem.
Although the exterior changes are mostly evolutionary, Volkswagen has completely revamped the entire interior of the eighth-generation Golf. As standard, the new Golf will feature a digital instrument cluster and an 8.25-inch infotainment touchscreen display.
The infotainment display – upgradeable to a 10-inch model – features We Connect always-on connectivity for music streaming and other onboard online features, as well as Alexa voice control assistant.
The new Volkswagen Golf is also the first car from the German carmaker to come equipped with the Car2X system, which uses swarm information from surrounding vehicles and infrastructure in a 800-meter radius to create real-time data for the driver.
As for safety, the new Golf features the IQ.Drive Travel Assist system, which uses adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist to aid driving at up to speeds of 210 km/h.
Volkswagen claims that the technologies on the new Golf can also be upgraded. Features such as adaptive cruise control, navigation, Light Assist main-beam control as well as Wi-Fi hotspot can be enabled retrospectively.