The new VW Golf Mk8 is here and, we’re a little underwhelmed. Not a lot has changed from the previous generation, and if anything, we’ve lost some of the aggression that we loved on the outgoing Mk7. If anything, it’s become a little more rounded with maturity for a more mature buyer. It makes you wonder if they’re trying to move the market to the ID3, but that’s a whole other story.
But hey, the Golf is still the perfect hatch, isn’t it? It certainly looks that way from the interior, which is now laden with screens (a 10.25-inch digital cockpit and an 8.25-inch infotainment screen), aggressive lines, and KITT-like lighting. Plus, hidden in the options menu is a widescreen head-up display. You can use your phone as a key, too, just like a Tesla, and the 8 comes with built in Amazon Alexa voice control. Technology is key in the new modern hatch, obviously.
This all sounds very expensive, though. And it probably is although pricing hasn’t been confirmed. But VW are including a service called ‘We Upgrade’ , which will allow you to upgrade your car with more options down the road as you can, or want, to afford it.
Safety features are obviously plastered around the car, including a new adaptive cruise control function that VW is calling ‘Travel Assist’. This will keep your car in lane and adapt its speed automatically using GPS to watch for tight corners and by keeping an eye on speed signs. It will even watch out for cyclists with via a new feature called ‘Cyclist Monitoring’. Keep your hands on the wheel, though, or the car will shout at you and eventually bring you to a controlled stop.
Now, the interesting bit. A GTI hasn’t been revealed yet, but there are currently three engine configurations to choose from. A 108bhp 1.0-litre inline-three, and 128bhp and 148bhp versions of the 1.5-litre inline-four. Each of these can come with 48-volt mild hybrid ‘eTSI’ setup which will give you a little electric boost when needed and will allow you to coast without the use of the combustion engine for short periods.
The model to choose would the one of the ‘eHybrid’ versions – yes, I mean it. They both have a 1.4-litre inline-four turbo engine alongside a13kWh battery pack, with the base model producing 201bhp and the GTT producing 242bhp, similar to the old GTI. A 296bhp Golf R is in the works, though, as is a GTI. But if you do long miles and fancy a diesel, you can choose fro either 108bhp or a 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine.
There are plenty of options to choose from, so maybe start configuring yours now. You’ll be finished by the time they’re on the road.