The Golf Mk8 is an amazing hatchback with loads of tech, but is it too expensive for the segment?

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf is the eighth-generation of the iconic hatchback. Unveiled in Wolfsburg, Germany, the company’s home town, the 2020 Golf Mk8 shares the same MQB platform as the third-generation Audi A3 and Seat Leon. An evolutionary design on the outside, the 2020 Golf looks similar to its predecessor but employs more angular styling features similar to larger Volkswagen cars and SUVs. The interior is a notable departure from the old car and sports a more upscale design and fresh technology. Under the hood, the 2020 Golf continues to offer gasoline and diesel engines, but Volkswagen started using 48-volt systems and now offers a higher performance hybrid.

Arguably the most advanced vehicle in its class, the 2020 comes with a major drawback: it will be notably more expensive than the competition. Actually, there’s a good chance that the 2020 Golf will be only marginally cheaper than the Audi A3 Sportback, which could become a serious issue for the German automaker. What’s more, the 2020 Golf won’t be sold in the U.S. in base trim, as Volkswagen confirmed that only the GTI and R models will cross the pond to North America.

Exterior

  • Evolutionary design
  • Angular headlamps
  • New front bumper design
  • Higher beltline
  • Muscular front hood
  • Wider tailgate
  • Sporty rear bumper
  • Longer than old model
  • Slightly shorter wheelbase
  • Somewhat disappointing overall
2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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LED lights are now standard on all trims. Optionally you can have LED Matrix lights instead

A significant departure from its predecessor front and rear, the Golf Mk8 looks sleeker and more dynamic than before. Up front, there’s a new headlamp and grille assembly that’s notably thinner. While the grille of the outgoing Golf was already thinner than other Volkswagen models, the German firm went with an even slimmer element. It’s basically a very small strip, and it doesn’t even allow for much air to get through, as two-thirds of the entire surfaces are closed off. Because the grille is narrower, the Volkswagen badge seems bigger now.

The headlamps are notably smaller as well. Now half the size of the previous Golf, they have a different shape as well. While they retain the dual-light layout, the two sections stand out on their own, as the outer element is larger, while the inner piece is slimmer. The outer lights also have C-shaped LED lights, with the upper segment part of a longer stripe that runs at the top of the headlamps to meet the silver insert in the grille. This forms a line that runs the entire width of the front fascia, just online on the old model. But this trademark element was relocated at the top of the grille and lights, whereas on the old Golf it runs at the bottom of the grille and into the lower section of the headlamps.

By the way, LED lights are now standard on all trims. Optionally you can have LED Matrix lights instead.

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The engine hood is clearly based on those seen on larger Volkswagen models

The bumper carries over with small changes, but it’s now better integrated into the Volkswagen lineup. It retains the wide design of its predecessor, but it’s taller, and it becomes even taller to the sides. The latter are closed off, which is a turn off for the performance look, but the body-colored and silver highlights make up for it to some extent.

The engine hood is clearly based on those seen on larger Volkswagen models as it features the same pair character lines on each side. Compared to the old model, which has just the lines that descend from the bottom of the A-pillars to the inner corners of the headlamps, the Golf Mk8 sports two additional lines placed toward the center of the hood. This design makes the hood look more muscular and goes well with the lowered nose and the lowered headlamps.

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The main beltline runs higher now, as it starts from the top of the front wheel arch and passes through the door handles

The profile is the section that features the least changes, and this isn’t surprising. Volkswagen is using a similar design for decades, just like Porsche does with the 911, and it’s exactly the profile that keeps the Golf highly recognizable. Fortunately, Volkswagen redesigned a handful of details, and that’s enough to make the Golf Mk8 stand out. The main beltline runs higher now, as it starts from the top of the front wheel arch, passes through the door handles, and ascends until it meets the upper corner of the taillights. The new beltline also seems a bit more muscular now and creates sportier rear fenders since it "separates" the C-pillars from the rest of the body.

Volkswagen also redesigned the character line above the side skirts to follow the direction of the beltline, created a more angular kink for the rear quarter windows, and designed a slightly more angled roofline toward the rear. Like any new generation, the Golf Mk8 features new wheel designs, including a double-five-spoke, two-tone layout shown on the presentation model.

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The tailgate becomes notably wider at the bottom, which adds to the car's wide stance

The Golf Mk8’s rear fascia isn’t massively different compared to the old model, but it stands out more than the profile. The overall shape is the same, but the taillights, for instance, have a more angular design now. They’re also thinner than the outgoing Golf, while the two-piece design is split between thicker elements on the outside and thinner lights on the tailgate. The latter is identical to the old model on the upper section, but it features a higher character line just under the rear window. A continuation of the beltline that defines the profile, this line runs through the upper section of the taillights, so it’s some sort of trim that mimics the chrome elements between the headlamps.

The tailgate becomes notably wider at the bottom, which adds to the car’s wide stance, but it also provides a wider loading area for the trunk. The bumper sports thin red lights at the top, a wide license plate recess, and a diffuser-like element with chrome exhaust pipes integrated at the corners.

As far as dimensions go, the Golf Mk8 is a tad longer than its predecessor. Specifically, at 4,284 mm (168.6 inches) long, the new generation is 29 mm (1.14 inches) longer from bumper to bumper. But despite the added length, the wheelbase is almost identical at 2,636 mm (103.7 inches), just one mm (0.04 inches) shorter than the Mk7. The Mk8 is also a bit narrower at 1,789 mm (70.4 inches), missing exactly 10 mm (0.4 inches)compared to the old hatchback. Finally, at 1,456 mm (57.3 inches) high, the Mk8 is just four mm (0.15 inches) taller than the previous Golf.

Interior

  • Designed from scratch
  • Notable improvement over the old model
  • Clean and modern
  • Two-tier dashboard
  • Fully digital
  • Optional 10-inch screens
  • Practical door panels
  • New, more comfortable seats
  • Should have better passenger room
  • Bigger trunk?
2020 Volkswagen Golf Interior
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The dashboard is surprisingly clean and looks very upscale thanks to its two-tier design

While the exterior is an evolution of the old Golf, the Mk8’s interior was designed on a clean sheet. Despite having a sizable infotainment display in the center, the Mk7 looked rather dated compared to its rivals, so Volkswagen adopted the same strategy as with the Jetta or the Passat: it redesigned everything with a modern, high-tech look, and added loads of new technology.

The dashboard is surprisingly clean and looks very upscale thanks to its two-tier design. Although it’s made almost entirely of plastic, it looks far better than the old unit, and I’d say it’s actually on par with affordable models from Audi. The upper section of the dash incorporates two digital displays. There’s an 8.25-inch screen in the center for access to the infotainment system and a similar display for the instrument cluster. These come standard, making the Golf Mk8 the first vehicle in its class to feature a fully digital cockpit at no additional cost.

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The optional 10-inch displays create the Innovision Cockpit by almost merging the together

Optionally, you can have both screens with 10-inch diagonals, which creates the Innovision Cockpit by almost merging the displays together. This design was first introduced by Mercedes-Benz, but it’s being adopted by other carmakers as well. Volkswagen is the first non-premium producer to offer such a feature. Granted, the design isn’t as smooth as Mercedes’, as the two screens sit on different levels, but it’s still a cool feature to have. On the passenger side, the lower tier of the dash remains flat and features ambient lighting for a premium look. The lower fascia includes a wide A/C vent that stretches from the steering wheel to the corner of the passenger-side dashboard. This feature is clearly borrowed from Audi, but it looks somewhat unique thanks to its lower placement. The five touch-sensitive buttons on the center stack are the only non-digital controls you’ll find on the dash.

The center console is just as clean, with only the gear selector disrupting the design on the driver’s side. It includes a square storage compartment toward the dash, cup holders toward the rear, and a thin rectangular space parallel to the gear selector where you should be able to store large smartphones.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Interior
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The optional head-up display shows vital info on the windscreen in front of you

The door panels were redesign so that they mimic the two-tier design of the dashboard, but the armrests are also higher, and the handles are horizontal instead of vertical. The door pockets have a free-form design that looks fancy, especialy because it seems to have a soft material on the inside, but it appears that storage capacity has decreased compared to the old model. The seats also boast a new design, and they should be more comfortable than before.

As far as tech goes, the Golf Mk8 comes with a new voice control feature that responds to natural voice command and is easier to operate. It’s also equipped with Alexa integration, which you can ask to play music, to control devices, and check news or the weather. The optional head-up display shows vital info on the windscreen in front of you, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. For audiophiles, Volkswagen offers an optional Harman Kardon audio system.

The new generation also brings a new trim hierarchy for the Golf. The range starts with a base model that comes with standard features such as Keyless Start, digital instrument cluster, 8.25-inch infotainment, automatic air conditioning, and We Connect mobile online services. Opt for the Life trim, and you get extras like wireless smartphone charging, wireless mobile phone integration, 10-color ambient lighting, and a center armrest for the front seats.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Interior
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The R-Line trim adds sportier features and extra tech

Next up is Style, which adds sports seats in the front, a leather steering wheel, leather gear selector, electric mirror adjustment, 32-color ambient lighting, and three-zone climate control. The fourth trim is the familiar R-Line, and, just as before, it adds sportier touches. Highlights include premium sport seats with fabric and microfiber covers, integrated head restraints, driving mode selection, black headliner, aluminum gear knob, perforated leather steering wheel, contrast stitching, and brushed stainless steel pedals and footrest.

Finally, the GTE hybrid model comes with features that are similar to the R-Line, but it adds a pulsating starter button for the eHybrid mode and unique fabric, trim, and details for the steering wheel, center console, door panels, and pedals.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Interior
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Trunk space should be at least as generous as the outgoing Golf Mk7

Regardless of the trim you choose, Volkswagen offers you the ability to add or activate technologies after you purchase the car. Should you decide you need a technology that you skipped during the configuration process, you can either upgrade the car to include it or activate it altogether. A first for the Golf, this feature will allow you to add or upgrade tech such as the ACC Adaptive Cruise Control system, Light Assist main-beam control, the navigation system, App-Connect, Wireless App-Connect, the Wi-Fi hotspot, or the online-based voice control.

Volkswagen has yet to release numbers on passenger or trunk space, but the Golf Mk8 should be a bit more spacious than its predecessor. The same should apply for the trunk, which should be at least as big as the Mk7. The latter can swallow up to 380 liters (13.4 cubic feet) of luggage with the rear seats in place and up to 1,270 liters (44.8 cubic feet) with the rear seats folded flat.

Drivetrain

  • New 1.0- and 1.5-liter gas engines
  • Gas lineup with up to 148 horsepower
  • Diesel models with up to 148 horsepower
  • 48-volt electric system for mild-hybrid setup
  • Hybrid GTE model with GTI power
  • Manual and automatic transmissions
  • GTI and natural gas models coming
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Needs more engines against the competition
  • AWD available on some models
2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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The TSI range generates between 89 to 148 horsepower

The Golf Mk8 rides on a new version of Volkswagen’s ubiquitous MQB platform, which actually debuted on the previous-generation Golf back in 2012. In seven years, the MQB spread to underpin more than 30 different models from Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda. But the really big news here is that Volkswagen introduced a 48-volt belt starter generator system for the Golf, offering mild-hybrid models alongside gas-powered and diesel versions.

The regular TSI, gasoline-only models are offered in four flavors at launch. Two are powered by a brand-new 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that generates 89 and 108 horsepower. This engine replaces the old 1.2-liter unit with 84 and 104 horsepower. The other two TSI models also feature a new engine, this time around in the form of a 1.5-liter four-banger. Also available in two guises, it delivers 128 and 148 horsepower. The 1.5-liter mill replaces a wider range of drivetrains, including the 1.4-liter TSI and the turbocharged, 1.0-liter three-cylinder. The 1.5 TSI features Active Cylinder Management and variable turbocharger geometry for enhanced efficiency. Both powerplants are paired to a manual gearbox as standard.

2020 Volkswagen Golf 8 - gasoline lineup
Horsepower
1.0-liter three-cylinder 89 HP
1.0-liter three-cylinder 108 HP
1.5-liter four-cylinder 128 HP
1.5-liter four-cylinder 148 HP
2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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On the diesel front, the Golf features a brand-new oil burner. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is available with either 113 or 148 horsepower and replaces the old 2.0 Bluetion (rated at 108 and 148 horsepower). Both diesels mate to manual gearboxes, but Volkswagen also offers DSG automatics. The range-topping oil burner is also available with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Volkswagen claims that this TDI unit is among the world’s cleanest thanks to a new twin dosing SCR system with dual AdBlue injection. This technology supposedly cuts nitrogen dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent in comparison to the old engine.

2020 Volkswagen Golf 8 - diesel lineup
Horsepower
2.0-liter four-cylinder 113 HP
2.0-liter four-cylinder 148 HP

Moving over to the mild-hybrid models, dubbed eTSI, Volkswagen didn’t say much about the gas engines, but it’s safe to assume that both are four-cylinder units. Paired to a 48-volt belt starter generator and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery, the eTSI is also available in three flavors, rated at 108, 128, and 148 horsepower. Available exclusively with a seven-speed DSG automatic, the eTSI drivetrains also feature a brake energy recuperation system and the ability to coast while the gas engine has been completely switched off. No word on fuel economy ratings yet, but I’ll be back to update this section as soon as Volkswagen spills the beans.

2020 Volkswagen Golf 8 - hybrid lineup
Horsepower
Volkswagen Golf eTSI 108 HP
Volkswagen Golf eTSI 128 HP
Volkswagen Golf eTSI 148 HP
2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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The GTE generates as much power as the old GTI with the Performance Pack

Finally, Volkswagen also offers a couple of plug-in hybrid versions. The base model is called eHybrid and combines a 1.4-liter TSI engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a six-speed DSG transmission. The drivetrain delivers a combined output of 201 horsepower, which is identical to the outgoing Golf GTE. Volkswagen still offers a GTE model, but it’s notably more powerful. Based around the same drivetrain, it comes with a whopping 242 horsepower. That’s an extra 41 horses over the old GTE and 15 horses more than the outgoing Golf GTI. Impressively enough, the new GTE is just as powerful as the old GTI with the Performance Pack. The hybrid also feature a new battery that’s 50-percent more capable than before. Volkswagen says it returns improved range, but there’s no word as to how much. The old GTE has an all-electric range of around 50 km (31 miles), so the new hybrid should return at least 75 km (47 miles) on battery power.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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Volkswagen will also offer a drivetrain suitable for operation with natural gas

Volkswagen confirmed that there will be a successor to the GTI, so expect a higher performance 2.0 TSI engine, most likely with a 48-volt system, with at least 250 horsepower. The German firm is also developing a high-performance diesel with the GTD badge, but it will also offer a 1.5-liter gas engine suitable for operation with natural gas (CNG).

Now that we know what drivetrain choice we will have with the new Golf, let’s see how the German hatchback compares with the competition. It’s most important rival, the Ford Focus, also comes with 1.0-liter three-cylinder and 1.5-liter four-cylinder engines. The lower-grade three-bangers crank out 84 and 99 horsepower, so they’re a bit less powerful than VW’s offerings. However, the range-topping 1.0-liter EcoBoost generates a solid 123 horsepower, almost as powerful as the Golf’s entry 1.5-liter unit. Ford’s 1.5 EcoBoost provides solid competition as well. There’s a 148-horsepower mill that’s on par with the Golf, but Ford also offers a 180-horsepower engine that Volkswagen can’t match as of this writing.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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Moving over to diesels, the Focus is available with no fewer than four four-cylinder oil burners. The base 1.5 engine is far from impressive at 94 horsepower, but the most powerful unit delivers 118 horses, five more than Volkswagen’s base engine. Next up is the 2.0-liter EcoBlue with either 148 or 187 horsepower. The former is on par with VW’s top diesel model, while the latter doesn’t have a rival yet. On the other hand, Ford doesn’t offer hybrid models as of 2019.

Moving over to the Hyundai i30, it comes with similar powerplants. The range begins with a 1.4-liter MPi that generates 99 horsepower and continues with a 1.0-liter T-GDi rated at 118 horsepower. Move up the ladder, and you’ll find drivetrains that match, more or less, offerings from Volkswagen. There’s a 1.6-liter MPi with 126 horsepower and a 1.4 T-GDi with 138 horses. However, the i30 is available with a couple of notably more powerful units. The 2.0-liter T-GDi cranks out 162 horsepower, while the 1.6-liter T-GDi generates a solid 201 horses.

The diesel lineup isn’t as diverse, but the 1.6-liter CRDi units are powerful enough to give the Golf Mk8 a run for its money. The base model generates 94 horsepower, while the range-topping unit comes with 134 horsepower on tap.

Driving Assist and Safety System

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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The Golf Mk8 is the first Volkswagen to feature Car2X communication

The eighth-generation hatchback is the most advanced Golf when it comes to safety and driving assist features. Not only that, but it’s the first Volkswagen to feature Car2X communication, a technology usually fitted in premium cars. This system enables the Golf to exchange information with other vehicles in traffic and the road infrastructure within a radius of up to 800 meters (0.5 miles). This exchange of information warns you local hazards, such as accidents, broken down vehicles stopped on the road, traffic jams, roadworks, emergency service vehicles, and emergency braking cars. The feature is supposed to reduce the number of road accents by making you and the car aware of the surroundings.

Next up is Travel Assist, a feature that enables assisted driving at up to 210 km/h (130 mph). When this system is enabled via the multifunction steering wheel, the Golf drives by itself using systems like the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist for longitudinal and latitudinal guidance. But just like Tesla’s Autopilot, the system works if you keep your hands on the steering wheel. If you let go for more than 15 seconds, the car will issue visual and audible warning and, in the absence of a response, will activate the Emergency Assist system and come to a stop.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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The Golf Mk8 also features Adaptive Cruise Control, which used data from the GPS and navigation system to lower speed before bends and roundabouts or when it detects speed limit signs. The Front Assist feature has been updated to include cyclist monitoring, swerve support, and, for the first time in a Volkswagen, oncoming vehicle braking when turning. The latter brings the vehicle to a stop when an oncoming car approaches the lane you intend to cross.

Pricing

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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Pricing for the Golf Mk8 is not yet available, but the new-generation shouldn’t be notably more expensive than the Mk7. With the latter priced from £22,080, the new-generation model should come in at around £23,000. The R-Line will probably retail from around £28,000, while the hybrid will start from around £34,000. In the U.S., the outgoing Golf retails from $21,845, so the Mk8 will probably come in at around $23,000 before options. However, there are rumors that the Golf might continue in the U.S. as a GTI model only. Also, there’s no specific word as to when the Golf Mk8 will come to the states, but it won’t happen until 2020.

Competition

Ford Focus

2019 Ford Focus Interior Exterior
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The latest Ford Focus is considerably more upscale than ever before. Ford even focused on high-end Vignale and Sport models to reach to the new, richer customers. Now, even the ST went further with the 2.3-liter, EcoBoost, and more than 270 horsepower. In some sense, the new Ford Focus is actually the best representation of what the Golf has become in Mk8 clothes - a more expensive, better equipped, and more luxurious hatchback. What’s more, the Focus comes with interesting engine options, including gasoline and diesel choices that deliver more oomph than the Golf. The gas range starts from 84 horsepower and goes all the way up to 180 horses, while the diesel lineup ranges between 94 and 190 horsepower. As always, the Ford remains a proficient competitor to the Golf, but I doubt that it will ever match it in terms of sales. And, while the new Focus looks dashing, the Golf still has that sophisticated stance of the premium and the slightly more high-tech interior. The Ford Focus is no longer available in the U.S., but you can order it from £18,545 in the U.K.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Focus

Renault Megane

2016 Renault Mégane High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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I have a strange feeling that usually cheaper Renault Megane will actually replace the Golf in the driveways of those who were loyal to cheaper Golfs before. See, the Megane become that much better, while the Golf is becoming that much more expensive. Usually targeting somewhat different customers, the Golf and Megane always played a precisely planned game to win over their respective customers. Yet, the new Megane is a five-door car, it is available with novel small turbocharged engines, and has that massive screen inside. Obviously, the same as the Golf. Gasoline engine choices include a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 113 horsepower, a 1.2-liter turbo with 128 horses, and a 1.6-liter with 202 horsepower. On the diesel front, Renault offers a 1.5-liter with 108 horsepower and a 1.6-liter with 128 horses. Pricing for the Megane starts from £17,995, notably more affordable than the Golf Mk8.

Read our full review on the 2019 Renault Megane

Hyundai i30

2019 Hyundai i30 Exterior
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The i30 was redesigned into the third-generation in 2016 and not only it looks better than before design-wise, but it features better technology and a more diverse engine lineup. Although it might not be as popular as the Golf when it comes to sales, it’s a worthy competitor that you should consider. The gasoline engine lineup begins with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 99 horsepower, but you can also opt for engines with 118, 126, 138, and 162 horses. More importantly, Hyundai offers a 1.6-liter turbo-four with a whopping 201 horsepower. The diesel lineup includes two choices rated at 94 and 134 horsepower. Just like the Golf and Megane, the i30 is not available in the United States. In the U.K., the South Korean hatchback retails from £17,355.

Read our full story on the 2019 Hyundai i30

Final Thoughts

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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The Volkswagen Golf Mk8 is the kind of new car that should come with "Wow!" written all over it. Because it’s that good when it comes to interior design, technology, driving assist features, and drivetrains. It’s by far the most advanced vehicle in its list, and even though it still needs a few more powerful drivetrains to go against the competition, Volkswagen will probably fix that in the near future. But the Golf Mk8 also comes with two flaws. First, the exterior design is a bit of a letdown if you ask me. Looking at cars like the Arteon and the Passat, the Golf is rather bland on the outside. I was expecting a more aggressive and high-tech look from the Mk8, but all we got is a mild evolution with thinner lights. I’m okay with Volkswagen wanting to keep the iconic stance of the Golf, but some Arteon-inspired features would have been nice. Second, the Golf will probably cost notably more than the competition. While its rivals come in at well below the £20,000, the base Golf will fetch in excess of £23,000. In some cases it will add a £5,000 premium to the competition. All told, the new Golf will be only marginally more affordable than the Audi A3 Sportback. Not a good decision, Volkswagen!

  • Leave it
    • Needs more powerful gas models
    • Exterior could have been more aggressive
    • Notably more expensive than the competition
    • Will cost almost as much as Audi A3

Update History

Pre-Debut Teaser No. 2

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This time around, Volkswagen has teased the rear end of the MK. 8 Golf with a focus on the rear taillights. Of course, the taillights haven’t changed much, but they are much more sculpted than before, have a very modern LED matrix, and it even looks like the rear quarters are much wider than before. This indicates that the MK. 8 Gold could actually be sportier than even and could even take on a wider stance as shown off in the first round of teasers. The Mk. 8 golf will debut on October 24th, so stand by for more updates!

Pre-Debut Teaser

As you can see from the images below, VW has decided to show off sketches of the 2020 Golf’s front end and the interior. As far as the exterior design goes, this sketch shows us basically what we’ve been expecting after seeing the various spy shots and leaked images. The hood, headlights, and even the roofline are all identical to what we’ve seen over the past year. However, there are a couple of things that we’ve never seen before. First, the front fascia seems largely different than any spy shots seen this far. The “radiator grille,” if that’s what you’d call it, runs the entire width of the face with a pair of flics on each end to represent the corner air intakes. Secondly, the bodyline below the waist is much more dominant in the sketch, as is the lower line above the side skirts. This design element would make the new Golf outrageous attractive, and aggressive from certain angles. It would be an all-new take on Golf design that we’ve never seen. Something tells us, however, that these bodylines didn’t make it much further than the sketch.

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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While some of the exterior sketch seems largely exaggerated, the sketch of the interior, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It’s not something we would expect from a Golf, that’s for sure, but after seeing the spy shots of the interior, it’s hard to deny that this is exactly what the 2020 Golf’s interior will look like. It will have that digital instrument cluster, and that will be joined together with the instrument cluster in a Mercedes-like fashion. It looks like it will even have that third screen off to the left that we weren’t so sure about in the last round of spy shots. Overall, the new Volkswagen Golf is starting to shape up to be an amazing evolution of the model we know today, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one.

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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Spy Shots

June 24, 2019 - Volkswagen Golf 8 caught testing in hot weather

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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May 20, 2019 – First Look at the MK8 Golf’s Interior

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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The very nature of the Volkswagen Golf gives us a firm idea of what it will look like, so even if the car in these spy shots wasn’t covered by tons of crazy camo, we already know – for the most part – what we can expect from the next-gen Golf. For the first time, however, we’re getting a look at the interior of the new gold. As far as we can tell, it’s not exactly as premium and upscale as we originally thought it would be. The dash still looks to be made of cheap-ish textured plastic as do most of the door trim panels. Of course, the picture we have here appears to have been taken through a closed window and is blurry and quite pixelated, but we can still make out a decent idea of what’s going on. Right now, the car has a digital instrument cluster and a digital infotainment system. I already hear your concern about how bulky and boring these look, but right now, this is prototype testing equipment so the final production cluster and infotainment system will probably feature, at the very least, better-looking software. The instrument cluster will probably be more colorful and Audi-like. And, that big bulky display panel that links the two screens together will, hopefully, be finished much better. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for a more attractive software designed for the production infotainment system, but it too is probably considered testing equipment and isn’t designed to look nice – it’s more about testing functions than anything. With that said, the 2020 MK8 golf should debut sometime in the third or fourth quarter of 2019, possibly at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

March 13, 2019 – Cold Weather Testing With Lots of Funky Camo

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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We believe that we’ve already seen the 2020 Volkswagen Golf without any camo thanks to a number of shots that circulated social media. However, the shots you see here are the first shots that we know are the real deal with 100-percent certainly thanks to all of that camo. Obviously, Volkswagen is trying to keep some details hidden, and that’s our big red flag. With that said, these spy shots serve as clear evidence that the images we’ve seen previously (displayed below in our “Exterior”section) were, in fact, of the next-gen Golf. If you compare the rear end in these shots compared with those, you’ll see that they feature the same taillights. The lower portion of the rear fascia also features the same styling.

The side profile is without a doubt all VW Golf with little in terms of evolution or revolution, while the front end will change a little. It won’t change enough to write home about, mind you, but that’s kind of a good thing. The real important changes will come into play under the skin where the MQB platform is freed of excess weight thanks to new, lighter materials. On that note, word has it that the wagon model will be discontinued alongside the three-door model, so this generation may only be available as a four-door hatch. On the plus side, there are still GTi, R, and GTE models in the works, so there will at least be a wide range to choose from. There’s no word yet as to when the 2020 Volkswagen Golf will debut, but a good bet would be in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Update 10/22/2019: Volkswagen has released yet another teaser of the 2020 Mk. 8 Golf before it debuts on October 24th. Check it out, along with the previous teasers, at the top of our speculative review below.

Update 10/10/2019: The 2020 Volkswagen Golf is set to premiere on October 24th, and VW has released some teaser images and a new view to tease us a little more before the big day. Check out what’s new in our special “Teaser” section below.

Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Volkswagen Golf out for a new testing session.

Update 05/20/2019:Our photographers managed to catch the 2020 Volkswagen Golf during a new testing session, and they managed to get a look at the interior. Check out our new images and everything we’ve learned in the spy shots section below!

Update 3/13/2019: We’ve finally received some camouflaged spy shots of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf. Check them out along with what else we’ve learned in our special “Spy Shots” section below.

Spy Shots

March 13, 2019 – Cold Weather Testing With Lots of Funky Camo

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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We believe that we’ve already seen the 2020 Volkswagen Golf without any camo thanks to a number of shots that circulated social media. However, the shots you see here are the first shots that we know are the real deal with 100-percent certainly thanks to all of that camo. Obviously, Volkswagen is trying to keep some details hidden, and that’s our big red flag. With that said, these spy shots serve as clear evidence that the images we’ve seen previously (displayed below in our “Exterior”section) were, in fact, of the next-gen Golf. If you compare the rear end in these shots compared with those, you’ll see that they feature the same taillights. The lower portion of the rear fascia also features the same styling.

The side profile is without a doubt all VW Golf with little in terms of evolution or revolution, while the front end will change a little. It won’t change enough to write home about, mind you, but that’s kind of a good thing. The real important changes will come into play under the skin where the MQB platform is freed of excess weight thanks to new, lighter materials. On that note, word has it that the wagon model will be discontinued alongside the three-door model, so this generation may only be available as a four-door hatch. On the plus side, there are still GTi, R, and GTE models in the works, so there will at least be a wide range to choose from. There’s no word yet as to when the 2020 Volkswagen Golf will debut, but a good bet would be in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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