New Golf-Based Crossover Could Replace The Standard Golf In The U.S.

Volkswagen actively tests an all-new, raised Golf. We have seen it in Sweden in the winter, and even on the Nurburgring in May. While Volkswagen did not announce anything new in the Golf lineup, we may be surprised with a new Golf-based crossover, or an innovative, fresh, jacked up version of the popular hatchback. As Volkswagen actively seeks out new segments to sell its vehicles in, I can identify at least two market brackets where the new Golf-based crossover or just a jacked up hatch could play its part.

If you look closely at the Mercedes-Benz lineup, you can see that its entry-level crossover - the GLA - feels like a jacked-up version of the A-class. If Volkswagen creates something similar to it, based around the Golf’s basic shape and chassis, then it would be the only manufacturer in this very tight segment to offer a cheaper alternative to the GLA.

On the other hand, a raised Golf hatch might not be anything more than just a hatchback version of the upcoming Golf Alltrack. That car would directly compete with the cool Ford Focus Active!

If it comes to fruition, this alleged new five-seat crossover will sit between the T-Cross and the T-Roc within the Volkswagen lineup. Interestingly enough, Volkswagen did announce an all-new five-seat crossover at its media event earlier this year. This might well be it, and I would not be surprised if Germans transform slow-selling Golf Plus into a sort of a crossover.

Exterior

  • A mule with a Gold body for now
  • Elevated ride height
  • Will have a taller roof
  • May have a longer bonnet
  • May have a larger boot opening
2020 Volkswagen Golf Crossover
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The exterior photos of the latest Volkswagen Golf test mule reveals a few important tidbits. Buffed up fenders at all four corners implicate some severe work on the suspension.

The wheels are much bigger than what anyone would expect to see on the Golf.

Bigger wheels and wider fenders suggest at an increased track width as well. Plus, the whole car sits higher, giving the Golf much higher ground clearance. Heck, this Golf would easily pass the shoe test (basically you could stick the shoe between the wheel and the fender), meaning that it is a vehicle with some dirty adventure in mind.

Apart from these changes, the shell of the Golf seems to be intact. Sure, Volkswagen is hiding whatever it is building under the shape of its most popular car, but I can tell you right away that whatever car comes out of this, it will not look as generic as this mule. The other big thing is the exhaust tailpipe. It does have it. This thing isn’t an ID electric car knock off, then.

Interior

  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Large infotainment display
  • Minimal analog buttons and dials
  • Will resemble the Gold 8’s interior
  • Flat-Folding rear seat backs
  • Extra headroom and legroom
  • Will likely be a compact offering
2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Interior
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No photos of the interior surfaced anywhere on the web. It does not mean that I don’t know what kind of cabin you can expect in this new five-seat Volkswagen crossover. First of all, Volkswagen will, most likely, completely change its relationship with the analog instrument clusters. Don’t expect them in new Volkswagen cars. I don’t expect to see one in the new Golf 8 or this crossover.

I do, however, expect to see a gesture-controlled infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, large central display, fewer buttons on the dash than ever, and a whole lot of practical additions.

If this mule represents a somewhat reimagined Volkswagen Golf Plus, then it is sure it will get longitudinally adjustable rear seats with at least two ISOFIX anchor points, large storage compartments in the doors, under the seats, and maybe even in the floor. After all, however adventurous looking it will be, the new Golf-based crossover will primarily act like a small family crossover - not just a fashionable accessory.

Also, you can expect a tad bigger boot compared to the standard Golf as well. In any case, it will have more than 23 cubic-feet of space.

Drivetrain

  • This is an ICE-power mule
  • Will borrow engines from other MQB-based vehicles
  • Up to 204 horsepower in R-form
  • Dual-clutch transmission
  • Entry model should offer around 128 ponies
  • Will have low towing capacity
  • Golf Mk. 8 mild-hybrid system
2020 Volkswagen Golf Crossover
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I already told you that this is an ICE-powered machine. That means it will share the engine options with the other MQB-based vehicles. Four-cylinder engines are the biggest that will find the place under its front hood, with the entry-level, three-cylinder engines as an option.

I don’t have any confirmed numbers to crunch for you, but I can assume the five-seat, Golf-based crossover will share virtually all the drivetrain options with its smaller brother.

The crossover will come with an EA211 Evo engine offered in a few different states of tune.

With 1.5-liters of capacity and direct injection, the turbocharged gasoline engine with Miller-cycle combustion method currently develops 128 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque or 148 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. I am quite sure it will find its way under the bonnet of the new Golf-based crossover. This new engine is a little wonder of engineering with a variable geometry turbocharger, plasma coated cylinders, and a cylinder deactivation system.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Crossover
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Volkswagen prepared the new diesel mild-hybrid technology as well. Its well-known 2.0-liter TDI engine, now coupled with the 48-Volt electrical system, a battery, and a starter generator considerably lowers fuel efficiency, and harmful emissions compared to its predecessors.

So much so that this 2.0-liter diesel engine complements new and upcoming European emission regulations. I am sure that this engine in its 136 hp, 150 hp, and 204 hp guises will land under the bonnet of the new Golf-based crossover. Although prepped for the new Golf 8, the 2.0 TDI will find its way in basically all compact and mid-sized cars within the Volkswagen lineup. The 2.0-liter, TSI is a distinct possibility as well.

Considering that I am writing about a crossover and Volkswagen, I would say that this pseudo crossover gets an all-wheel-drive system. Same as the one in the Golf. A dual-clutch transmission is a must as well.

Prices

2020 Volkswagen Golf Crossover
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Right now you can have a standard 2019 Volkswagen Golf for $21,845. However, remember that Volkswagen decided to offer only the Golf GTI, and the Golf R in the U.S. for its next generation. This gives me some hope that the new Golf-based crossover, obviously not called the Golf, but T-something, will effectively replace the hatchback in the States. If that becomes the case, then the Golf-based crossover should carry an entry price tag of at least $25,000.

Competition

Ford Focus Active

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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2019 Ford Focus

Unfortunately, Ford ditched plans for introducing the Focus Active in the U.S. Instead, the company offers enjoyable crossover-ish hatchback in Europe. If this Golf test mule ends up as a Golf hatchback Alltrack (which I somewhat doubt), then it would directly compete with the Ford Focus Active. With a healthy dose of height, nice body claddings, and unique styling features, the Focus Active does feel adventurous and cool. Yet, with the possible Golf Alltrack hatch, Focus Active would face stiff competition. Apart from advanced engines, and infotainment gizmos, the Golf hatch AllTrack would have an AWD system - something that Focus Active lacks.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Focus Active

Mercedes-Benz GLA

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA High Resolution Exterior
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The other possible competition is the Mercedes-Benz GLA. This pseudo crossover is definitely in a league on its own mostly because it looks more like a jacked up A-class, than a proper small crossover. Nevertheless, if Volkswagen creates something similar based on the Golf chassis, and, of course, offer it at a far reasonable price, I can see many choosing the cheaper alternative over the GLA. Nevertheless, this is just a conjecture, and we will have to wait and see what will this Volkswagen mule fruition into.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Conclusion

2020 Volkswagen Golf Crossover
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According to a report from VW Groups Annual Media Conference held in March, we do know that Germans are working on a new crossover. It will have five seats, presumably, ride on the same chassis as the next generation Golf, and share all the tech with it. However, with the diversification of the Volkswagen SUV offering, I have to wonder if there’s enough space in the lineup to offer a car that sits between the T-Cross and the T-Roc, or between the T-Roc and the Tiguan? The only thing that gives me hope that it will come to the U.S. is the fact that Volkswagen ditched the plans to offer standard Golf here. There is no better way to replace that gap than with a cool compact crossover.

  • Leave it
    • Not sure if it will ever come to the U.S.
    • Still not officially confirmed
    • We don’t know what it will look like

Further reading

2020 Volkswagen Golf Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Golf.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 779848

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 744080

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
- image 744061

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant

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