The Volkswagen Golf is the default choice for a comfortable, innovative, affordable, and fun to drive roundabout. I understand the challenges VW had to face when designing and engineering the new Golf 8th generation – or more affectionately known as Golf 8. The Golf has always been a brilliant car, so it’s best to avoid messing up a proven formula.
Despite the popular onslaught of compact-based crossovers and SUVs, the Golf remains the most important car in VW’s growing portfolio. According to the German automaker, the worldwide success and rise of Volkswagen AG to become number one among all automakers are directly linked to the Golf, and that’s the truth despite the lingering aftertaste of Dieselgate.
After a mild onslaught of teaser images and renderings, the Golf 8 is now ready to face the world. Here are the top five reasons why we think the Mk8 is the best Golf ever.
The shape has evolved, but 8th gen is still unmistakably a Golf
Golf is the most successful Volkswagen vehicle of all time. In fact, VW sold more than 35 million units of the Golf. In contrast, VW sold over 23 million units of the iconic Beetle in the vehicle’s 81-year production run. As you can see, there’s a lot resting on the Golf 8, and it all starts with the styling.
Thankfully, Volkswagen resisted the urge to mess with the Golf’s clean-sheet styling cues. The 8th generation Golf is as charismatic as before with a strong rear section, powerful shoulders, and a deep-drawn roofline. However, the new Golf is sleeker and more aerodynamic. The characteristic C-pillar and expansive greenhouse also give the vehicle a stronger and more athletic vibe.
And while the Golf 8 looks bigger, longer, and wider than previous models, it’s almost the same size as the outgoing 7th gen. The wheelbase is 103.77-inches and is actually a smidge shorter than the 7th gen Golf (103.82). However, the Golf 8 is a bit longer at 168.6 inches (4,284 mm) compared to 167.5-inches (4,255 mm) in the previous model.
It’s also the most aerodynamic Golf
There’s real substance in the Golf 8th gen’s sleeker body. Each body section was reshaped and refined in the wind tunnel. And by lowering the end face of the new model, the Golf 8 is the most aerodynamic Golf in history with a drag coefficient of Cd 0.275.
Having the ability to slice the wind in the most efficient way possible yields a ton of dividends. For starters, reducing drag means lesser mechanical force is required to move the vehicle, resulting in higher fuel savings. Also, having a slippery shape significantly reduces wind noise for better refinement.
The new Golf is available with no less than five hybrid variants
In Europe and the rest of the world, VW’s new Golf can be configured with petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), natural gas (TGI), mild-hybrid (eTSI), and plug-in hybrid (ehybrid) powertrains. All petrol and diesel variants will benefit from direct injection and turbocharging.
Meanwhile, the Golf 8 also comes in three eTSI and two eHybrid models for a total of five hybrid variants. The eTSI features a 48-volt belt-starter-generator and 48-volt lithium-ion battery combined with highly-efficient gas motors producing 108, 128, and 148 horsepower respectively. The eHybrid version has a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack providing enough range for zero-emissions driving.
It comes with an impressive list of standard features
Even though the Golf is available in a bewildering array of propulsion and engine choices, all models are equipped with a bevy of standard kit. This includes LED headlights and taillights, a digital instrument cluster, a large 8.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, keyless start, a multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control, and Alexa integration.
The new Golf also comes with an impressive array of standard safety and convenience features including lane-keeping assist, front assist and a predictive pedestrian protection system. Of course, Volkswagen’s WE Connect and We Connect Plus adds mobile online services like vehicle status, automatic accident notification, vehicle health reports, an online theft alarm, and remote lock and unlock.
The new 8th gen is the first Golf to have linked technologies
I’m talking about Volkswagen’s Car2X functionality. The system utilizes information supplied by other vehicles within a radius of 800 meters along with other data from traffic infrastructures. The idea is to warn the driver of impending accidents or dangerous obstacles within the vicinity. In the future, Volkswagen wants to make Car2X warnings as standard on all production vehicles to revolutionize road safety.
But the regular Golf 8 might not reach American shores
Nothing is definite at this point. And while VW is still mulling on whether the regular Golf will appeal to SUV-crazy America, the German carmaker made it clear both GTI and R versions of Golf 8 are coming to US shores early next year.
European dealerships are expecting first deliveries of the new Volkswagen Golf 8 starting in early December.