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Volkswagen’s updated Golf aims to address criticisms of previous car

Popular hatchback gets new technology, improved quality and infotainment system

The Volkswagen Golf has had numerous updates for 2024. (Volkswagen)
The Volkswagen Golf has had numerous updates for 2024. (Volkswagen) The Volkswagen Golf has had numerous updates for 2024. (Volkswagen) (Christoph Boerries www.christoph)

Volkswagen has revealed an updated version of its Golf, which brings improved quality and technology to address weaknesses of the previous car.

This update for the eighth-generation Golf, introduced in 2020, has been fast-tracked to address problems that have caused Volkswagen to lose loyal Golf buyers since its launch.

With 37 million Golfs produced since its original launch, it’s not only Volkswagen’s best-selling model ever but one of the most successful vehicles of all time across all brands.

The Golf GTI will get a power boost but lose the manual gearbox option. (Volkswagen)
The Golf GTI will get a power boost but lose the manual gearbox option. (Volkswagen) The Golf GTI will get a power boost but lose the manual gearbox option. (Volkswagen) (Christoph Boerries www.christoph)

Speaking at a preview event for the new Golf, a product expert at Volkswagen said the latest model has proven “too much” for a typical Golf customer, with features such as a fiddly infotainment system and touchpads for steering wheel buttons being poorly received.

A more conventional multifunction steering wheel is now fitted to this car, along with a new infotainment system, which is available on either a 10.4- or 12.9-inch display. Now easier to use with greater customisation and simplified menus, other changes include illuminated touch sliders for the climate control settings. It uses the same MIB4 software as already introduced on the latest Passat and Tiguan too, with ChatGPT AI integration included.

The overall design of the Golf hasn’t changed dramatically, but differences include slimmer LED headlights, along with reprofiled bumpers that aim to give the model a cleaner finish. Various new wheel designs are available, along with four new colours, while the front Volkswagen emblem can be illuminated for the first time.

The new touchscreen is the biggest improvement made to the latest Golf. (Volkswagen)
The new touchscreen is the biggest improvement made to the latest Golf. (Volkswagen) The new touchscreen is the biggest improvement made to the latest Golf. (Volkswagen)

Key changes under the surface include a new plug-in hybrid powertrain available with 201bhp (eHybrid) or 268bhp on the Golf GTE. These use a new 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a substantially larger 19.2kWh battery allowing for ‘electric ranges of around 100km (63 miles)’ when fully charged. There will also be the option to DC rapid charge the Golf plug-in hybrids for the first time too.

A choice of regular petrol and diesel engines will also remain available, with manual gearbox options still available on select models.

The well-loved GTI model, using a 2.0-litre petrol engine, has also had a 20bhp power boost, with the hot hatch now generating 262bhp, though will no longer be offered with a manual gearbox. The sporty GTD diesel model has also been discontinued because of falling demand.

An estate version of the Golf will continue to be offered. (Volkswagen)
An estate version of the Golf will continue to be offered. (Volkswagen) An estate version of the Golf will continue to be offered. (Volkswagen)

The updated Volkswagen Golf will be available as both a hatchback and a more practical estate, though isn’t expected to arrive until the middle of the year. Prices are likely to start from around £27,000 when orders open.