Volkswagen Golf 8 is the most connected car Volkswagen has produced to date. Initially, in early 2020, it could have been specified in the UK in two trim levels with four engine and gearbox configurations. Life and Style were the two trim levels available at first, with popular R-Line joining them later. From launch two petrol and two diesel engines were offered. The petrol line-up consisted of two 1.5-litre TSI engines with 130 and 150 PS, both mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, while diesel options included 115 or 150 PS 2.0-litre units, the former with a 6-speed manual. The more powerful diesel engine benefits from a 7-speed DSG transmission as standard, and is available only in the Style trim.
In addition to the sporty R-line trim level, more engine options arrived over the next few months as production in Wolfsburg ramped up. These include 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI petrol engines, as well as eTSI 48V mild-hybrid 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines. These class-leading eTSI power plants are fitted exclusively with a 7-speed DSG transmission. Prices for these will be announced nearer the time of launch.
All new Golfs feature cutting-edge Car2X technology. This facilitates wireless communication between the new Golf and other Car2X-equipped vehicles on the road, as well as so-called 'street furniture', allowing the car to more effectively pre-empt hazards on the road such as stationary traffic ahead, approaching emergency vehicles and more. This is the most important mainstream car to have Car2X fitted as standard to date. As Europe's best-selling model, the Golf will bring this tech to millions of people.
Life is predicted to be the most popular trim for the new VW Golf in the UK, and is equipped with 16-inch 'Norfolk' alloy wheels and automatic LED headlights. Rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with memory feature, and keyless start add to the convenience of the model, while keyless entry is available as a £400 option. Attractive 10-colour ambient lighting allows the driver to personalise the ambience of their Golf, complementing the 'Nature Cross' decorative inserts. Both front seats have height and lumbar adjustment, with high-quality 'Maze' cloth upholstery front and back.
The Volkswagen Golf Life also features Volkswagen's Innovision Cockpit, which incorporates a 10.25-inch Active Info Display in the car's instrument binnacle, as well as a large and clear 10-inch Discover Navigation touch-screen infotainment system. For the 2020 model year all Golfs will be equipped with Discover Pro Navigation. This comes complete with DAB and FM radio, as well as USB and Bluetooth connectivity with Wireless App-Connect. It also includes a three-year subscription to We Connect Plus, unlocking a wealth of information and services ranging from media streaming to parking space information, and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. Further convenience is added with a wireless charging function for compatible smartphones, while natural voice control allows the driver to activate many of the car's features without raising a finger, all while using less formal language and delivery than in previous such systems.
The Golf Life's suite of driver assistance systems further enhances both safety and ease of use, and includes Adaptive Cruise Control, a Driver Alert System, Dynamic Road Sign Display, Lane Assist and Front Assist, with extended pedestrian protection measures also installed on the model. An XDS electronic differential lock, first introduced on the Golf GTI Mk 7, now features on the new Golf, providing improved traction and handling. Many of these features contributed to the Golf's recent 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
Customers opting for Style specification benefit from attractive 17-inch 'Belmont' alloy wheels, while LED 'Plus' headlights add an even more striking look to the car's front design. Inside, sports comfort seats feature premium 'Art Velours' fabric, while further ambient lighting and 'Luxury Brown Wood' decorative inserts contribute to an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. Luxurious 3Zone climate control further bolsters the package offered by the Style trim level. Furthermore, Volkswagen's sophisticated IQ.Light system is optionally available, at £875 on Style trim. This LED-matrix headlight system adds specific lighting modes for the city, motorway and poor weather while also reducing glare from road signs and preventing Golf drivers from dazzling oncoming traffic.
Another acclaimed system available on the new Golf is Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). Available across all engines and in both Life and Style trims, DCC (£950) brings adaptive dampers to tailor the car's comfort and handling to each driver's preferences. In addition to pre-determined modes such as 'Comfort' and 'Sport', the driver can use a digital slider on the display to fine-tune the damping and then store it in 'Individual' mode. A head-up display (£625) is also among the premium features available optionally on the model. The system bolsters the new Golf's digital technology, projecting driving information onto a high-level display in order to keep the driver's eyes on the road as much as possible.