The Volkswagen Golf is the German giant’s best-seller and has been completely overhauled for 2020.
The Volkswagen Golf had the very unenviable job of replacing the extremely popular VW Beetle 45 years ago. In no uncertain terms, it has been an incredible success story for the car company. With more than 35 million sales over 7 generations, it is one of the best selling cars in history.
With the introduction of the all-new 8th generation Volkswagen Golf, VW moves into the present and the future at once. To say that the new Golf is of monumental importance is understating the place this compact hatchback holds in VW’s lineup. Built and sold alongside the all-new VW I.D.3 electric car, the Golf will serve as a stop-gap or bridge between today’s internal combustion engine cars and fully-electrified vehicles.
Volkswagen put immense efforts into making the new Golf one of, if not the most, digitally advanced and enhanced small cars in the world. The investment is considerable but it should pay off generously and help maintain VW’s position as the largest automaker in the world.
Let’s answer 5 questions on the new 2020 Volkswagen Golf.
What’s New About The 2020 Volkswagen Golf?
With little hesitation, nearly everything about the new MK8 Volkswagen Golf is new. The brand’s celebrated MQB platform returns however it’s been tweaked for size and powertrain applications.
Styling-wise, the car is a clear evolution from the MK7 Golf. The new Golf’s shell is conservative and yet extremely modern at the same time. The cabin, on the other hand, is a complete departure. The dashboard gains a 10.25-inch display screen where the vast majority of controls are now located – hard switches have all but completely disappeared.
On the technology front, the new Volkswagen Golf is completely connect, both inside and out. All internal systems are linked and, thanks to an online connectivity unit (OCU), the Golf is connect to the outside world. The integrated eSIM links to “We Connect” and “We Connect Plus” online functions and services which means the car can read traffic signals and much more. For the moment, we do not know if this technology will function in North America but it exists.
Historically, the Volkswagen Golf has been delivered numerous powertrain options. We in North America have never had more than two options (GTI and Golf R excluded) but the new MK8 Golf continues this tradition.
There will be up to five hybrid drives for the car. Three of them will work with 48V mild hybrid technology with the latest generation of TSI engines – they’ll be known as eTSI. Output will range from 108- to 148-horsepower.
There will be two light-hybrid plug-in variations as well. An “efficiency” version will have 201-horsepower while the sporty GTE will deliver a solid 242-horsepower. The LHEV Golfs will be endowed with a new 13 kWh lithium-ion battery which will provide a range of approximately 60 kilometres.
Finally, there will be a petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and natural gas drive (TGI) iterations. The two 4-cylinder petrol engines will deliver 89- to 108-horsepower. The two 4-cylinder diesel engines will get 113- and 148-horsepower versions. The TGI will have an output of 128-horsepower.
At first, only the TSI variant will be offered in Canada. The hybrids, no confirmation on which versions, will come at a later date.
What’s The 2020 Volkswagen Golf’s Price?
The base 2019 Volkswagen Golf Comfortline starts at $22,500. With the knowledge that the TSI will be offered first, we expect that pricing will increase ever so slightly to keep the Golf competitive. We figure a 3-5% increase from the 2019 model year car.
When Will It Be Released?
The 2020 Volkswagen Golf will hit the road in Europe next spring. With this is mind and the fact that North America, or in this case Canada, usually gets the new Golf sometime later, we won’t see any units of the new MK8 Golf for at least 18 months.
There will be a 2020 and 2021 model year MK7 Volkswagen Golf in Canada. Thus, the new MK8 Golf will be a 2022 model year car.
Who Will It Compete With?
Despite being all-new, the MK8 Volkswagen Golf will continue to duke it out with the likes of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra and Mazda3. Indirectly, its hatchback configuration also lines it up with subcompact crossovers.
What Do We Think About the 2020 Volkswagen Golf?
We are frankly a little upset that we will have to wait a long while for the new Volkswagen Golf. It doesn’t help that North America is not slated to get the new VW I.D.3 either. We are thankful however that Volkswagen Canada put its foot down and that we will get the Golf, unlike the US.
The fact of the matter is that SUVs, as we all know, own our market. A compact car like the VW Golf, or any of its competitors, are not as profitable as SUVs and cost a fair amount to develop and build.
The new Golf will continue to be one of the best driving cars in the segment even though some members of the category, namely the Mazda3, have caught up. The level of onboard technology may cause a few issues at first for the automaker but we assume that by the time the car arrives on our side of the Pond, much of the initial bugs will be sorted out.
As far as powertrains are concerned, we are curious about the sporty GTE and its 242-horsepower – We’ve never had a GTD (GTI with a diesel engine) but a GTE (GTI with an electrified powertrain) could very much be a thing for us.