The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf small car is set to arrive in Australia next year priced from $29,350 before on-road costs, with an evolutionary new design sitting atop a substantially modernised interior.
German carmaker Volkswagen will launch a new Golf hatchback in Australia in the second quarter of 2021 – with prices for the Mk 8 set to kick off from under $30,000 before on-road costs.
It is a car that builds upon the underpinnings of the outgoing and widely praised seventh-generation Golf, but introduces a suite of new convenience and safety technology upgrades that the German brand believes is enough to maintain the Golf’s place at the pointy end of the small car segment.
The new Golf should roll off the boat into Australia some time in quarter two of 2021 and bid farewell to the existing Trendline, Comfortline and Highline grades for a fresh-new line up.
Kicking off the start of the range is the base variant simply known as the ‘Golf’, which starts at $29,350 before on-road costs with Volkswagen’s new six-speed manual, or $31,950 with an eight-speed torque converter automatic in place of the old seven-speed DSG.
Stepping up to the mid-spec Golf Life means you only have the choice of the automatic transmission, at a cost of $34,250 before on road costs.
At the time of launch, the highest specification available will be the Golf R-Line. The R-Line is also paired exclusively to the eight-speed auto, and will be dressed up in a more aggressive body kit for the price of $37,450 before on-road costs.
The price changes represent effective increases of about $2,460 to $4,460 depending on specification.
Volkswagen will reveal closer to the launch date exactly what these grades include, but for now have given us the full run down on the extensive list of features that come standard throughout the range.
Safety sits at the forefront of Golf’s standard feature list, with high and low speed AEB with the ability to detect pedestrians and cyclists, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear traffic alert and park assist to name a few. Along with the ability to detect when oncoming vehicles turn across your lane and trigger the brakes.
Powering the non-performance Golf variants is the faithful 1.4-litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine, making 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque. It’s the same engine that was used in the outgoing Mk 7 Golf.
Volkswagen said the new 1.5 litre-turbo ‘TSI Evo’ four-cylinder used in Europe was never offered to Australia, as it was unable to run on our highly sulphurous fuel that would clog up the in-built petrol particulate filter.
Australia’s particularly poor quality fuel has been a long-running thorn in the side of Volkswagen’s local head office who argue the 2027 deadline for Australia to upgrade to low-sulphur fuel is too far off.
But back to the Golf. The cockpit sees the small car pick up a standard 10-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster, with an additional 10-inch touchscreen sitting in the centre for multimedia and navigation.
Many will mourn the lack of buttons surrounding the touchscreen, which were removed along with the automatic shifter assembly in pursuit of a cleaner design and more spacious interior. Volume, temperature and fan controls have all been relegated to on-screen touchscreen functions.
Volkswagen’s product marketing manager Jeff Shafer told Chasing Cars the features added up to a car he believed would be highly desirable in a value-driven pandemic-affected market, but would still ‘maintain the integrity of the Golf’ as a segment leader.
Shafer also said Volkswagen was expecting the Golf, which is currently the company’s best seller in Australia, to sell slightly less models in its eighth generation than what it did in the seventh – but pointed out this was due to the increased popularity of SUVs rather than the iconic hatchback being lacking in any way.
The hotly anticipated Golf GTI hot hatch is said to arrive soon after the base range, with Volkswagen also lobbying heavily for the Golf R hatch and wagon which enjoyed considerable sales success in the previous generation.
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