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Volkswagen Golf 2023: safety credentials boosted with centre airbag, smarter lane-keeping


The safety package of the Volkswagen Golf has been given a significant boost and at no extra cost to Australian buyers

Volkswagen will progressively introduce a new centre airbag to its Golf hatchback and wagon range in Australia while re-tuning the already standard-fit lane-keeping assistant and ‘Travel Assist’ highway driving aid.

No cost will be passed on to Australian buyers for the improvements, which are denoted by MY23 classification. Pricing remaining steady on the German-built small car, though the cost of entry climbs due to the now-official discontinuation of the base 110TSI manual trim (recently $29,550 before on-road costs, though orders were stopped in 2021).

Golf Life and Wagon 2022
Volkswagen has announced a suite of upgrades to the Golf line-up

The first models to nab the centre armrest and revised lane-keeping smarts will be the base 110TSI grade (from $34,690) and level-two 110TSI Life trim (from $36,990) – these variants are already being built with the improvements baked in, with production switching over in June.

From November production, the same MY23 safety updates will filter through to production of the 110TSI R-Line hatchback model ($39,990), and the performance-orientated, 180kW Golf GTI hatch ($54,990), 235kW Golf R hatch ($65,990) and 235kW Golf R wagon ($68,990).

A feature that has become highly influential in receiving an ANCAP five-star crash test result in recent years, the Golf’s new centre airbag sits between the front seats of the vehicle and is designed to prevent head clashes between the driver and front passenger in a side impact.

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2021 driving
Pricing remains steady on all variants

Volkswagen says that the revisions to the Golf’s lane-keeping aid and Travel Assist function give the car smarter logic for managing narrow roads. Where a driver deliberately steers the car towards the lane edge to, for instance, edge away from oncoming traffic, the system will no longer tug the steering wheel back towards the middle – and instead will advise the driver to take control.

Another change of note in the MY23 changeover is an alteration to the presentation of the Golf’s Digital Cockpit instrument panel – Volkswagen says it’s now easier to bring up a digital speedometer no matter what other display mode is being used.

Volkswagen Golf R hatch 2022 front 3/4 drift
The regular range and hot GTI and R performance models all score the upgrades

Other alterations include a new ‘GTI’ embossing in that car’s seat upholstery, new door trim inserts for the base grade, plus Life and GTI variants, while all Golf grades get a new steering wheel airbag cover.

Pictures of these trim and instrument panel changes aren’t yet available, though they are understood to be forthcoming.

At the time of writing, 124 examples of the Mk 8 Golf were ‘in stock’ in Australia in a mix of GTI, R-Line, Life and base trims – though there was not a single Golf R available for immediate delivery. Chasing Cars has requested an update on Golf delivery times for new orders in Australia.

Volkswagen Golf 2023: Australian prices and specs

All prices are before on-road costs.

  • Golf (base model) hatch: $34,690
  • Golf (base model) wagon: $36,390
  • Golf Life hatch: $36,990
  • Golf Life wagon: $38,990
  • Golf R-Line hatch: $39,990
  • Golf GTI hatch: $54,990
  • Golf R hatch: $65,990
  • Golf R wagon: $68,990