The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular mainstream hatchbacks in the market. Every year, people look forward to seeing the new features and technologies that will feature inside the Golf hatchback, although it has still retained its quirky shape and style over the years. The Golf’s enjoyable interiors, nimble handling, and decent cargo space make it a popular buy for buyers who crave a practical small urban commuter.
With the Volkswagen Golf now in its 8th generation, the hatchback gets some radical changes without straying too far from its original design language. In this article, we discuss all the novelties brought forth by the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf generation. This will surely open your eyes to how much the Volkswagen Golf has changed over the years and how it has transitioned from a boring shoe-shaped hatchback to an exciting go-karting hatchback. Here are 8 cool things that should convince you to buy a used Volkswagen Golf from this generation right away.
To avail features like adaptive cruise control, auto high-beam, traffic-sign assist, Apple CarPlay, and other high-tech features, most drivers have to pre-select these options while building their car through their dealership. However, the Volkswagen Golf had other ideas. Instead, buyers of the Volkswagen Golf have to select these high-tech gizmos through the ‘Shop’ section in the Golf’s infotainment system.
Then you have to pay the equivalent amount for the services through VW ID. Once the payment is done, Volkswagen sends the software over-the-air to their respective customers and remotely activates the features they have paid for. This cool feature is reminiscent of an expensive Tesla.
Furthermore, you don’t have to pay the full amount for the services either. For example, if you want ACC for a long trip across the country, you can temporarily rent the service at your leisure. Through the Shop section, customers can also access the various data plans, subscriptions to services, and many other cool stuff.
New variants in the form of the GTD, GTI, GTE, and R
Volkswagen has lofty ambitions for the humble Golf hatchback, as the automaker has confirmed that it will be getting some performance-upgraded models. The GTD will be a faster variant of the Golf diesel hatch while the GTE will roll into the market as a plug-in hybrid model. The R is speculated to be an all-electric variant, but Volkswagen has kept things quiet by saying that it is working on new electric powertrains for future electrification of other cars in its lineup.
The GTD and GTE are definitely on the cards, although Volkswagen has given us little crumbs of information. The GTE might be using the same plug-in powertrain in the form of a 1.4-liter petrol engine, albeit with a bigger battery and a DSG gearbox. The GTI and the R will be using powertrains that make 228 bhp and 288 bhp respectively. An all-electric Golf will definitely be reserved for the next generation.
The Volkswagen Golf features mild-hybrid technology in all engines excluding one. Only the 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine with 89 bhp skips on the mild-hybrid tech. On the other hand, a 108 bhp variant of the same engine plus two other 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engines with 128 and 148 bhp respectively, all get the mild-hybrid treatment through a 48 V system.
Volkswagen also equips a belt starter generator to the seven-speed DSG gearbox and a small battery under the passenger’s seat. This means that the Golf can cruise around without exerting any power from its engine, and only utilize the energy saved by its regenerative braking to get a little e-boost while launching.
For buyers who want a better dose of electrification, the Golf also comes in 2 plug-in hybrid variants. Both of them use a 1.4-liter petrol engine, a six-speed DSG, and a 13kWh battery. British buyers can look forward to a more powerful variant of the GTE with 242 bhp. The Golf also includes a diesel option, which unfortunately misses out on any mild-hybrid tech. VW says it has plans to introduce the diesel variant as a mild-hybrid option in the future.
Classic car purists will have the time of their lives rollicking on the streets with a manual Volkswagen golf. Yes, Volkswagen spokesman Mark Gillies confirmed the news that the 8th-gen Volkswagen Golf will be getting a 6-speed manual gearbox. The good news is that even the GTI and R variants will be offering a manual gearbox.
The Golf can communicate with other cars
While this statement may seem far-fetched when you first hear it, the reality is that every VW Golf sports C2X (Car-to-X) technology as standard. This grants it the ability to communicate with other cars and infrastructure up to about 1000 meters away in real-time. The Golf is the first car in Europe that is featuring this advanced technology.
To give you an idea of how this system works, the C2X tech makes note of all the broken-down vehicles, traffic jams, emergency vehicles, and other traffic hindrances in your surroundings and then relays an alert on your Golf’s instrument cluster. The best part about this system is that it doesn’t rely on mobile phone networks as most systems did in the past. Instead, it uses its own EU-standardized type of Wi-Fi. Thus, this system functions well even in tunnels, where there are no mobile signals.
The suspension can be personalized in 15 different settings
Dynamic Chassis Control may be familiar to most car enthusiasts, but the VW Golf takes things to the next level. When properly spec’d, the Golf allows you to customize your ride in a variety of 15 suspension settings when Individual mode is selected. This allows you to pick a ride mode that is harder than Sport mode or softer than Comfort mode.
The safety suite can definitely save you from the clutches of death
The Volkswagen Golf can easily sense the erratic driving ethics of other vehicles across your path. If the safety system senses that a crash is imminent, the Golf pumps up all its cylinders and starts blowing the horn by itself to alert the reckless drivers, in case they are about to take a sudden turn in the middle of nowhere.
The Golf has borrowed advanced safety tech from the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8. The adaptive cruise control system utilizes the GPS to adjust the car’s speed whenever it approaches corners, roundabouts, and junctions. The Travel Assist feature is equivalent to Tesla’s AutoPilot and can adjust the steering for you up to speeds of 130 mph.
However, remember that this is only a level-two autonomous system, meaning that the driver needs to keep his eyes on the road at all times. New EU laws have regulated the usage of autonomous driving systems, which means that you can’t take your hands off the steering wheel even if the Travel Assist system can automatically change lanes for you.
The interior is fully digital
Inside, the Volkswagen Golf is immersed in a world of cutting-edge technology, which includes a virtual gauge cluster, in-car voice control, and a phalanx of touch-sensitive controls. The cabin lights are customized through the touch controls as well as the climate and volume controls.
Below the main screen and in between the air vents, the shortcuts for the climate, parking, safety, and drive-mode selection screens are nested. All this plethora of touch controls will certainly make a newbie driver nervous.