Ahead of its imminent debut, a few photos of this compact hatchback have been leaked online, and we like what we see.
The debut is nine days away, and the photos we have show a pre-production prototype. It's not the sexiest thing in the world, a white car with 16- or 17-inch wheels, a manual gearbox and without the R-line package. So we think it was built more to test the production process than to show the press.
Volkswagen sells about half a million Golfs in Europe each year, making it by far the most popular car. The ID.3 electric car, which is a similar size, only has a bit over 30k orders, so that's a drop in the ocean.
The styling of the Golf 8 isn't anything we haven't seen before. Several sets of spyshots have captured it virtually without camouflage, the only obscured parts being the badge and part of the lights.
The styling of the new compact 5-door is an evolution of the older model, with the LED headlights being the only easy-to-spot change. However, the streamlined, unified lower grille is a nice touch, and the interior is what really sells this car.
Volkswagen prides itself on cars with a high level of perceived quality and good ergonomics. You can go from a 2005 Golf 5 to a 2018 Golf 7.5 and still know how to turn on the lights, the radio or work the air-conditioning. But that's not the case here. A new dashboard has been condensed around two screens sitting tablet-style, one of which has been sharply angled towards the driver.
The steering wheel is like that of the Passat facelift while the lights headlights are engaged via buttons, not a knob. As for the powertrains, most of them are going to be familiar. This prototype has a 6-speed manual, which probably indicates a 150 horsepower 1.5 TSI or 2.0 TDI. Most of the time, the 1.0 TSI gets a 5-speed, while the TDI probably won't be part of the Golf 8 launch.