Little did Giorgetto Giugiaro know back in the 1970s, but the Golf went on to sell more than 35 million examples of the breed over the course of seven generations.
From the offset, the exterior design is more evolutionary rather than revolutionary as the Mk. 4 was to the third generation. The front fascia's styling is probably the most puzzling of the entire vehicle, described as "droopy" by many internauts and motoring journalists alike.
Imagine those headlamps with halogen lighting technology and the most basic bumper available. Without a shadow of a doubt, the designers were told to make the Golf as fancy as possible without regard to the low-specification trim levels favored by most customers out there.
A full-width bar of light-emitting diodes is reserved for higher trim levels, a styling artifice that feels like it's too much for a vehicle as popular as the Golf. The dashboard and cabin also feel upmarket, and the Golf is more technologized than ever before, always connected to the Internet too. Space is of the essence here, and even though the MQB vehicle architecture hasn't been modified too much for the eighth generation, the packaging is slightly better compared to the Golf Mk. 7.
A digital instrument cluster and touchscreen display dominate the cockpit, and the gear lever for the dual-clutch transmission is beautiful in its simplicity as well. In terms of suck-squeeze-bang-blow, the highlights are two plug-in hybrids with 150 and 180 kW in total, 48-volt mild hybrids called eTSI, and the 12-volt EA288 Evo turbo diesel that cranks out up to 150 kW. At first, TDI options will be offered with 85- or 110-kW ratings, respectively. The e-Golf has been discontinued to make room for the ID.3 compact e-hatchback.
The world premiere for the Mk. 8 didn't reveal a single detail about the GTI and R, two variations that elevate the otherwise dull Golf into an enthusiast's delight. The level of electrification seen on lesser models is an indicator that both will benefit from eco-friendly technologies, biased towards acceleration and speed rather than saving high-octane gasoline.
European customers will get their Golfs first in the earliest part of 2020 for the 2020 model year, and as expected, the 1.0 TSI will be the entry-level choice in this part of the world. The three-door hatchback has been discontinued, and not long now, the Golf Variant station wagon will be introduced for family-oriented customers along with the Golf Alltrack.
All the details available for the time being can be found in the press release below, and instead of an ending note, here's a question for you. Would you consider the all-new Golf over another compact hatchback? If so, what's the reason that made you choose Volkswagen over sister brands SEAT and Skoda as well as outsiders such as Hyundai, Kia, and Ford?