2024 Volkswagen Golf marks 50th anniversary of iconic hatchback

Eighth generation Volkswagen Golf on the way with new engines and tech
The eighth generation Golf brings styling upgrades plus new tech and engines. Credit VolkswagenThe eighth generation Golf brings styling upgrades plus new tech and engines. Credit Volkswagen
The eighth generation Golf brings styling upgrades plus new tech and engines. Credit Volkswagen

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic VW Golf, and over that time more than 37 million of the car have been sold worldwide, so it should come as no surprise that a new model should make an appearance. This is the first official sighting of the eighth-generation Golf. Known within VW circles as the Mk8.5 — I know, don’t ask — it not only gets updated engines and more tech, but there’s also new styling.

Externally the 2024 Golf — scheduled to arrive in the UK in April — gets new LED styling both back and front, plus a revised lower grille as part of the restyled front bumper. And as seems to be the current fad, there’s an illuminated front VW badge. Pop round to the rear and there’s another new-look bumper.

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Inside, the cabin is still dominated by a large central touchscreen — 10.4-inches in ‘basic’ models, increasing to 12.9in in the higher-specced models. The previous generation had 8.25in and 10in screens. Thankfully, below the new screens sit the temperature and volume controls which, while still operated by a touch-slider, are finally backlit.

On the steering wheel there are now physical switches rather than the touch-sensitive controls from the previous model, plus the driver gets VW’s customisable ‘Digital Cockpit Pro’ display featuring a 10.2in screen.

The entry-level to the range is the ‘Golf’ spec, followed by Life, Style and sporty R-Line spec. The new Golf range is topped out by the GTI and GTE. There will also be an estate model to join the hatch.

The 2024 Golf GTiThe 2024 Golf GTi
The 2024 Golf GTi

The engine range has been updated too. While the 114bhp and 148bhp 1.0-litre eTSI mild-hybrid units remain and are both available only with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, the manual version is 1.5-litre four-cylinder non-hybrid.

And while there are two diesel TDI versions available, again with 114bhp and 148bhp, the good news is the GTI gets more power with the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol as found in the previous generation now producing 261bhp, up from 242bhp.

Without question the biggest change is in the GTE. Now featuring VW’s second-generation plug-in hybrid system, out goes the old 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to be replaced by a 1.5-litre TSI unit. The battery is also larger, up from 10.6kWh to 19.7kWh. That not only results in an increase in power, up from 201bhp to 286bhp, but also sees the electric-only range grow to 62 miles.

While full spec and prices have yet to be confirmed for the UK market, it’s expected prices won’t change too much from those of the current range. So expect the new generation to start around £26,500.

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