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All-new Volkswagen Golf revealed

Mildly revised exterior disguises hybrid powertrains and tech-heavy cabin

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The new eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf has been revealed with a lightly updated exterior design but big advancements inside.

There are four powertrain options in the form of petrol, diesel, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid, with improved efficiency one of the key advancements in each unit. Volkswagen says it has introduced a new combustion process to its petrol models to improve efficiency and used twin AdBlue injectors to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in diesels.

In terms of electrified options in the UK, only the more powerful GTE plug-in hybrid model will be available. Promising 245hp, this latest generation version has a new 13kWh lithium-ion battery for increased electric-only range.

Meanwhile, three mild hybrid petrol powertrains will be available, using 48-volt technology to cut consumption by around 10%.

The exterior is familiar when compared with the previous generation, but particularly at the front, there are subtle design differences. For example, the new, narrower headlight design houses LED technology, while each panel has been tweaked in the wind tunnel to reduce its drag coefficient.

  • All-new 2020 Volkswagen Golf interior and dashboard | The Car Expert
  • All-new 2020 Volkswagen Golf | The Car Expert
  • All-new 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTE | The Car Expert
  • All-new 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTE | The Car Expert

Inside the changes are more evident, with the large twin-screen set-up standard on all models. Numerous controls are now digitalised, which has decluttered the dashboard giving a cleaner appearance.

In terms of technology, Volkswagen’s We Connect Plus is included free for the first three years of ownership, bringing streaming, Internet radio and other online features to the car. It also includes voice control and an integrated Alexa system to ask questions and communicate with compatible devices at home.

Driver assistance and safety features include a smart cruise control function that can steer, accelerate and brake automatically at speeds of up to 130mph, emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring.

There are four trims available for the UK called S, SE, SEL and R-Line. Standard equipment includes a ten-inch infotainment screen, LED headlights and taillights, and various driver aids.

Volkswagen is keen to introduce performance trims early in the new model’s life cycle, saying the GTI, GTI TCR, GTD and R models will join the line-up in 2020.

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Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.