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Mild update for the Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen's popular Golf has been given a minor facelift, which includes design tweaks and a boost to electric range for hybrid models

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Volkswagen’s popular Golf family car has been given a minor facelift, which includes interior and exterior design tweaks, AI infotainment and a boost to electric range for hybrid models.

This update coincides with the Golf’s 50th year on sale. The hatchback and estate has been selling in impressive numbers so far this year, as the Volkswagen is currently ranked in the UK’s top ten best-sellers, and the German manufacturer will be hoping that this mild refresh increases consumer demand further.

Starting with the car’s exterior looks, Volkswagen has altered the car’s LED headlight design, which can be optionally specified with the brand’s ‘IQ Light HD matrix’ tech. The model also comes with an illuminated Volkswagen badge and new-look air vents in the front, as well as slight alterations to the rear bumper and tail light designs.

In addition to the 11 paint colour options already offered there are also four new metallic colours, and a black roof will be available for the first time as an option for ‘GTI’, ‘GTE’ and ‘R-Line’ models. The high-power GTI, which comes with an updated rear spoiler, can also be ordered with carbon fibre bodywork accents for the first time.

Stepping inside, the refreshed Golf once again features button controls on the multi-function steering wheel, replacing the pre-facelift model’s touch-sensitive controls that didn’t prove to be very popular with reviewers and customers alike. There are also higher-quality materials installed throughout the cabin to help lift perceived quality.

The key interior change is the infotainment software upgrade – a new ‘MIB4’ system that reportedly has a higher resolution, quicker processing times and new menu designs, as well as a new ChatGPT-powered AI voice assistant, which can be used to access the internet, change climate control settings, make calls and set navigation routes. The standard model comes with a ten-inch infotainment display, while a larger 13-inch screen can be selected on the options list.

The touch slider for the temperature and volume control below the infotainment screen is now backlit as a response to criticism, Volkswagen adding that this slider is also quicker to respond to input after this update. ‘Park Assist Plus’ and ‘Park Assist Pro’ software packages also feature on the Golf’s options list for the first time, which means that the hatchback and estate can be parked remotely using a smartphone app.

Now onto the engines. The updated Golf will be available with a range of 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine options, replacing the 1.4-litre engine options previously sold. 115hp and 150hp turbocharged options will be available with or without a 48V mild-hybrid boost. Both manual and automatic gearboxes are offered, depending on the powertrain you choose.

This is followed by a 150hp 1.5-litre plug-in hybrid Golf that makes use of a larger 20kWh battery which ups electric-only range to 62 miles. Volkswagen also estimates that this model can muster up to 620 miles on a full tank and on full charge and that it can charge at faster speeds of up to 50kW.

That sums up this model update – the refreshed Golf range will go on sale from 11th April, with higher-spec ‘R-Line’ models following on the 25th. ‘Life’, ‘Match’ and ‘Style’ trim grades will be available from launch, with prices beginning at just over £27k for the hatchback, and over £28k for the estate. The range-topping Golf R is due later this year. 

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.