Light teal Volkswagen Golf 8 next to previous Golf generations

Volkswagen has given the Mk8 Golf a midlife makeover on the occasion of the model's 50th anniversary. This brings the 2019-era car up to 2024 standards, as well as future-proofs it for the next five to six years. The Golf 8 will be the last ICE-powered iteration of the hatchback, as Volkswagen has confirmed the Mk9 will go all-electric.

The revamped Golf dons a sleeker look, sharper lines, and a wider stance. The Volkswagen badge is now illuminated, and the front bumper gets larger air intakes. The lights see a rakish redesign, and can be specced with Volkswagen’s IQ.LIGHT matrix LEDs in the front, and IQ.LIGHT 3D LEDs in the rear. The GTI gets a more prominent spoiler, revised rear bumper, and aggressive honeycomb air intakes on the front.

The interior has received massive upgrades. The new multifunction steering wheel ditches the controversial touch-capacitive controls for physical buttons, while the instrument cluster gets a fresh look with customisable graphic skins for every Golf variant.

2024 Golf interior

The star of the show, however, is the new MIB4 infotainment system. The standard 10.4" screen (optionally available in 12.9") boasts an overhauled interface, faster processing, and slicker graphics. The voice assistant now features ChatGPT integration that lets you control everything from the climate to the sat-nav. Ergonomics also see an upgrade, with snappier response times and backlit controls.

The 1.4L TSI petrol engines from the previous model have been replaced by 1.5L TSI units, available in 114bhp and 148bhp guises. The 2.0L diesel engines are carried over, and maintain power parity with the 1.5 TSI motors. The 2.0L turbo-petrol has also been retained and gains 14bhp to produce 201bhp total. The same engine is uprated to 262bhp in the GTI, about 20bhp over the current model.

Additionally, both the 1.5L petrol units can be equipped with an upgraded plug-in hybrid system. The 1.5 TSI eHybrid still develops 201bhp, while the GTE model bumps that up to 268bhp, 6% more than the current GTE. Thanks to a larger 19.7kWh battery, Volkswagen claims that the PHEV models can run solely on electric power for 62 miles, and can travel for up to 620 miles with the battery and engine topped up.

A dual-clutch automatic with either six or seven gears is the standard transmission for all Golf models, except for the 114bhp diesel and non-hybrid petrol variants, which come with a six-speed manual as standard. The GTI will only be available with the automatic. Also included is a suite of driver-assistance systems to aid manoeuvrability, such as 360-deg View by merging four cameras, and Park Assist Plus (Pro will be an optional extra), which enables remote parking via smartphone.

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The facelifted Golf comes with an arsenal of upgrades, but what of the cost? Volkswagen has yet to reveal pricing, but we can expect a hike over the current model for an estimated £30,000 starting price, climbing all the way to £40,000 for the top-spec GTI.