Hatchbacks are not the most exciting segment at the moment. However, most of the top-selling models in Europe are of that variety, and Volkswagen intends to keep the No.1 spot with the all-new 2020 Golf. We’ve been waiting to see this car for a really long time, and initial impressions are better than expected.
Everyone agrees that it’s not the most exciting thing to look at. But Volkswagen left all the frills at home and focused on engineering, once again developing an all-rounder that deals best with everyday challenges. Some people hate that, but we find that the new Golf might even have a bigger impact on the market than the ID.3 that’s supposed to eventually replace it.
One of the features that caught our eye is a system that matches the ESC with the active dampers, which work to give you a bit more dynamic cornering. The Golf 8 also has progressive steering, like the old top-end GTI models featured. Again, it’s not designed to be engaging, just effortlessly fast.
Independent rear suspension?
That’s always an interesting subject on economy advanced rear suspension adds weight and can reduce cargo room. If we remember correctly, all Golf 6 models had the independent setup while the Golf 7 offered it on models with 125 hp or more. For the Golf 8, the benchmark is set at 150 hp, so the base 1.0 TSI, 2.0 TDI (both 116 hp) and the 130 hp 1.5 TSI all miss out.
We could talk about the mild-hybrid and plug-in versions, but everybody just wants to see that dashboard. It’s probably the boldest design change VW has ever made in that department. Two large screens welcome you into the digital era. Light switch and climate controls are all touch-sensitive, so not conventional buttons. But the ergonomics are as good as you’d expect from a Golf.
While rivals are still struggling with the quality of their plastics, the Germans have even put a Porsche-like gear shift toggle. Based on all that, it’s clear that in Europe the Golf will remain the most popular car despite the rise of crossovers.