NEW 2020 VW Golf revealed – and the cars it has to beat! | What Car?

Here it is. The new Volkswagen Golf.
One of the most consistently popular cars around since its launch back in 1974.
We’ve seen the car in the metal, and sat in it, and in this video we’re going to
tell you everything you need to know. Before we start make sure you’re
subscribed to our channel, and if you want to get a great deal and save more
than £2000 on the outgoing Volkswagen Golf, then head over to… Well the styling might not seem that new to you, when a car with
such a long history has been so popular for so long, it’s always a dangerous move
to stray too far from the winning formula. So you can see the new Golf
undeniably looks like a Golf. On the outside the new car has sharper creases,
and a slightly lower roofline than its predecessor,
along with noticeably slimmer headlights. But it’s still instantly recognisable as
a Golf. Even if you’re not standing at the back where the models’ name is now
spelt out across the tailgate. You may also notice a very slightly
different VW logo as well. The new Golf will actually be the second model to
wear Volkswagens subtly modernised logo, after the facelifted Up city car. It’s a
similar story under the skin where Volkswagen has mostly opted to develop
the existing mechanicals rather than start from scratch. The engineers
involved say considerable time was spent on the steering in an effort to provide
greater responsiveness, and feedback, but the biggest news is that the petrol
models are now available with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that means: energy
that would normally be lost under braking is captured, sent to be
stored in a battery, it’s then redeployed to improve performance and efficiency by
aiding the engine when you pull away, and letting it switch off altogether when
you’re coasting. The range will include a one-litre turbo petrol that produces 109
brake horsepower, as well as a 129bhp, and a 148 brake horsepower
1.5-litre turbo. All three are available with or without the mild hybrid tech.
If you do go for one with the 48-volt system, the six-speed manual gearbox is
replaced by a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic because this further aids
efficiency. But those who do lots of miles might also want to consider the
114 brake horsepower and 148 brake horsepower diesels.
Volkswagen predicts a decrease of around 10 grams per kilometre in CO2 emissions
from today’s 2-litre engine. However the cleanest and most frugal of them all – well at
least if you charge it regularly and do mostly short trips – will be the GTE
plug-in hybrid, which has an electric motor as well as a 1.4-litre engine, and
should therefore be able to travel for around 35 miles before it needs to burn
any petrol. Initially the GTE will be the most powerful Mk8 Golf too.
With its combined output of 241 brake horsepower matching the figure of
today’s GTI Performance hot hatch. A new GTI with closer to 300 brake horsepower
will follow before the end of 2020, with a four-wheel drive R in 2021.
There are even plans for a 400 brake horsepower R Plus to rival the Audi RS3 and
Mercedes AMG A45S in the £45,000 plus bracket.
But no matter how sporty you go, you won’t be able to specify three doors.
Like most manufacturers, Volkswagen is ditching this slow selling body style
and concentrating on the five-door hatchback and estate variants. So far
we’ve only sat in the hatchback which has a similar amount of space to its
predecessor, meaning four six-footers we’ll be perfectly comfortable, and a
fifth can squeeze in when necessary. And while luggage capacity is still to
be confirmed, the boot is clearly well shaped, it has a height adjustable boot
floor, and the 60/40 split rear seats fold pretty much flat too. What’s more we
know for sure that oddment storage has been improved – thanks to phone size
pockets high up on the front seatbacks, and a net in the front passenger’s foot
well. These complement the usual array of cubbies, but the major change is to the
interior design. At first glance a giant digital display appears to stretch all
the way from behind the steering wheel to the centre of the dashboard. Even
though in reality, it’s two separate screens. One for instrumentation and the
other for infotainment functions, with both featuring layouts that are quick
and easy to customise. There are some areas where Volkswagens’ desire for a
minimalist look has trumped ease of use though. Most notably that’s in the decision to
replace almost all conventional buttons and control dials with touch
sensitive panels, that you can’t reliably operate without looking away from the
road. What’s more the materials still don’t feel as plush as those in the Audi
A3 Sportback which is now 7 years old! Still there’s no denying that the
interior feels much more modern than what went before, and ease-of-use is
helped by logical on-screen menus with large icons, and a voice control system
that recognises natural speech – instead of making you remember specific commands.
“But Doug!” – you’re saying, “that’s something the BMW 1 Series,
and Mercedes-Benz A-class can already do as well!” – Well that’s true
but the Golf is the first model sold in Europe to have Car2X. It’s a system that
allows it to exchange information with other vehicles and traffic
infrastructure fitted with the technology. The aim is to cut the number
of accidents by alerting drivers to a wide range of hazards within an eight
hundred meter radius, that includes broken down vehicles, traffic jams,
roadworks, and even other cars braking heavily. In such circumstances,
Car2X can trigger the Golf’s brake lights before you even press the pedal,
so as to give cars behind more time to react and stop. You also receive
information about the distance and direction of approaching ambulances, fire
engines, and police cars, to reduce the risk of accidents caused by them running
red lights. Separately, automatic emergency braking (AEB) is fitted to intervene
if it looks like you’re going to collide with a pedestrian, cyclist, or another
vehicle, when negotiating busy city streets. And for the first time in a
Volkswagen, there’s a system that can stop you from turning into the path of
another vehicle when exiting junctions. So the eighth generation Golf is
anything but a nostalgic throwback. Will it head straight to the top of the
family car class? We’ll have to drive it first, and make sure you subscribe to our
channel to be the first to see our review of the Golf when we do get a
chance to get behind the wheel. It’s not going to be an easy task for it to be
named the Best Family Car though, these are the rivals it has to beat.
Sure the low-speed ride is firm, but the 1 Series feels just as well built as the Golf
inside, and handles well, so it’s certainly worthy of your
consideration in this class. Roomy in the back, truly entertaining to drive,
while offering a ride that is surprisingly supple. It’s just a shame that the Focus’s
interior feels so cheap. This certainly has more ‘wow factor’ than the
Golf, and every other rival inside. It strikes a fine balance between comfort
and control on the road, it’s not the quietest though.
The most practical vehicle in the family car class by a mile. Plus it’s well equipped, and most
versions are cheap to buy and run. But it is due to be replaced next year…
So, that’s everything you need to know about The new Golf! If you want to get a
brilliant deal on the current Golf or any other new car go to, and
if you’ve enjoyed this video, give it a like, if you’ve got any questions about
the car comment below, and make sure you’re subscribed because we have loads
of videos coming out every week. [Music]

About the Author: Michael Flood

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