Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Golf review - Interior & comfort

The Innovision Cockpit represents the biggest step forward for the eighth-gen Golf

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

​If you're disappointed by Volkswagen's subtle exterior styling, the Golf's new interior could help win you around. VW had to respond to the rapid shift in interior design from analogue to digital, as witnessed in models like the Mercedes A-Class, and the result is more modern and interesting.

The Golf also backs up its credentials with a smooth ride, that just edged the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra when we drove them back-to-back.

Infotainment and navigation

While it was certainly upmarket, the previous Golf's dashboard was rather sober. The Mk8 remedies that with a sleek design that's more attractive and swaps physical buttons for touch-sensitive ones. Like the A-Class, there's a digital display for the dials (10 inches here) and another for the infotainment system (10.25-inches) called Innovision Cockpit that flows together almost seamlessly. It's just a shame the surrounding piano-black plastic looks like it will attract smears and dust.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Surprisingly, though, there appear to have been some cutbacks. The Golf has long reigned supreme in the mainstream hatchback class for interior quality, but the plastic across the dash feels a bit cheap, the rear doors forgo the soft-touch pad found in the front and when you open the bonnet, the old gas struts have been replaced by a manual stick to prop it up.

Equipment

The new technology isn’t entirely positive because the Golf's simple menus have been replaced by a new interface that's more fiddly to use. Touch-sensitive controls aren't as easy to interact with, especially while driving, and this appears to be evidenced by poor scores in our 2022 Driver Power survey – and a failure to appear in 2023’s rankings. The temperature and volume controls are operated using a touch-sensitive panel, but it’s just in the spot where you’d anchor your wrist to make using the touchscreen easier. The systems in both the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra are far simpler to use.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

There's some relief using "Hello Volkswagen" voice commands, which can control most features without needing to lift a finger from the steering wheel. Connectivity is excellent, with everything from Alexa integration to Car2X traffic and hazard data sharing, along with wireless Apple CarPlay.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Golf now uses the same trim levels in the UK as it does in continental Europe. Trims starting with Life and Style replace SE and SE L respectively. R-Line, GTE and performance badges (GTD, GTI, GTI TCR and R) will stay the same as they were previously. Meanwhile, a Black Edition arrived to slot in between R-Line and GTE in September 2023.

In Life trim, the Golf has standard-fit automatic LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, 16-inch alloy wheels, and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors. VW’s 10.25-inch touchscreen, which includes music streaming and internet access is also included. Driver assistance safety tech includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assistance and dynamic road sign display

Stepping up to Style trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels and upgraded LED headlights. Interior upgrades include additional ambient interior lighting colours, three-zone air conditioning and darkened metal interior trim.

The R-Line model adds more aggressive exterior styling with tweaked front and rear bumpers. It also gets front sports seats, grey-painted 17-inch alloy wheels and rear privacy glass. Adding around £2,900 of additional kit, but costing £1,500 more than R-Line, the Black Edition trim includes a Winter Pack, rear-view camera and unique 18-inch black alloy wheels. A Black Style Pack also introduces an LED lightbar across its nose, black mirror housings and illuminated door handles.

Options

Optional kit for the Mk8 Golf includes additional paint colours and the firm’s Dynamic Chassis Control with selectable driving modes that can sharpen up the steering and suspension. New technology includes a head-up display that projects information onto the lower part of the windscreen, along with more options to stay connected while in the car.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,995

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,995

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 333 R 20 Years 4Motion 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,195

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Volkswagen Golf review – almost perfect, but less intuitive
Volkswagen Golf Black Edition front 3/4 tracking
In-depth reviews
26 Mar 2024

Volkswagen Golf review – almost perfect, but less intuitive

Top 9 most economical cars 2024
Most economical cars
Best cars
13 Mar 2024

Top 9 most economical cars 2024

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
17 May 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
17 May 2024

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?

New Kia EV6: bigger battery, new styling and fingerprint recognition for 2024
Kia EV6 facelift front quarter
News
14 May 2024

New Kia EV6: bigger battery, new styling and fingerprint recognition for 2024

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024