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This Golf GTI is Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Car of the Century’ – and it’s for sale

Most original Golf GTI for sale

One of the best-preserved and most original Volkswagen Golf GTIs is for sale. This 1979 right-hand-drive Mk1 has covered just 17,000 miles from new, and could be yours for between £31,000 and £42,000.

The rare four-speed example is available through online auction platform The Market, with the sale taking place between March 19 and March 25.

On top of being in near-immaculate condition, this Golf also has a claim to fame. Appearing in a number of magazines, it’s also one of the cars featured on the BBC’s The Car’s The Star’ TV show, with this particular episode broadcast in May 1995.

It also featured on Clarkson’s Car Years in June 2000. On the programme, presenter Jeremy Clarkson declared the Golf GTI the “car of the century”. 

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If none of that sells it to you, perhaps the inclusion of its very own bespoke Corgi scale model will. Along with all the service history and documentation you could ever want.

Four-speed cars were sold for just three months in the UK in late 1979, before the five-speed manual gearbox was introduced. This very basic car also goes without a sunroof, rear fog lamp, radio, aerial or passenger door mirror.

The car was restored in 2015 by Mk1 GTI specialist Crazy Quiffs, at a total cost of more than £7,000. The underside was stripped and restored, with key components replaced. The engine was cleaned, while the gearbox was rebuilt and the clutch assembly was renewed. 

Most original Golf GTI for sale

“This is possibly the last opportunity that any of us will ever have to own what is still an essentially brand-new, unrestored, reference quality Golf GTI Mk1 – and not just any GTI, but the very purist, earliest model of the car that blazed a trail for everything that came thereafter,” said Tristan Judge, director of The Market.

“This is a true collector’s car and a genuinely unrepeatable opportunity. It is also road-ready. We believe this amazing Golf GTI will be hard fought over when the auction takes place, potentially providing the opportunity to set a new record price for the model.”

Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI, Golf GTE and Golf GTD compared

Volkswagen Golf GTD GTI GTE

The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been revealed in eighth generation form – along with two siblings, the hybrid Golf GTE and diesel Golf GTD.

In revealing all three at once, Volkswagen aims to future-proof the hot Golf line from launch. Customers can choose which flavour of fuel best suits their performance Golf. So what is the choice on offer?

ALSO SEE: Volkswagen Golf GTI history in pictures

Visually, the three hot Golfs are closer than ever. The GTI, GTE and GTD badges all share the same typeface, and are all in the same place. It’s the colour ID that differs: red for GTI…

Volkswagen Golf GTI

… blue for GTE…

Volkswagen Golf GTE

… and silver-grey for GTD.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

This carries across to the tartan seat trim (officially called Scalepaper) inside. Here’s the GTI…

Volkswagen Golf GTI

… the GTE…

Volkswagen Golf GTE

… and the GTD.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

Golf GTI, GTE and GTD: engines and performance

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The new Golf GTI has a 245hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. It has a six-speed manual as standard, or a seven-speed DSG auto as an option.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

The new Golf GTE shares the same 245hp output as the GTI, but it’s produced in a different way – from a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine serving up 150hp, combined with an 85 kW electric motor.

With the help of a new lithium-ion battery, maximum pulling power (or torque) actually exceeds the Golf GTI, and it can be driven at speeds of up to 82mph in pure electric mode.

A seven-speed DSG gearbox is standard.

The electric range is around 37 miles before it needs to be plugged in and recharged. And if the batteries have enough charge, the Golf GTE will always start out as a zero-emissions pure electric vehicle.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

The Golf GTD has a 2.0-litre turbodiesel that produces 200hp, and the same amount of pulling power as the Golf GTE.

Like the hybrid GTE, it too only comes with a seven-speed DSG – so the only hot Golf available with a manual gearbox is the regular GTI.

And diesel-haters, worry not: the new Golf GTD has ‘twin dosing’ selective catalytic reduction, with dual AdBlue injection. This ‘greatly reduces’ NOx emissions even compared with its predecessor.

Golf GTI, GTE and GTD: equipment

As standard for each hot new Golf are 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch and 19-inch versions are optional), a custom front end, rear diffuser and spoiler, bespoke exhaust tailpipes and red brake calipers.

The GTI and GTD have sportier, 15mm lower suspension. So they visually sit a bit closer to the ground… 

Volkswagen Golf GTD

… than the Golf GTE. 

Volkswagen Golf GTE

All three have a front axle differential lock, plus a sound actuator for a more purposeful engine soundtrack inside.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

They all have the fully digital cockpit of all new Volkswagen Golf 8 models, colour-keyed respectively – red, blue or silver.

Detail differences

They’re not fully identical. The Golf GTI and GTD have logos on the front wings.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

They’re missing on the GTE – instead, it has a filler flap on the passenger side, to charge the battery.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Exhaust tailpipes also mark the differences at a glance. The GTI has dual exhausts – one left, one right.

The GTD has a double tailpipe on the right…

Volkswagen Golf GTD

… and the GTE has no visible tailpipes at all.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

It’s the colour bar in the front grille may become the biggest at-a-glance differentiator: red for the GTI, blue for GTE, silver for GTD.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

This colour key is highlighted by the LED daytime running light strip in the headlights when the car is running.

Oh, and the radiator grille itself can optionally be illuminated too: surely a must-have option for new Golf GTI, GTE and GTD owners?

Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI revealed: the history of a hot hatch

Volkswagen has revealed the new Golf GTI. It’s the eighth generation in a long line of hot hatchbacks, going back to the genre-defining Mk1 of 1975.

Celebrated though it is, the GTI’s history is a patchy one, with nearly as many misses as hits. Will the new car be the former or the latter? We’ll find out when we drive it.

For now, let’s look back at the tyre tracks it follows in – but not before getting the headline facts on the Mk8.

Gr8 eight

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

So, the eagerly-awaited Mk8 Golf GTI. What does it bring to the table? Well, underneath it’s not all that different to the previous car. It still runs on a version of the MQB platform and it still uses the ‘EA888’ TFSI engine. It’s mainly on the outside that things have changed. New for the GTI is a full-width light bar at the front, as well as optional honeycomb fog light clusters.

Tower of power

 

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Power out of the box is 245hp, with 273lb ft of torque, although we already know this engine is good for upwards of 300hp. Expect more from a future GTI TCR variant, and possibly an Edition 45 special edition next year. A six-speed manual is standard, with the seven-speed DSG automatic optional.

Tartan treat

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Inside, it’s business as usual for GTI fans. Tartan and a golf ball gearknob join the high-tech new Golf cabin. Tech fans will enjoy the 10.25-inch digital dashboard, plus a 10-inch Discover Pro infotainment system.

Meet the ancestors

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Since the original’s arrival in 1976, the Golf GTI has cemented its reputation as the definitive hot hatchback. Now, let’s look back over the GTI’s 44 years and seven previous generations, to the genesis of the car that defined the breed.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Flying in the face of convention, the Mk1 Golf was launched after the Mk1 Scirocco, with Volkswagen keen to iron-out any potential issues before unleashing its car to conquer the world. It arrived in 1975 and would go on to become one of, if not the greatest, car of the 1970s. It also spawned a proper game-changer…

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Creating a high-performance version of an otherwise humdrum vehicle was nothing new. Witness the likes of the Ford Lotus Cortina and hot versions of the Mk1 Escort. But in the mid-1970s, the hatchback was still a relatively new development, with motorists clinging on to their more conservative saloons and estate cars. What the hatchback needed was a halo product – something like the Mk1 Golf GTI…

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

It arrived in 1976, but its appearance wasn’t guaranteed. Volkswagen wasn’t planning a performance car and, even if it had, you’d have thought the achingly-beautiful Scirocco would have been the low-hanging fruit. So it was left to a small team of engineers to develop a ‘Sport Golf’ in their spare time.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Once the concept was presented to the Volkswagen board, common sense prevailed and the ‘Sport Golf’ was given the go-ahead, with production limited to 5,000 units. The Sport name was dropped, in case the car was a flop, which would have left Volkswagen with egg on its face. Instead, the GTI badge was adopted and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Volkswagen dealers were inundated with orders and requests for test drives, meaning the plan to build a mere 5,000 units was quickly forgotten. Indeed, VW was soon receiving around 5,000 orders… a month! Volkswagen used an off-the-shelf 1.6-litre engine with Bosch fuel injection (the ‘I’ in ‘GTI’). The car was basic, but it was fun. And it also helped that the Mk1 Golf was such a well-engineered car.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

A legend was born. The rise of the hot hatch, with the Mk1 Golf GTI as its ringleader, led to the death of cars such as the MGB and Triumph Spitfire, eventually seeing off the likes of the Ford Capri and Opel Manta. It became the original classless car – as at home on the King’s Road as it was on a B-road.

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Production continued until 1983, by which time the 1.6-litre engine had been replaced by a marginally more powerful 1.8-litre unit, with the new car marked out by its quad headlights. Amazing to think that Britain’s motorists had to wait until 1979 to get their hands on a right-hand-drive Golf GTI. Naturally, it was worth the wait.

Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Talk about a tough act to follow. The original Mk1 Golf GTI had caught the world off-guard, meaning the industry was still playing catch-up by the time the Mk2 Golf GTI arrived in 1983. This was a softer approach, but the Mk2 benefited from improved engineering and a more grown-up feel.

Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

The Mk2 Golf was heavier than the Mk1, with the three-door GTI tipping the scales at 920kg, compared to the 840kg of the original. But it was bigger inside and therefore more practical, helping it to win over a legion of new fans. British motorists in particular took the second coming of the Golf GTI to their hearts, which at one point accounted for around 25% of all Golf sales.

Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTI 16v

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But not everybody welcomed the new, softer, larger Golf GTI. Some felt it had lost some of its focus, some of the unhinged madness of the Mk1. Many of these criticisms were answered in 1986, when Volkswagen launched the Golf GTI 16v. With a huge increase in power, the Golf felt more alive, especially at the higher reaches of the rev counter.

Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTI – 8v or 16v

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

That said, some Golf GTI owners claimed the 16v lacked the mid-range pull and ride comfort of the 8v, leading to many healthy debates at the trendy wine bars of 80s Britain. Not that any of this mattered, because the Golf GTI was the car of choice for the yuppies and stockbrokers of London. It was the car to be seen in.

Acceptable in the 80s

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

By the end of the 1980s, the Golf GTI had been joined by an increasing number of rivals, most notably the Peugeot 205 GTI, Ford Escort XR3i and Vauxhall Astra GTE. The Golf may not have been the best or the fastest, but it remained the most sought-after. Available in three- or five-door guise, it was the ultimate classless car.

Joyriding and car crime

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But by the early 90s, the GTI badge had lost some of its lustre. Faced with joyriding, car crime and spiralling insurance costs, the GTI name was being dropped by carmakers, but Volkswagen stood firm. Indeed, it was one of just a handful of GTIs able to ride the storm.

Volkswagen Golf G60

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

In Germany, Volkswagen launched a supercharged G60 version, developing 160hp. This output wouldn’t be bettered in a Golf GTI until 2002. Whilst not officially available in the UK, we were able to get our hands on a limited number of Golf Rallyes. This supercharged and wide-arch special was built for homologation purposes.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Bigger, safer, slower, more? No, not the debut album of 4 Non Blondes, but an adequate description of the Mk3 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Introduced in 1992 – a year after the standard Mk3 Golf – the third generation GTI was powered by a new 2.0-litre 8v engine. But 115hp was nowhere near enough to deliver the performance demanded by the fabled Golf GTI badge…

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Part of the problem was that the Mk3 Golf was developing a bit of a weight problem. Faced with ever-stringent crash test and emissions legislation, the Golf GTI had piled on the pounds during middle age. The Mk3 Golf GTI 8v is considered to be the least exciting Golf GTi, almost unfit to wear the badge.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf GTI 16v

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

The Golf GTI 16v of 1993 improved matters, with power increased to 150hp and torque at a more substantial 133lb ft. The 0-60mph time dropped to 8.3 seconds, while top speed rose to a more autobahn friendly 133mph.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf VR6

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But this wasn’t the best Mk3 Golf, because this accolade was reserved for the Golf VR6. Oh sure, the VR6 was far removed from the Golf GTI recipe, majoring on luxury and lazy performance, rather than B-road thrills, but it was able to take the fight to BMW and more upmarket rivals.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf VR6

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

This flagship Golf was a rare beacon of light at the top of a range that had received its fair share of criticism. Powered by a silky-smooth 2.8-litre V6 engine, the Golf VR6 featured electric windows, sunroof, leather-trimmed steering wheel and rode on 15-inch BBS alloy wheels. It also sat 20mm lower than the standard Golf, with leather and air conditioning available as options.

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf GTI Anniversary

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Perhaps the greatest Mk3 Golf GTI is the Anniversary model, of which 1,000 units were built. Produced to mark 20 years of the Golf GTI, the Anniversary featured chequered Recaro seats, red seatbelts, half-chrome/half-leather gearknob and red-stitching for the steering wheel and gear gaiter. The exterior was enhanced by red stripes and red brake calipers.

Mk4 Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

The Mk4 Volkswagen Golf was the result of Ferdinand Piëch’s desire the push the family hatchback further upmarket. Launched in 1997, we already had some idea what the new Golf would be like, because its platform had premiered in the Audi A3 of 1996. Indeed, the Golf was living in different times, with the Skoda Octavia and SEAT Leon set to ‘borrow’ the Golf’s platform.

Mk4 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

This was the first Golf GTI to be turbocharged, powered, as it was, by Volkswagen’s ubiquitous 1.8T engine. But thanks to changing market forces, the Golf GTI now faced an enemy from within, in the form of the first diesel-engined GTI.

Mk4 Volkswagen Golf GTI 25th Anniversary

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

The most desirable Mk4 Golf GTI is arguably the 25th Anniversary edition, available in Reflex Silver. Features included BBS RC alloy wheels, red and black Recaro seats, factory body kit, larger brakes and lowered suspension. At the time, this 180hp Golf GTI was the most powerful and fast accelerating GTI produced to date.

Mk4 Volkswagen Golf R32

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But in common with the Mk3 Golf, the most desirable Mk4 Golf didn’t wear a GTI badge. The R32 was the first Golf to wear the R badge and it was first seen at the 2001 Essen Motor Show. Volkswagen had planned to use the RSI badge for its high-performance models, but stuck with the ‘R plus engine capacity’ formula. Hence, the Golf R32.

Mk4 Volkswagen Golf R32

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

It was powered by a 3.2-litre version of the narrow-angle V6 engine, used in the Phaeton and Touareg. Thanks to Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel drive system, the R32 was kept on the straight and narrow, with a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds and top speed of 153mph amongst the headlines. All well and good, but was the GTI badge being put out to pasture?

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Not a bit of it. The Mk5 Volkswagen Golf of 2003 represented a return to form, not just for the GTI, but for the Golf overall. Volkswagen was keen to inject some renewed driving satisfaction into the new Golf, a direct response to the cheaper and more rewarding Ford Focus.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Launched at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the Mk5 Golf GTI was extremely well received, with many lauding it as the greatest Golf GTI since the Mk1. Its new 2.0-litre TFSI engine developed 200hp, making it the most powerful Golf GTI to date. Crucially, it was also a dynamic gem.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

The engine was mated to a six-speed gearbox and standard ESP, which were linked to a chassis equipped with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link configuration (a la Ford Focus) at the rear. It also sat 15mm lower than the standard Golf, with new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. This was the real deal.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Paying homage to the original Golf GTI, the Mk5 heralded the return of the tartan interior and red surround to the grille. Even the GTI typeface echoed that of the original. It was as though Volkswagen acknowledged it had dropped the ball. Tipping the hat in such a way could have been seen as mere window dressing, had the Golf GTI failed to deliver. Fortunately, it did anything but fail.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli and Edition 30

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Special editions soon followed, including the Pirelli and Edition 30 (pictured), both of which were powered by the 2.0-litre TFSI engine, but this time developing 230hp.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI W12-650

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But the wildest Golf GTI has to be 2007’s GTI W12-650, which featured a mid-mounted 6.0-litre engine developing 650hp It could accelerate to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, before going on to a theoretical top speed of 201mph.

Mk6 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

By the time the Mk5 Golf GTI made way for the MK6 in 2009, the hot hatch sector had evolved into a formidable battleground. While the Golf GTI was still the best all-rounder, the likes of the Focus RS, Civic Type R and Megane R26.R had left it in the shade. Time for a change?

Mk6 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Perhaps not. For Volkswagen, being the best all-round hot hatch is where it’s at. A GTI for all people, all scenarios, for all seasons. So the Mk6 was little more than a refresh – a new lick of paint here, some extra horses there. It also benefited from a new XDS electronic diff and nicer interior. Evolution, not revolution.

Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Noble though the Mk6’s intention was to remain the sensible all-rounder, it left many feeling cold. The Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI came to deliver excitement, as well as dependability. Whilst looking remarkably similar to the Mk6, the MK7 was based on the MQB platform, making it an all-new Golf GTI. It was also larger, with more power squeezed from its 2.0-litre TFSI engine. You could also specify an optional performance pack, which puffed up the power to over 220hp, and added a clever differential.

Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI, Volkswagen launched a new Clubsport special edition. Boasting 265hp as standard, the Clubsport featured an overboost function, which upped the power to 290hp during hard acceleration in third gear and above.

Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

But unlike the 300hp Golf R, the Clubsport’s power was channelled through the front wheels, in true GTI fashion. Prices started from £30,875 for the three-door version, increasing to £32,290 when fitted with the DSG automatic transmission.

Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

In common with the Mk3 and Mk4, not every sporty Mk7 Golf wore a GTI badge. Many would point to the 300hp Golf R as the default choice: the epitome of a new breed of mega-horsepower hot hatches.

Mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport S

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

Talented though the Mk7 R was – and a world away from the Mk6 R – it wasn’t the ultimate incarnation of the Mk7. The GTI Clubsport S ditched the rear seats, added buckets in the front, reduced weight by 30kg and eked out 310hp from its EA888 engine. Add Michelin Cup 2 tyres and it transformed the family man who keeps fit at the gym to a bona fide power lifter.

Ring king

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

At the time of its release, the Clubsport S took the Nurburgring front-wheel-drive lap record, posting a time of seven minutes and 49 seconds. Just 400 Clubsport S models were made, making it one of the rarest and most special Golfs ever.

Mk7.5 GTI and R

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

A facelift in 2017 added sharper lighting and, on the inside, a digital instrument cluster and improved infotainment. The R could now be optioned with a parpy Akrapovic exhaust and a bit more power. New WLTP fuel economy rules in 2018 neutered the R a little, making the R facelift with the full 310hp wallop a rare beast.

Mk7.5 TCR

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

A new nameplate for the GTI was ‘TCR’, basking in the limelight of the race series. It was the car to send off the Mk7 GTI. While not quite as hardcore as the Clubsport S, it delivered 90 percent of that car’s X-factor for GTI buyers. Some don’t like the decals, but they’re an option.

2020 Mk8 Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI history

So, here we are in 2020 with a new GTI. Will it win us over the way its predecessor did? They’re big shoes to fill, but being made of the same stuff, fundamentally on the same platform, we have high hopes for it. We wonder if Volkswagen is cooking up something special for next year, when the Golf GTI turns 45…

New Volkswagen Golf 8 to cost from £23,875

New Volkswagen Golf 8 prices start from £23,875

New Volkswagen Golf 8 to cost from £23,875

Ordering is now open for the new Volkswagen Golf 8 with prices starting from £23,875.

The initial launch line-up comprises just two trim variants, Life and Style. R-Line will follow later, as will sporty GTI, GTD, GTE and R versions, and an estate variant.

New Volkswagen Golf 8 revealed: progressive revolution

Engines are capped to four at launch: two petrols, two diesels. Actually, make it one diesel and one petrol, in two power outputs:

  • 1.5 TSI 130
  • 1.5 TSI 150
  • 2.0 TDI 115
  • 2.0 TDI 150

Petrols are initially only offered with a six-speed manual, like the 2.0 TDI 115. The 2.0 TDI 150 only comes with a seven-speed DSG automatic.

Further engine choices on the horizon include a 1.0-litre TSI plus 1.0 eTSI and 1.5 eTSI 48V mild hybrids.

New VW Golf 8: equipment and options

Volkswagen Golf 8 interior

Standard Life trim is expected to be most popular in the UK. As standard, it has 16-inch alloys, automatic LED headlights, all-round parking sensors, auto wipers and 10-colour ambient interior lighting.

Keyless start is included: this can be upgraded to keyless entry for £400.

Inside, all new Golfs have a fully digital cockpit, comprising a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and 10-inch central touchscreen. Discover Pro Navigation is standard.

Volkswagen is the first mainstream brand to include Car2X technology. This allows Golf 8 to communicate with one another – so one Golf can ‘tell’ cars behind about hazards, stationary traffic and other incidents.

Also included is wireless app connect, for wire-free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (a wireless smartphone charger is included). A three-year subscription to Volkswagen’s We Connect Plus service is standard.

Volkswagen Golf 8 on the road

Given this bounty of equipment, what do you get on the Style? Bigger 17-inch alloys, LED ‘plus’ headlights, sports comfort seats and wood inserts on the dashboard.

Three-zone climate control is added, and there’s a further optional upgrade for the headlights, to the VW IQ.Light matrix system, costing £875.

Other options include Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping, for £950, and a head-up display for £625.

New Volkswagen Golf 8: 2020 prices

Life

1.5 TSI 130: £23,875

1.5 TSI 150: £24,475

2.0 TDI 115: £24,875

Style

1.5 TSI 130: £25,470

1.5 TSI 150: £26,090

2.0 TDI 115: £26,470

2.0 TDI 150 DSG: £29,170

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 review: power to the people

VW Golf GTI Mk1

In 1975, Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik patented a new type of puzzle. Within three years of reaching the shops, his Rubik’s Cube had sold 200 million. At the same time, another surprise success was brewing in Germany. A team of Volkswagen engineers had been working weekends on an unofficial project called ‘Sport Golf’. After some arm-twisting, managers sanctioned a run of 5,000 cars to homologate the Golf for racing. But the new model – swiftly renamed Golf GTI – was such a hit with press and public alike, production was immediately ramped up from 50 to 500 cars a day. One of motoring’s few true icons had arrived.

The Rubik’s Cube and the Golf GTI are both simple concepts. The Cube is three layers of coloured plastic, yet it has 42 quintillion possible permutations. The GTI was merely a Golf with a 110hp 1.6-litre engine from the Audi 80 GTE, stiffer suspension, cosmetic tweaks and (slightly) better brakes. Yet it was brilliant to drive, without sacrificing practicality or reliability. It captured the zeitgeist and defined a wholly new type of car: the hot hatchback.

Read more Motoring Research reviews FIRST on City AM

Today, that basic formula has hardly changed. The seventh generation Golf GTI has just been phased out (soon to be replaced by the Mk8, while the original has graduated to bona fide classic status. The car pictured here, owned by GTI enthusiast James Bullen, won the ‘Made in Germany’ class at the prestigious London Concours last summer, seeing off a BMW M1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 and Porsche 930 Turbo LE. Exalted company indeed.

VW Golf GTI Mk1

This isn’t just any Mk1 GTI, though. One of 1,000 Campaign editions built to round-off production of Das Original, it boasts a punchier 112hp 1.8 engine, 14-inch Pirelli ‘P-slot’ alloys (with Pirelli tyres), a twin-headlamp grille, green-tinted glass and a leather steering wheel. It’s also in breathtaking, better-than-new condition. The first owner paid £6,949 in 1983, but a GTI of this calibre could cost £30,000 now. To think I once bought one for £800…

Those memories of my much-loved Mk1 soon come flooding back. Giugiaro’s ‘folded paper’ styling still looks fresh, while that red go-faster stripe – endlessly imitated – hints at excitement to come. Inside, it’s less evocative: upright, functional and slightly austere. Still, a dimpled golf-ball gear knob lightens the mood, and there’s no faulting the textbook Teutonic build quality. The unassisted steering feels heavy and the Golf’s five-speed ’box is obstinate when cold, but it immediately feels peppy and well-suited to city streets. At 3,725mm long and 1,625 wide, it’s actually smaller than a current VW Polo.

VW Golf GTI Mk1

On open roads, the featherweight 840kg Mk1 is plenty fast enough to be fun. Its fuel-injected engine punches confidently out of corners, revving beyond 6,000rpm with real verve, while a fluid, forgiving chassis helps you maintain momentum, despite the modest grip. Push hard and you can lift an inside rear wheel, or even provoke a slide, yet it never feels edgy or unpredictable like the equally iconic Peugeot 205 GTI. Then as now, Volkswagen has always played it safe.

Driven: the cars that shaped Volkswagen’s past – and future

As for the brakes – the Achilles’ heel of right-hand-drive Mk1s, due to a convoluted cross-linkage – they’re actually better than I remembered. Then again, my Golf GTI was hardly perfectly preserved like this one, and I too am erring on the side of caution. Much as I’ve relished driving James’s pride and joy, I’m quietly glad to hand it back unscathed.

Price: £8,000+

0-62mph: 8.2sec

Top speed: 114mph

Horsepower: 112

MPG combined: 36.7

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1: in pictures

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2020 Volkswagen Golf review: the benchmark is back

2020 Volkswagen Golf

Back in September, Volkswagen revealed its ID.3 electric car. The Beetle, we were told, was ID.1 – the original ‘people’s car’ and beating heart of the brand – while the subsequent Golf was ID.2. Now, as a new Golf is launched to the world, there’s a sense it’s already yesterday’s hero.

So it felt until I spent an hour with some VW engineers, at least. These guys, whose specialist subjects ranged from engines to autonomous driving tech, still take the Golf very seriously. And rightly so: since 1974, more than 35 million have been sold. Somebody, somewhere, buys a new Golf every 40 seconds.

The ID range and its ‘new, dynamic era in the world of e-mobility’ may be coming, but the Golf hasn’t stood still. Indeed, this is the most radical, forward-thinking version of Das Auto yet. Not that you realise it at first…

The Golf club2020 Volkswagen Golf

Arriving in Portugal, I see the Mk8 Golf lined up alongside all seven previous generations. It looks a chip off the old block. Details have changed, such as the swoopy LED headlights and spot-the-difference VW logo, but the confident creases, kinked C-pillar and hewn-from-solid silhouette are instantly familiar.

In fact, the Golf uses the same ‘MQB’ platform as the outgoing model, so its wheelbase is identical. Overall, it’s a modest 29mm longer, 10mm wider and 4mm taller. Interior space is claimed to be ‘practically unchanged’.

Like most mid-size hatchbacks, the Golf is now five-door only – the three-door had dwindled to just five percent of sales. An estate version arrives in 2020, but the MPV-shaped Golf SV won’t be replaced. The arrival of the genre-busting T-Roc Cabriolet makes a drop-top look unlikely, too.

So far, so uneventful. Still, you can hardly blame design boss Klaus Bischoff for playing safe with a best-seller. He describes the Golf “an indicator of the present” that helps “millions of people [with] feeling at home”. One can only assume his interior design team missed the memo.

Crazy Golf2020 Volkswagen Golf

Inside, the new Golf has more in common with the ID.3 than its Mk7 predecessor. Volkswagen calls it a ‘digitalised workplace’ – and while it’s brimful of showroom appeal, learning your way around does initially feel like work.

Front-and-centre is the new Innovision digital dashboard, which has few physical buttons. A 10-inch central screen is standard in the UK (other countries get an 8.25-inch version), flanked by touch-sensitive sliders for heating/cooling and audio volume. The process is rather like swiping the screen of a smartphone.

You can also use gesture control for some functions, such as waving your hand to move between menus. Plus there’s voice control with integrated Amazon Alexa: say “Hello Volkswagen” to call up a song from your playlist, turn up the heating or find a nearby petrol station.

Ambient lighting is another feature that has filtered down from loftier cars. Pick from 32 colours or choose one of five ‘moods’: Infinity, Eternity, Euphoria, Vitality and Desire. Don’t choose the latter for a first date.

Putters and drivers2020 Volkswagen Golf

If all this sounds like the result of too many macchiatos at a marketing meeting, be reassured to know the Golf’s engines are steadfastly sensible. At least until the full suite of performance models – GTI, GTI TCR, GTD, GTE and R – arrive later in 2020.

The line-up at launch comprises 1.5 TSI four-cylinder petrol (130hp or 150hp) and 2.0 TDI diesel (115hp or 150hp), with the 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder petrol (90hp or 110hp) following soon afterwards. A 48v eTSI mild-hybrid system, which recuperates braking energy to save fuel, is available on 100hp, 130hp and 150hp petrol engines, but only with the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Your other choice is a six-speed manual.

Details of the sportier versions are scarce, but we know the GTE plug-in hybrid will develop 245hp, a sizeable leap from 204hp in the Mk7. There won’t be a fully electric Mk8, as that box is ticked by the ID.3. However, Volkswagen has given the existing e-Golf a stay of execution until its new EV fully commences production.

As for trim levels, the structure now mirrors the German market, starting with ‘Golf’, then rising via Life and Style to top-spec R-Line. At the time of writing, UK equipment levels and prices had yet to be confirmed.

Time to tee off2020 Volkswagen Golf

My first instinct is to jump into the flawless Mk1 Golf and screech away in a cloud of hydrocarbons. However, I have a job to do, and the Mk8 awaits. Besides, it’s December and the new car has a proper heater. Heated steering wheel and seats, too.

I start in a 1.5 TSI petrol in Life trim with a manual ’box, predicted to be the best-selling version in the UK. As for the vivid Lime Yellow paint, that will be less common. More’s the pity.

As ever, the Golf feels impeccably well assembled – insert cliché about Germanic build quality here – although there are some plastics that wouldn’t pass muster in, say, a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The unlined glovebox, which causes loose items to rattle around, also smacks of penny-pinching.

The firmly padded seats, with an optional massage function, are very comfortable, and finding a good driving position is easy. The digital dials are also clear, augmented in some models by a head-up display (which projects essential driving data, such as your speed, onto the windscreen). Peering out over the plunging bonnet, I ease out the light clutch and I’m away.

Fore to the floor2020 Volkswagen Golf

The turbocharged 1.5-litre engine is no ball of fire, but it revs eagerly and propels the Golf to 62mph in 8.5 seconds and 139mph flat-out. Its Mk7 equivalent managed fuel economy of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km, so expect similar figures when the Mk8 undergoes official WLTP tests soon.

Where the TSI motor really impresses is refinement; it’s turbine-smooth, isolated to the point of being almost inaudible around town. At speed, this only serves to amplify wind roar from the chunky door mirrors, although the Golf remains an able and long-legged cruiser. Countless development miles on Germany’s autobahns have clearly paid off.

The manual gearbox feels well-oiled and easy to operate. It’s likely to be around £1,400 cheaper than the DSG auto upfront, and require less maintenance longer-term. However, that’s only a concern if you keep the car beyond its three-year UK warranty (also the usual term of a PCP finance deal).

Par for the course2020 Volkswagen Golf

The VW’s chassis is also geared towards easygoing comfort. Its steering, light and accurate, filters out the fingertip feedback some drivers will crave in favour of calm control. Its suspension also strikes a good balance between absorbing bumps and resisting roll.

On a series of mountain switchbacks near Porto, the car was genuine fun: its well-weighted controls and unruffled composure helping me chase down locals in careworn Renault Clios, many of whom treated the road like a rally stage.

There are some caveats, though. All the launch cars had multi-link rear suspension, while cheaper models make do with a simpler torsion beam (also true for the Focus). P;us all were fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which includes continuously variable dampers and four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual.

Switching to Sport isn’t transformative, but it does add extra heft to the steering and more zing to the throttle response. Granted, the Golf isn’t as lively or engaging as a Ford Focus, but wasn’t it ever thus? The essential rightness of the recipe bodes well for the GTI and R.

Into the rough2020 Volkswagen Golf

I then swap into a 150hp diesel with an automatic transmission, also in Lime Yellow. This 2.0-litre TDI offers markedly more torque – 266lb ft at 1,750rpm, versus 184lb ft at 1,500rpm in the 150hp petrol – which is immediately apparent on the road. The instant oomph, combined with seamless shifts from the DSG ’box, make for a compelling combination.

Preferable to the petrol? Well, the TDI is certainly more vocal, although its subtle snarl is a world away from clattering diesels of old. Inevitably, it will also be more expensive to buy – probably by around £1,200 if Mk7 prices are an accurate guide.

Nonetheless, for all the bad press about diesel (much of Volkswagen’s own making, of course), it’s certainly no poor relation. The 0.3 seconds it gives away from zero to 62mph is amply compensated for by mid-range muscle. Plus, what’s not to like about more miles per gallon?

Help or handicap?2020 Volkswagen Golf

As for the Innovision cockpit, I’m not fully convinced. One thing I’ve always loved about the Golf – and I speak as a serial owner, with Mk1, Mk2, Mk4 and Mk5 models under my belt – is its no-nonsense approach to ergonomics. For its core audience, middle-aged and middle-class, the minimalist design and deference to touch controls may not be perceived as progress.

The slider for audio volume is a case in point. I found it only worked with a firm push, and I’d end up checking the screen for confirmation – thus taking my eyes off the road. Admittedly, there is a volume switch on the steering wheel, but that’s missing the point: technology should make things simpler. The same goes for the voice controls, which were hit-and-miss at best.

Perhaps I’m just old-fashioned. There is also much useful tech here. The optional matrix LED headlights, for example, are fantastic, actively dimming sections of the high beam so you don’t dazzle oncoming traffic. The new Car2X wi-fi function is clever, too; it allows the car to communicate directly with others nearby (only other Golfs at present, but the EU-standard tech is being trialled by other brands) in order to warn drivers of approaching hazards.

Hole-in-one2020 Volkswagen Golf

Brands within the Volkswagen Group seem to be steadily moving upmarket. Thus Skoda becomes more like VW, while VW edges closer to Audi. Where Bugatti goes next is anyone’s guess.

Prise those redesigned roundels off the Golf and it could easily be an Audi A3. Its interior has the requisite wow-factor and the technology sets new standards for a ‘mainstream’ hatchback. Build quality and refinement also measure up to premium rivals. Let’s just hope the Golf’s price doesn’t.

Much has changed, then, but the Golf still feels like the benchmark in its class. Its broad appeal and breadth of abilities make it the default ‘people’s car’ – for 45 years and counting. Don’t write this Volkswagen out of history yet.

2020 Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI: specification2020 Volkswagen Golf

Price: TBC
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power: 130hp at 5,000rpm
Torque: 184lb ft at 1,500rpm
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Top speed: 139mph
Fuel economy: TBC
CO2: TBC
Length/width/height: 4,284/1,789/1,456mm
Boot size: 380-1,237 litres
On sale: February 2020

2020 Volkswagen Golf: in pictures

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Opinion: Is the Volkswagen Golf R the ‘new Cosworth’?

Volkswagen Golf R

Search for ‘Golf R stolen’ on Google News and you’ll be presented with some grim stories. These aren’t exactly tales of the unexpected – the hot Golf has been a target for many years – but it’s the rate at which the cars are being stolen that’s most alarming.

Many are stolen from driveways in the middle of the night, with owners becoming the latest victims of the keyless theft epidemic. Even more chilling is the fact that some thieves are breaking into homes to grab the keys.

What’s the appeal, aside from the fact that the Volkswagen Golf is worryingly simple to steal? Put simply, the Golf R blends in. Plus it’s a very easy car to drive fast, with plenty of power and four-wheel-drive traction.

For armed robberies, ram-raiding and drug trafficking, the Golf R is the perfect vehicle. To passers-by, it looks like an ordinary Golf, but it packs enough punch to outrun the police if the thieves are caught in the act. Stick a pair of fake number plates on a Golf R and the criminals can move about undetected for weeks.

Last night, Harry Metcalfe tweeted a list of stolen vehicles in the Cotswolds area. Of the 32 cars on the list, 11 are Volkswagen Golf R hatchbacks or estates. That’s a third.

Metcalfe asked if the Golf R is “the new Ford Sierra Cosworth when it comes to nickability”, which is a fair question.

Like the Golf R, the ‘Cossie’ was stolen in large numbers and became the ram-raiders vehicle of choice in the 80s and 90s. The Sierra RS Cosworth was still being used as a getaway vehicle as recently as 2003.

There was a time when the RS Cosworth was virtually uninsurable. Park one outside your house and there’d be a good chance it would be gone in the morning. Some owners were followed home, with the thieves returning in the dead of the night once they knew where the car was parked overnight.

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

It was a similar story for the Escort RS Cosworth. In common with the Sierra, its door locks were as useful as an umbrella in a blizzard, and many were stolen for some Roxette-inspired playtime. Jeremy Clarkson famously owned one and, although this might be an urban myth, I’m pretty sure he was quoted £20,000 to insure it.

What is true is the fact that he opened his front door one morning to find that somebody had half-inched the rear wing. Ford made the ‘Aero Pack‘ a delete option in 1993 – not that many owners chose to order their Cossie without the body furniture.

Few cars can boast a 20-page thread on Pistonheads entitled ‘Stolen Ford Cosworth stories’.

‘Secure your driveway’

Fast forward to 2019 and it’s easy to draw comparisons between the Cossies of the past and the Golf R of the present. Only last month, police in the North West advised Golf owners to review their home security. “Just to reiterate, we have seen a recent pattern of suspicious activity, attempt burglaries and burglaries at addresses with a Volkswagen Golf on the drive,“ the police said in a message.

“If you have a Golf, please review your home security, secure your driveway if possible. Check your CCTV and security lights work.“

Scary times if you’re a Volkswagen Golf R owner. Would you consider selling yours to buy something less likely to be stolen? Let us know in the comments section.

The new Golf for 2020

New Volkswagen Golf revealed for 2020: progressive revolution

The new Golf for 2020

Volkswagen has sold 35 million Golfs since the mid-1970s. It has now revealed the eighth-generation model that should take the total past the 40 million mark – and, unsurprisingly, it is still ‘unmistakably a Golf’. 

Externally, it’s evolution rather than revolution. But in terms of technology, VW actually IS promising to revolutionise the compact car sector, with a completely digital cabin, voice control, autonomous assist up to nearly 130mph plus a broad range of electrified powertrains. 

The new Golf for 2020

Set for a market launch from December (UK cars will arrive in early 2020), the new Golf’s design adds a bit of clean-cut character to the familiar profile. LED lights are distinctive and Volkswagen has been bolder in the sculpting of the car’s less-is-more lines. 

The new Golf for 2020

It’s roughly the same size as today’s car, but more aerodynamic, with a best-ever aerodynamic drag factor Cd of 0.275. 

The new Golf for 2020

The interior ‘Innovision Cockpit’ is the first fully-digital cockpit offered as standard in the family hatch sector. As the Golf is a regular top seller in the UK, this democratises tech previously reserved for high-end cars, says VW. 

The new Golf for 2020

A 10-inch central touchscreen is standard, with a further screen ahead of the driver, and an optional head-up display. They’re all fully connected, using an eSIM for online services and functions: it’s a technological leap comparable to the debut of the first smartphones, we’re told. 

But the humans who have to use this suite of technology have been considered from the outset: “Displays and controls have been consistently digitalised so their functions are self-explanatory.” The most high-tech family hatch, but also the easiest to use?

The new Golf for 2020

The range of cars will comprise S, SE, SEL and R-Line variants, with GTI, GTI TCR, GTD, GTE and R performance versions to follow.

Every new eighth-generation Golf will have, as standard, keyless start, climate control, lane assist (which will also assist when turning off highways), Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring and Car2X connectivity. 

The new Golf for 2020

Engines are up to 17 percent more economical. The core TDI and TSI range will be enhanced by eTSI motors, using 48V mild hybrid drive. The plug-in hybrid GTE will be boosted to 245hp: the full range will stretch from 90hp to over 300hp. 

Entry-level petrol engines are three-cylinder TSI engines, producing 90hp and 110hp. Diesels are four-cylinder, either 115hp or 150hp. The TDI diesels use ‘twin-dosing’ AdBlue injection, to quell NOx emissions. 

Mild hybrid eTSI motors stretch from 110hp, to 130hp, to 150hp: Volkswagen UK will confirm later which ones we’re getting. The eHybrid GTE plug-in has a 13kWh battery that “temporarily turns the Golf into a zero-emission vehicle”. 

The new Golf for 2020

Other tech goodies include built-in Amazon Alexa, optional Harman Kardon premium sound and the VW We Connect Plus ‘always on’ connection hub. This will be free for three years on UK cars, and include: 

  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Vehicle status
  • Online anti-theft alarm
  • Online auxiliary heater
  • Online traffic and route planning
  • Online voice control
  • Internet radio

It even has functionality built in to allow delivery companies to unlock the boot and drop off parcels – called, unsurprisingly, We Deliver. 

Will Volkswagen deliver with the new eighth-generation Golf? We’ll be finding out very soon, because it will arrive sooner than you think. Let us know below what you think about what’s certain to quickly become another British best-seller…

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review: a scorching hot hatch

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

Very soon, the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf will be revealed to the world. So we thought it prudent to give the outgoing model a suitable send-off. 

Tuning company Mountune, under the M52 banner, has modified the Golf R hot hatch, to potentially create the best of the Mk7 breed. We visited its base of operations in Essex to learn more.

What is Mountune M52?

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

It’s a brave new world for Mountune, as the company branches out from its usual Ford fare into Volkswagens, with the help of alloy wheel brand Fifteen52. 

The goal is doing for hot Volkswagens, such as the Golf R and GTI, what Mountune does for fast Fords.

Middle-class muscle

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

For now, the Golf R only has a ‘stage one’ power upgrade, which uses software to boost power to 360hp. The car we drove also had a CFD-flowed X3 induction system, M52 sport suspension kit, upgraded brakes, Fifteen52 wheels and special ‘Clubsport’ metal shift paddles. 

The Golf R was arguably a class-leader, so M52 had its work cut out to improve an already superb car. It certainly looks the part. The new wheels sit perfectly in the Golf’s arches, lending a newly aggressive stance. The badging is subtle, although the decal won’t be to all tastes. 

You notice the new M52 Clubsport paddles instantly as you step inside, followed by the M52 floor mats.

To 360hp and beyond

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

With power bolstered by 50hp, the ‘EA888’ engine has a punchier edge. It feels more boosty, more old-school and more of a hot rod. 

There’s even some fantastically gratuitous turbo whoosh, as if you’re hustling a rally car, rather than a grocery-getter. The added intensity is a welcome addition, given the standard R, talented as it is, can feel a bit too ordinary. 

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

The M52 Golf R loses none of that everyday practicality, though. It can still settle down and deliver decent efficiency. The engine doesn’t chunter, or struggle to idle. The original feel is retained, albeit with more attitude.

Then there’s how you control what the engine is doing. The new paddles are a revelation, far nicer than the tacky plastic items of the standard car. For how good the R has always felt, this most vital of control surfaces never had the tactility it deserved. 

A delicate balance 

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

What happens when it comes to slowing down and taking a corner? The upgraded brakes are a welcome improvement over the standard items, which aren’t really ‘hyper hatch’ standard. New pads and vented discs help prevent overheating and fade, although we reckon you could overpower them on a track. 

Wrapping the aggressive five-spoke Fifteen52 ‘Chicane’ wheels are sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. It all coalesces to noticeably enhance the Golf R’s already prodigious point-to-point pace. The suspension upgrade works well, adding an extra level of tautness, without robbing the car of its refinement. 

A jack of all trades

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

Nick Thomas, Mountune’s development and component engineer, insisted that the goal with these introductory upgrades is an ‘OEM+’ feel. The good parts of an already great car enhanced, and the bits that need improvement made better.

Quick Golfs can be likened to Porsche 911s. The GTI is the GTS, the Clubsport S is the GT3 RS and the R is the Turbo. M52’s Golf R feels somewhere between a Turbo S and a GT2. More hardcore, but not offensively so. It doesn’t betray the everyday likeability of the Golf R.

Verdict: Volkswagen Golf R M52 stage one

Volkswagen Golf R M52 review

That is perhaps this M52 Golf R’s biggest achievement. It’s still the jack of all trades, with some added edge. It enhances the Golf’s inherent sense of balance and genuine ‘driver’s car’ feel. In turn, it reminds us just how big the boots are that the Mk8 must fill. 

If the new car is a mis-step, we’d be very tempted to stick with the outgoing model, with some added flavour courtesy of M52.

Specification: Volkswagen Golf R M52 stage one

M52 Golf R stage one tune: £715.50

Cost of upgrades to our car: £3,400+

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo 

Power: 360hp

Torque: 368lb ft

0-62mph: <4.0 seconds

Top speed: 155mph+

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Volkswagen Golf Mk7.5

Volkswagen Golf Edition models boost value ahead of replacement

Volkswagen Golf Mk7.5

The new Volkswagen Golf Mk8 will be revealed in a matter of weeks. To make sure the current car keeps selling as it enters its runout phase, VW has boosted features even further with three new ‘Edition’ trims.

Match Edition, GT Edition and R-Line Edition variants replace respective non-edition versions. They cost £400 more than the outgoing models – but add equipment worth £1,910.

Call it a £1,500 boost in value, for what remains Volkswagen’s best-selling car in the UK “by a comfortable margin”.

Volkswagen Golf Mk7.5

Each now comes as standard with dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, heated front seats, headlight washers and a low washer fluid level warning light (every little helps).

Deliveries of the new Edition models will begin in October – and everyone who ordered a Match, GT or R-Line after 16 September will automatically be upgraded to the new Edition variants.

Volkswagen also reminds us the value boost isn’t just for these three cars. Earlier in the month, it chipped £2,765 off the price of the all-electric e-Golf, for those eager to get into an electric VW ahead of the ID.3’s arrival.