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Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Volkswagen Golf

The definitive Euro hatch gets a new look

The definitive Euro hatch gets a new look

After numerous leaks and spy shots, the eighth-generation 2020 Volkswagen Golf has finally been revealed (officially). And although its recognizable shape remains, it now sports some styling cues that are more revolution than evolution. The 2020 Golf’s front fascia will immediately grab your attention because the headlight clusters have been connected to the grille and they’re also shaped differently, making the car look like it’s squinting hard. Its lower grille has been widened while the slit that connects the two headlight clusters is thinner, making the new badge appear larger.

From the side, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf looks mostly similar to its predecessor until you get up front where the thin headlights give it a droopier appearance. The taillights are loosely shaped like those of the previous Golf, but they’re thinner and more L-shaped. As with previous generations, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf’s rear end remains upright, retaining some of the familiar cues associated with the model. The bumper-integrated faux exhaust tips, which first appeared on the refreshed seventh-generation Golf, appear to be back, too.

The interior sees the biggest change because of the new layout. Instead of a traditional gauge cluster, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf makes use of two displays including a main touchscreen for the infotainment system that’s tilted toward the driver. A horizontal layout remains but the lack of buttons on the center stack suggests that the climate controls may have been moved into the touchscreen. A new Porsche-esque electronic gear switch takes the place of a traditional shifter on models with automatic transmissions, and a large storage area with two USB-C ports can be found ahead of the square ignition on/off button.

There’s no word yet whether North America will get the standard Golf, but Volkswagen has confirmed that the hotter Golf GTI and Golf R will return. When it goes on sale in global markets, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf will come with a three-cylinder engine coupled to a 48-volt mild hybrid system of varying outputs. More powerful variants will likely return with an updated 2.0-liter turbo-four paired to either a manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission. Other markets will also get a plug-in hybrid variant. There’s no time frame yet on when the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf will arrive in the North American market.

What do you think of the Mk 8 Volkswagen Golf’s design? Is it a step forward or backward for the quintessential hatchback? Tell us in the comments on Facebook!