Here's what the U.S. market will miss out on. Probably.
The new eighth-generation Golf isn’t coming to the United States. That is, it won’t enter the States in base-model trim, or at least, we think it won’t. We reported nearly a year ago that the automaker told U.S. dealers the base Golf 8 wouldn’t be available, but Volkswagen has been extremely cagey on this subject and hasn’t offered an official stance either way.
Whether or not it eventually arrives for American buyers, European markets are already getting a taste of the humble hatchback. That includes our Motor1 colleagues in Germany, who took a deep dive into VW’s configurator for the entry-level Golf that we'll probably never see.
For starters, the base model offers a properly thrifty price tag. It lists for €19,995 euros, which currently translates to $21,537 in U.S. currency. That’s actually a bit less than the entry-level Golf S from 2019, and upwards of $1,500 below the 2020 Golf TSI – the only seventh-generation non-performance Golf Americans can presently buy. For that cost, Euro customers get a cool digital cockpit with niceties like automatic climate control, keyless start, LED headlights, and advanced safety tech in the form of lane departure warning.
Gallery: 2020 Volkswagen Golf Base Model
It sounds like a decent deal, but there are some decidedly base-model features for this basic hatchback. Under the hood is a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder making 90 horsepower (67 kilowatts), mated to a five-speed manual. It rides on 15-inch steel wheels, and it’s only available in Urano Gray with a black interior. Seriously, any other color – even basic white – costs extra.
Speaking of costs, our German counterparts reckon that even frugal buyers will likely want to spend about $1,200 to get some basic add-ons. Among them are the Seat Comfort Package for $318 that adds height-adjustable front seats, a center armrest, and four USB ports. Cruise control is another $310, and parking sensors for the front and rear are around $600.
Beyond that, bumping up to 16-inch alloy wheels is a $1,050 option but it’s also the only way to get all-season tires from the factory. Choosing any other color starts at $320 for white, and stepping up to a 110-hp (81 kW) engine with a six-speed is a $2,700 addition. To be fair, that package also includes most of the other extra items previously mentioned.
In the U.S., GTI models far outsell the standard Golf which is presumably why the mk8 is only coming stateside in GTI trim. Should VW change its mind on that, U.S.-spec Golfs would almost certainly offer more equipment and power in the base package.