The Volkswagen Golf Mk8's rollout in Europe has been plagued by software issues, prompting the folks from Wolfsburg to recall tens of thousands of cars in 2020. The emergency call function and reversing camera have been the main culprits, but VW had to address an even bigger problem. Owners have complained about the infotainment system being glitchy and too slow to respond to the user’s input.
VW took notice of problems encountered by early adopters and decided to revamp the compact model's multimedia system. In mid-December 2021, the German brand announced a heavily revamped MIB3 infotainment with significant hardware improvements. The System on Chip (SOC) has 25 percent more computing power than before while the graphics card has triple the performance of its predecessor.
2020 VW Golf 8 full image gallery
The journalists from Autogefühl decided to put the system to the test by borrowing a freshly built Golf R-Line with the 1.5 TSI and a six-speed manual gearbox. Yes, the infotainment does seem to be much quicker than before, but there's one major problem. Those who have already purchased the car are stuck with the old system. The silver lining? VW is getting in touch with owners to push a new software that will bring a "reduction of the base load and therefore enhanced performance for programs and functions."
However, the new software can only do so much as far as speeding up the infotainment. The Golfs being assembled as we speak have switched from the old Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A to a more powerful chipset. If you happen to have the previous version, VW sadly won't swap it out for the better-performing infotainment. In addition, the latest cars still have the touch bar without illumination, making it tricky to use at night.
The quicker infotainment is certainly a step in the right direction for one of the most popular cars available in Europe. Being part of the VW Group, the Golf shares it with the likes of the Skoda Octavia and SEAT Leon. Browse dedicated forums and you'll find out some owners have also had bad experiences with the setup, be them software bugs and/or a laggy UI.
Is the Golf still popular in Europe? JATO says 205,408 were registered last year, making it the best-selling car on the Old Continent. However, demand dropped by 27.9 percent compared to 2020 and by a whopping 50 percent compared to the year before. The Peugeot 208 got dangerously close to the all-conquering Golf in 2021, racking up 196,869 sales or just 8,539 less than VW's icon.