The Volkswagen Golf had a 14-year reign in Europe where it was the best-selling car between 2007 and 2021. Last year, the compact hatchback/wagon duo didn't even make it on the podium as it had to settle for fifth place, behind the Peugeot 208, Dacia Sandero, VW T-Roc, and the Fiat/Abarth 500. Data compiled by JATO Dynamics showed demand plummeted by 14 percent to 177,203 units, with the Toyota Yaris breathing down its neck.
In a bid to rejuvenate sales, VW has already announced it will give the Golf a nip and tuck in 2024 when the mechanically related Skoda Octavia will also get an update. It might just be the final revision for the conventionally powered model as the ninth generation will be sold strictly as an EV. An unofficial rendering previews next year's mid-cycle update by taking inspiration from a recently spotted prototype that had a minimal amount of camouflage.
From what VW has allowed us to see thus far, the 2024 Golf will have redesigned headlights and a new look for the bumper with vertical slats. It should be mentioned the test vehicle was an eHybrid version whereas this digital design exercise illustrates a non-PHEV model by doing away with the charging port on the driver's side. The five-door hatch has been imagined in R-Line specification with subtle changes to the taillights.
In typical German automaker fashion, the styling changes will be discreet. VW typically plays it safe with the modifications it makes during a product's life cycle, which is something we can’t say about Hyundai and Kia as the two South Korean brands apply major revisions. While the adjacent rendering is all about the exterior, we do know there will be some updates inside the cabin.
Judging by what we saw on a prototype a while back, the Golf facelift is getting a larger touchscreen. It could be the same 15-inch unit installed on the ID.7 since the display spotted inside a test vehicle was bigger than the 12-inch screen of the ID.3 facelift. VW has pledged to embark on a "qualify offensive" and to remove touch-sensitive buttons from the steering wheel as a response to consumer criticism.
Logic tells us there will be cleaner engines since Euro 7 will be coming into effect in July 2025. The stricter legislation is also going to force changes to brakes and tires as part of a wider set of laws to reduce the harmful impact vehicles have on our already fragile world. VW has been quite vocal about how Euro 7 is going to drive up the prices of ICE cars, so much so the Polo could be discontinued.