2020 Volkswagen Golf: This Is It, The All-New 8th Gen Model (Updated)

Tha new 2020 VW Golf hatch has made yet another appearance on South African soil, with Carscoops reader Brett sharing a new image of the compact model without a visible (at least from this rear angle) trace of camouflage. We also added a new video that surfaced on Facebook today.  (Update 2/12/2019)

Last month, we posted a couple of videos that were supposed to show the 2020 Golf. Now, thanks to Instagram user johannes.vag, who snapped those pics, we can see the eighth generation of VW’s icon virtually undisguised, sans some barely noticeable stickers here and there .

This, then, is the eighth iteration. And just like the last two generations, it’s both instantly recognizable as a Golf and, at the same time, different enough as to make onlookers realize it’s the latest Golf. Kinda like the Porsche 911, only much cheaper and affordable.

Classic VW Golf styling

Mind you, VW is always very careful not to mess too much with the styling, as it understandably doesn’t want to ruin a winning formula. Thus, even though it shares no panels with the Mk7 and sports sharper head- and tail-lamps, a new grille, and new front and rear bumpers, you won’t mistake it for anything else even if one were to remove its badges.

It goes without saying that the Golf Mk8 is one of the most (if not the most) eagerly awaited new models of the year – and for good reason, as it’s one of the longest-running nameplates in history. It first launched in 1974 and, in the years that followed, became VW’s best seller and defined its segment so much that the latter is widely referred to as the “Golf class”.

The Golf is the standard against which all newcomers are measured, and that was true even when it wasn’t the best car in its class (MK3, we’re looking at you). To a large number of buyers, the Golf was (and still is) the compact hatch to have, and to rival automakers, the one that they wanted to beat.

MQB Evo underpinnings

The all-new Golf will be based on an upgraded version of the existing model’s platform, named MQB Evo. Not only will it be lighter (up to45 kg or 100 pounds), It will also have a slightly larger wheelbase than the current Golf, thus offering improved room in the cabin and, possibly, the boot as well. It should also come with a fresh interior, a lot of safety gear and connectivity options, and probably a semi-autonomous system as well.

In January 2018, VW announced that production of the brand new Golf will commence in June 2019. Expect a number of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel units at launch and, at some point, probably a full- or mild-hybrid version.

Of course, later down the road VW will also launch a new GTI, as this is the version that launched a thousand hot hatches. No details are known right now, but in all likelihood it will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with close to 300 horses; and that means that the even more powerful Golf R will be pumped up as well.

Tip of the hat to Melvin & Brett!

 

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A post shared by Johannes (@johannes.vag) on

  • :/ Yurr

    Looks okay. That hood is throwing me off.

  • NoMan2015

    It’s not “totally undisguised.” There are clearly wraps covering parts the taillights (those are dummy stickers a la Porsche camo) and headlights, likely parts of the grille as well. If you guys actually looked at the pics you would know that.

  • Seats & a steering wheel

    That looks 4 years old already!, just bland and weird with that rounded front bonnet. New gen Mazda 3 looks wayyy better than this.

    • charlotteharry57

      The new Mazda 3 hatch is the ugliest hatch on the road by far (US version).

      • Adam

        Wow! I thought the current Civic and last gen Corolla would be. They’re horrendous.

    • Jason Panamera

      And because of these shapes Golf’s sales still will be good.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      It’s a Volkswagen Golf. What were you really expecting? It’ll still be the best selling hatchback across Europe when it’s launched.

  • ThisDecepticonWillFU

    Just like the new VW Passat the new VW Golf is just more of the same.

    • charlotteharry57

      In the Golf’s case, it should be.

  • Jason Panamera

    Looks more like a Polo than a typically shaped Golf.

  • Mr. EP9

    I’ll need some higher quality photos because so far, it doesn’t look interesting. Although, Volkswagens are known for that.

  • Wayne Alan Carr Heyes

    So AGAIN it’s ANOTHER MAJOR FACELIFT passing as a new generation boring design

    • NoMan2015

      If it’s on a new platform, it may LOOK like a facelift, but that doesn’t make it NOT a new generation…

    • Matt

      You can see that every panel
      Is different, the body openings are different – there’s no way you can day call this a ‘facelift’. The entire structure is new!

  • iea96

    I’m sorry but that looks absolutely horrendous

  • alexxx

    Nobody is surprised.A car for people that don’t think about cars.

  • no25

    Front looks like it smashed into a wall…maybe that McDonald’s. Overall, though, doesn’t look great.

  • DaruniaG

    Looks really boring

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      It’s a Volkswagen Golf. What were you expecting?

      • DaruniaG

        I was expecting bigger design changes from the current Golf. Like they did with the transition from the old Touareg to the new

        • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

          If the past 45 years are anything to go by, Volkswagen will always keep the Golf styling conservative. Don’t expect anything flashy.

  • Romain AA

    Anyone on why they drive around and even stop at mc donald’s whith the car almost totally undisguised?
    Seems to me this is clear bait for amateur photographers that will leak it all over the place. But why? Trying to occupy the media space before official presentation? Again, why? No major or direct competitor is to be unveiled at Geneva.

    Communication strategy, or a reckless junk food lover intern?

    • Matt

      That’s what I was thinking.

    • Momogg

      It’s marketing.

  • Jakub Kdzirski

    It looks wierdly bloated

    • Dude

      The sleeker front end is pinched down making it look kind of minivan like

    • Roland Fairwater

      I agree.

    • NoSnarkHere

      Yes, has a whiff of the golf plus.

  • …interesting.. hopefully not the real deal..

  • erly5

    From these pics it actually looks worse than the car it replaces. Very disappointing.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      It’s a Volkswagen Golf. What do you expect? People said that about the last one and the one before that!

      • erly5

        Hopefully the finished article will look better in the flesh!

    • StrangerGP

      It’s been like that since Golf VI imo. The fifth generation was probably the best looking one.

      • erly5

        The Mark IV was my favourite, still looks good to this day, the Mark III being the worst looking imo!

  • sidewaysspin

    I think it improved over the current one.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      You can tell this from two pics!?

      • sidewaysspin

        Yes it looks sleeker, it’s German so it’s hardly noticeable, they have this great resistance to change things too much.

    • Bash

      (I think) is the key word. It shows that you are not sure. 🙂

  • Frase

    And it’s spotted going through a McDonald’s. That’s gotta be one of the most unceremonious reveals ever.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      Volkswagen are really scraping the barrel these days.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      I’m Lovin it!

  • AJ

    I own a current gen Golf R and will trade up if a version is released with a manual. I have always owned GTIs with the current R my first step up. I’ll continue if manuals are offered. I like the conservative styling.

  • Six_Tymes

    the head lights look Sad. poor car, why so sad?

    • Momogg

      Sad because VW had to pay a big fine. 😬

    • StrangerGP

      They already look sad on the new Polo, nothing new here.

  • AMG44

    Looks like current 7th gen fascia melting. Sad looking front end design 🙁

  • Matthijs

    Looks like VW is fooling everyone with vage photoshops so people get interested in the new Golf but also that we still don’t really know how the new Golf will look like. How come none of the spy shots so far as been crispy clear like normal?

  • Vangelis Goulis

    This is like an old golf plus only uglier

  • Paul

    It looks alright but yet kind of a sad faced little thing both. Comparing it to the 2019, there’s not a lot different that I can see other than the rear doors.

  • Momogg

    There is a lot of tape around lights…
    I don’t know If i like it.

    • Bash

      Well, if you don’t know, then you don’t.

      • Momogg

        Yes you are true. 🙄😂

  • Patrick Bong

    Am I the only one that, for a moment, wondered what they ordered at McDonald’s?

    • H.P. Loathecraft

      Perhaps, but now that you mention it, I’m getting hungry.

  • Sybill Julian

    derpy, like new a-class

  • steve

    The front is very droopy!

    • scjeff

      I’m hoping that’s something to do with the glare/reflections on that pic.

  • Bae Young

    gorgeous, kinda remind me of an Alfa Romeo 159

    • Dennis James

      Blasphemy…

    • LOL of the year!

  • Vangelis Goulis
    • Bash

      What is that! lol

      • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

        European Honda civic from 2001-2005

        • Bash

          Lovely 👎🏻

    • LeStori

      Exactly.

  • Henry Exhaust

    It’s too damned bad that VAG won’t bring the 3 Door version of the R and GTi cack to our shores. The 5 Door has doors too small and looks like a stretched Limousine.

  • Alx

    I’m Lovin it… Not!

  • Patrick Böhme

    for me it looks a bit pudgy

  • Kagan

    Could be a step backwards.

  • WalthamDan

    It’s not bad. At least they didn’t stick the crate-like grille on the front.

  • Craig

    So I guess that’s what the 2020 Dodge Omni would have looked like.

  • Stuart C. Hancock

    I was hoping for a giant chrome grille, like on the Passat/Jetta, ’cause it’s just so darn classy.

    • Dennis James

      Careful what you wish for. Still possible 🙂

  • SteersUright

    Has the front end of a nice family sedan, not a single bit about it’s design suggests its great to drive. I wish, for once, VW would take more chances with the Golf design, at least in Gti and especially R spec’s. A flared fender like those seen on BMW M cars would be awesome to see on an R, at least.

  • EyalN

    40 years Volkswagen sold the same cars. now they say shit eveyone is selling SUV’s and we still have the golf. even Audi that they are part of Volkswagen are selling more SUV’s than cars and Volkswagen still didn’t get it

    • TheHake

      Huh??????????????
      VW has 3 (yes THREE) SUV’s based on the Golf. The Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and T-Roc. They have the T-Cross based on the Polo and the Toureg at the top. How many more SUV’s do you want in the line-up?

      • Mike DC

        Not to mention the Atlas for the US market. VW has listened, there’s literally SUV models at every crossover segment. In the US we have the Tiguan Limited, Tiguan (Allspace), and Atlas

        • NoMan2015

          Well, the U.S. doesn’t currently have a subcompact to battle the CX-3, HR-V, CH-R, etc. The Tiguan we get is the long wheelbase (Allspace in other markets, as you noted) that competes in CX-5, CR-V, RAV-4 territory, so there’s still one hole in their U.S. lineup. And technically two: the other, to slot in between the Tiguan and Atlas, should also be filled shortly as previewed by the Atlas Cross Sport Concept.

  • LeStori

    Looks like a Japanese or Korean car.

    • Robert

      That would be an insult to the Koreans because their exterior design execution is far superior to VW’s these days

  • HG504

    Looks terrible.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Not bad. A little more rake in the backlight.

  • Jorge A. Nunez

    That rear looks like dog shit. Mk7.2 looks ALOT more fluid.

  • DMax

    Yikes! Looks like VW pulled a Camaro refresh move on the Golf lol. Every Golf until this one looked good. If you need a GTI now is the time to buy one before this hits the dealer lots. Hot hatch market future is looking very bleak in US. Sad!

    • Kagan

      Not every especially especially not in the beginning of the 90s and not at the beginning of 2000s.

  • ctk4949

    Boooooooooooooring

  • Robert

    From a design standpoint Hyundai’s competing i30/Elantra GT stomps all over this boring and awkward design.

    • TheHake

      I respectfully disagree. I find the i30 terribly boring-looking. The N looks nice with its tart bits, but the vanilla i30 looks exceedingly bland and cheap to me.

      • Robert

        Well than we’ll have to agree to disagree and call it day.

        • dumblikeyou2

          Totally agree and was going to say the same thing.

  • Looks bulbous and porky. It needs to go on a diet! I guess that means the US won’t be getting it until 2024, since VW is always so late introducing models here. We were supposed to get the Arteon last Summer, now they’re saying this Summer. I am not holding my breath.

    • willhaven

      It’ll probably be powered by coal since VW rarely gives the US top-spec engine choices.

  • Bill Nguyen

    Anyone notice that the trend for headlights seems to be moving away from slanty and aggressive, to a more uh, dowdy look? Like the car is half asleep… Look at this, or the new Honda Accord, 2020 Genesis G90… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e6e782783b718a4654055bbfad8fad9b3e2a00887b9b20b6be1d1bb1ea1989bb.jpg
    Maybe the designers are half asleep now, who knows…

  • Tom

    ….this is the most beautiful car design…. ever seen….
    Ha, Haha, hhhha https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65272647955a094249d59f1ba6127486baf765f035bcbcf4563854e04fd212ff.jpg

  • A bit boring design.

  • Marcello

    The usual boring comments…even more boring than the car itself…

  • Point

    all new?

  • Gary Meadows

    Oh no! They made the new Golf just as ugly as the new Jetta with that horrendous grille and nose job. WTF! UGH SO UGLY!

    • rover10

      I think it has gone a bit saggy at the front? The current models overall crispness is lacking in these photos. The result is heavy and predictable as all interactions that went before.

  • Sean Sweeney
    • TheHake

      The Mazda looks nice but that C-pillar will lead to some serious blindspots when maneuvering the car…

      • Stephen G

        OMG! What will we do?!

        • TheHake

          We will crash out Mazda 3’s…

          • Stephen G

            Maybe a nice Peel Trident for you then?

      • Momogg

        You will take the rear camera option. 😊

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        Blind spots shouldn’t be an issue if you use your mirrors properly. Semis, box trucks, and convertibles have been doing this forever.

        • TheHake

          You guys! The “…” behind the text indicates sarcasm…

  • A Brown

    Obviously this still has camouflage on the lights so I’ll reserve judgement, but interesting that they’re also moving to door mounted wing mirrors

  • DMJ

    The Golf IV (1997) looked like a Golf but it was futuristic, it had a true luxury construction, incredible interior, top quality materials and made all the rivals look old and outdated. The handling wasn´t good though, and the GTI version was just an equipment level for the 1.8T engine. When I see people telling that Golf’s are just evolutions (like 911’s or so) I remember that the Golf was always a class leader and atractive at the same time. I dont see that anymore.

  • VicWytch

    Sigh. Reminds me of the 2004 Subaru Impreza wagon from the back. My husband loved that car –he’d probably like this one too. Me, not so much.

  • FoxJ30

    Too bad about the lighter weight and more powerful GTI variant, because the current Mk7 is a better looking car. Not that I’m really in the market anyway (living in an apartment in a dense urban center)…

  • MIL1234

    backward design

  • Nana

    I don’t think this is real.

    • Momogg

      Agree.

  • MIL1234

    so backward it doesn’t need camouflage

  • ctk4949

    “All new”

  • sidewaysspin

    Looking good but a bit bland as always.

  • Enter Ranting

    A dull, clunky design. Well, at least the reliability will be terrible.

    • Alessio Sa

      straight to the point

    • SteersUright

      lol…
      Lets hope a company as large as VW can make some strides there. If BMW, Audi, and MB ever figured out how to make cars with Honda/Toyota levels of reliability, everyone else might as well fold up shop.

  • Bo Hanan

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

  • Harry_Wild

    Will the Golf R final get an automatic transmission and AWD together?

    • Able

      Wtf? It’s always had that.

      • SteersUright

        It has? Only the “R” to my knowledge. AWD isn’t available in the states on any other Golf model. Perhaps that’s what he’s referring to.

  • Thando_Gqabaza

    They can’t do it can they? They can’t move away from that boring shape. It’s like Porsche with the 911, they’re doomed to boredom

    • Aaron Thompson

      Argh yes the famously doomed and boring Porsche 911….

  • Momogg

    We can see the disgusting work at 0:09.
    The car is real but the lights are fake.

  • The Rusted Pixel

    So is this the new golf or another render based off the video found online? Cos if it is it’s rather underwhelming https//uk.motor1.com/news/304573/2020-volkswagen-golf-everything-we-know/

  • Able

    You guys aren’t looking hard enough, those tailights are clearly covered by fake lights.

  • Alessio Sa

    so volkswagen manages to make a complete new car by only changing the tail lights. What a talent! congrats to the fools who buy this krapp yahvohl

  • klowik

    I like the the overall boxy shape of the Golf and hope it won’t deviate too much but VW should try to give us some refreshing look at the front.

  • SteersUright

    Handsome yet also dull and boring? Yes, its the new Golf. Likely will be utterly competent, like the last 2 generations before it. I’m waiting for the day it also becomes exciting, both to look at and to drive. That day will only arrive when I finally see some bold fender flares (a la M & AMG cars) on the “R” versions of these. Should that ever happen, I’d pre-order one in a heart beat.

    • Marty

      Do we really want VW to look even more like Audi and Seat? Because that’s what happens when the designers go for “exciting”. Sometimes we just want competent functional cars that don’t pretend to be “sporty”, and that’s what VW is supposed to be.

      • SteersUright

        I didnt say anythign about Audi and Seat, you did. I said AMG, M, and sure, even old-school RS style fenders are absolutely to be expected on the “crazy” version of any performance car. You want tame, sedate, inconspicuous, “competent functional”, then get the base or the Gti. Boom! You’re dreams have come true.
        For the rest of us, an “R” should embody the pinnacle of VW performance and look every bit of it.

        • Marty

          I replied to your general opinions about the new Golf.

          But I’m happy for you who think an everyday car can be made exciting by putting fender flares on it. If I want a performance car I get one that was designed to be one from the start.

          • SteersUright

            Thats rather snooty. So I guess we should just toss in the trash the Focus RS, Golf R, WRX Sti, M3/M4, most AMG’s, most Audi S cars, even some RS models. Per your logic, they all were designed from the start actually as volume selling everyday cars, so their super high performance versions are not permitted to have massive brakes, wider fenders, huge wheels and tires, along with other awesome modification because they arent Porsche’s, Ferrari’s, McLarens or any others again, “designed to be one from the start”.
            Thank goodness the auto industry doesnt think like you.

          • Marty

            I’m snooty because I say I’m happy that you like a certain kind of car even though I don’t?

            My point is only that if “exciting” is what you are looking for, modifying a VW Golf (a car that you repeatedly – one might say snootily – dismiss as tame, sedate, dull and boring) seems like a roundabout way, especially when what is basically the same car is available from VW Group brands that are supposed to be exciting from the start. The VW Group has a huge problem with overlapping brands, and turning VW Golf into performance cars doesn’t help.

          • SteersUright

            “Huge problem”? Theyre one of the most successful companies in the world derailed only by unethical executives and their dieselgate. “Turning Golf into performance cars doesn’t help”? What?!?! The Gti is legendary and loved exactly because its attainable, practical, and has awesome performance. I just wish it were a bit better looking ie more aggressive, in its performance versions. Is that ok? Am i permitted this?

  • kadajawi

    It’s like they took the near perfect Mk 7, decided that they still liked the design, but had to change it, and then had no clue what they could do. And this is the result. Granted, we’d have to see proper pics and then the car in the real world, but I’m totally not impressed by this. It’s like the Mk 7, just a bit uglier. And to add insult to injury they want to remove the customization that was possible with previous Golfs. Pick a line, maybe add an option pack or two and that’s it. If I wanted a car like that, I would have bought a Mazda. I bought a Golf because I could have it exactly the way I wanted it.

    Anyway, to those saying the Golf looks too boring or is ugly? The Mk 7 wasn’t. VW created the perfect hatchback. It’s spacious on the inside, but small outside. That makes it a dream to park, it makes it practical and it lets you navigate traffic with ease. And then they made it look good. Yes, it may not be exciting, but exciting cars tend to get old fast. Especially if you see them as often as you see the Golf. Other cars follow fashion trends, and those change all the time. The Golf is a suit. A very, very well tailored suit that fits perfectly. One, where every line is exactly where it should be. One with little details that you won’t appreciate until you really have seen it a thousand times (which you will). It has things to discover. No, it doesn’t shout, hey, look at me. But it always works. It’s not meant for 12 year old keyboard warriors. It’s too elegant and subtle. At least the Mk 7 was. And the Mk 4, which took me 15 years to appreciate. Lets just forget about the Mk 3 and 5, and see the 6 as a step in the right direction (and the 2 as a step in the wrong direction).

    • SteersUright

      comments, not essays, please. Save some room. ;P

  • performante

    And here I thought the MK5 would hold its crown of ugliest Golf. If this is real, I’m not liking what I see.

    • erly5

      Mk3 was surely the ugliest Golf. Mk8 ain’t looking too special either.

  • vincent cascino

    A. I like “bland”.
    B. The R better be pushing 400hp.
    C. A real LSD/cross differential better be offered.

  • KidRed

    Grey version looks like a Nissan Leaf.

  • Six_Tymes

    the over shape looks a bit like the new focus. but thats not a bad thing.

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