Basic Golf 8 looks great

Life trim reveals the Golf 8 starter-pack.

VW’s Golf 8 is unquestionably the world’s most sophisticated hatchback and will set new standards in class when it launches locally.

Although for most Golf 8 fans, the GTI will be most desirable (as has been the case with each iteration of VW’s famous hatchback), there is value to be found in modesty.

To many South Africans, the notion of a 1-litre Golf 8 might appear unsatisfactory, but smaller engines don’t mean a lesser experience.

With the Golf 8 1.0 TSI you get all the benefits of VW’s overengineered MQB platform, which delivers great ride quality, cabin noise insulation and driving dynamics. And the 1-litre triple isn’t weak either, boosting 81 kW and 200 Nm.

A close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox helps the Golf 8 1.0 TSI from 0-100 kph in 10.2 seconds if you are skilful shifting it under acceleration, and it will run a true 202 kph top speed. For some, having a Golf 8 incapable of dipping below the 10-second barrier for a benchmark 0-100 kph run will be an issue, but VW’s entry-level Golf is about balanced dynamics.

Economy is an anchor feature of this 1-litre Golf’s appeal and VW claim the six-speed manual Golf 8 1.0 TSI will return 5.3L/100 km.

Beyond the mechanical package, VW’s Golf 8 1.0 TSI is finished in the brand’s ‘Life’ trim level. This grade includes automated LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and all-round parking sensors.

Cabin features total VW’s new 10-inch digital instrumentation binnacle and matching 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Standard safety technologies are lane and front assists, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and Car2X sensing.

Perhaps best of all, are those 16-inch Norfolk alloy wheels. They might be smaller than what you’d ordinarily expect on a premium hatchback, but the overall design is clean. These wheels also roll relatively high-volume tyres, delivering outstanding ride quality and pothole strike survivability.

The Golf 8 is scheduled to arrive in South Africa, during the first half of 2021.

Make sure you read our first drive of the Golf 8 here and if you want to know what the GTI is like, check it out here.

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