What is it like on the inside?
The Mk8 Golf isn’t all small evolutions. There’s big-time change in the dash and infotainment, and the level of connectedness.
We’re slightly unconvinced by the dash – the screens don’t look very integrated, resembling an engineers’ test system that’s been hacked into a last-gen car. And their glossy plastic surround looks cheap.
And in many ways it’s annoying to use. There’s no volume knob, only a capacitive slider that sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t respond to your fingertip. Shortcut buttons to take you directly to screens for climate, driver assist, and park assist, which is good. Unfortunately they’re tiny, badly marked and not that easy to reach.
Still, the 10-inch central screen itself has clean graphics and is responsive. The climate has some settings labelled with effect rather than cause: ‘warm feet’ for instance. Shame the same can’t be said for the sliding climate controls, which, rather infuriatingly, don’t illuminate at night, leaving you fumbling around cursing under your breath.
All Golfs get Car2X. Before long cars of all brands will be able to use this hazard-warning swarm intelligence. Say a car around the corner ahead of you activates its hazard flashers or airbag or ESP or fog lights. You’ll get a message if it’s relevant. Infrastructure – the same info that feeds motorway gantry signs – will also knit into the system.
As usual for a Golf, the front seats and driving position are just fine. In the back it’s more than competitive, and you can get rear climate control.