The latest version of the Volkswagen Golf is available to order in the UK on 11 April – 50 years after the original model began what is now one of automotive’s biggest success stories.

This latest chapter in the story of the Golf features Volkswagen’s newest infotainment system – complete with ChatGPT integration and an intuitive operating concept – plus a sharper design that incorporates, for the first time on the Golf, an illuminated Volkswagen logo at the front. There are also efficient drive systems, including plug-in hybrids with an increased all-electric range of about 100 kilometres.

Life, Match and Style trims for the Golf Hatch and Life and Style trims for the Estate are the first versions to go on sale, on 11 April. Initial engine and transmission choices comprise the 1.5 TSI 115 PS manual, the mild-hybrid 1.5 eTSI 115 PS with automatic direct-shift gearbox (DSG), the 1.5 TSI 150 PS manual and the 1.5 eTSI 150 PS with DSG. Prices (RRP OTR) start from £27,035 for the Golf Hatch and £28,400 for the Golf Estate.

The first Golf R-Line models will be available to order from 25 April with a wealth of sporty styling and additional features, including 17-inch Coventry alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather-wrapped and heated multi-function sports steering wheel, 12.9-inch infotainment display, a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist. Engine and transmission choices comprise the 1.5 TSI 150 PS manual or the 1.5 eTSI 150 PS with DSG. Prices (RRP OTR) start from £30,285 for the Hatch and £31,650 for the Estate.

Sales of additional Golf models, including eHybrid, GTI and GTE versions, are set to begin in the middle of this year.

Style, technology and performance
The front of the new Golf has newly-designed LED headlights, including the optional high-performance IQ. LIGHT matrix headlights – first seen on the range-topping Touareg – which have an extensive main beam range of up to 500 m. There’s also a horizontal LED strip in the radiator grille and an illuminated Volkswagen logo.

The rear also features optional three-dimensional and redesigned IQ.LIGHT clusters, complete with welcome and goodbye effects that can be customised in the vehicle settings.

Inside, the updated model has a newly developed and intuitive infotainment system (MIB4) with a free-standing touchscreen measuring 32.8 cm (12.9 inches), fast processor and ergonomically optimised and illuminated touch sliders for temperature and volume.

Also new are the enhanced multi-function steering wheel – complete with physical buttons – and the ChatGPT-enabled IDA voice assistant. Using natural language, IDA can be used to control functions such as air conditioning, telephone and navigation, and to access online information for everything from weather forecasts and general knowledge to nearby restaurants and recipes.

The Digital Cockpit Pro (26 cm/10.2 inches) can be customised to display ‘classic’ round instruments or ‘progressive’ tiles, with space in-between that can be assigned freely to display, for example, navigation route guidance or assist systems. Model-specific information profiles for the Golf R-Line, GTI and GTE will also be available.

Manoeuvring both the Hatch and Estate versions of the new Golf will soon be simplified by the latest assist systems including the enhanced Park Assist Plus and Park Assist Pro, which will be available for the first time for the Golf and enables driving in and out of parking spaces using a smartphone. The 360-degree Area View is another new and useful feature.

The new plug-in hybrid drives with DC quick charging offer additional power and an electric range of about 100 km, and a total range of around 1,000 km, while the highly-efficient 48 V mild hybrid versions will be of particular interest for drivers who have no charging wall box at home.

37 million and counting…
The first series-produced Golf, the successor to the Beetle, was built at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, at the end of March 1974.

More than 37 million units have followed that first Golf to date. In mathematical terms, more than 2,000 people around the world have opted to buy a new Golf every day for the past 50 years, making this compact icon the most successful European car and by far the best-selling Volkswagen model so far in the company’s history.

“This latest evolution of the Golf going on sale here in the UK marks an exciting moment in the history of our brand,” said Rod McLeod, Director of Volkswagen UK. “The world has changed a lot over the past 50 years, and this latest model showcases everything that today’s motorists want: style, dynamic driving, ground-breaking technology, intuitive controls, excitement and efficiency.

“The Golf story is remarkable, and that is set to continue with this latest version and with future models as Volkswagen evolves as a provider of e-mobility.”

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