After some supply delays, Volkswagen’s vital eighth-generation Golf hatch will launch in Australia during the second quarter of 2021, priced from $29,350 before on-road costs.

    That’s a $3600 jump in list price over the outgoing entry-level Golf 110TSI Trendline. It’s also more notably expensive than a base Toyota Corolla ($23,895), Hyundai i30 ($23,420), and Mazda 3 ($25,590).

    These are all list prices rather than drive-away prices that are about $4000 higher, meaning you won’t be driving away in a new Golf for less than $30,000.

    However, the company has spared no expense when it comes to offering its latest infotainment and active safety tech to justify the price. It also plans to focus on higher-grade models, since it expects the Tiguan SUV to become entrenched as the better-seller.

    All Golf 8 models will come standard with low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, AEB that functions when turning across oncoming traffic, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated parking assist, bind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

    The eponymous base Golf variant’s $29,350 list price is for a manual gearbox, with the automatic priced at $31,950 before on-roads. Given our low manual take-up, the latter is really the base variant for most buyers.

    The next rung up the ladder will be the mid-range Golf Life grade priced with a standard auto at $34,250 before on-roads. The launch range tops out at $37,450 before on-roads for the sporty-looking Golf R-Line – positioned neatly between a Mazda 3 G25 GT and G25 Astina for reference.

    As is common for Volkswagen, pricing for the new-generation Golf GTI hot hatch will be revealed separately ahead of its expected arrival about three weeks after the range discussed here. The halo 235kW Golf R is expected to arrive in 2022, alongside the new Tiguan R and T-Roc R.

    Globally, Volkswagen has already revealed the new Golf 8 wagon and Alltrack crossover derivative too. The former is “under discussion” for Australia, while the higher-riding Alltrack is not going to come this time around.

    Volkswagen argues the T-Roc and Tiguan fill the Alltrack’s niche already.

    While we don’t yet know full Golf 8 specs, we do know some things. The cabin is far more 21st century, with a digitised instrument cluster and large touchscreen standard, a shift-by-wire system enabling a tiny little gearshift toggle, and a cleaner look thanks to the removal of numerous buttons in favour of touch pads.

    Every Golf 8 is expected to come with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, and USB-C points. However, European-market over-the-air updates will not be offered in Australia for now. This is something Australians are increasingly used to…

    The base engine is a familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol making 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque. The auto transmission will be an eight-speed torque-converter unit instead of the familiar DSG dual-clutch unit.

    The rationale for this centres around fuel standards. European Golfs use a slightly more efficient 1.5-litre engine with a dual-clutch transmission and a petrol particulate filter (PPF) to meet Euro 6d emissions demands.

    Because the newer engines and dual-clutch transmission are more efficient, production is being prioritised for markets where they’re required to meet those rules. Australia isn’t on this list because Euro 5 is still the goal here, so we will instead receive the existing Golf’s engine that is now manufactured with an eight-speed conventional auto only.

    On another note, PPFs and Australia’s high-sulphur non-premium fuels do not make good bedfellows, Volkswagen says, which could cause headaches with a high-volume vehicle.

    It’s a different story with niche cars, which are getting PPFs. The Skoda Superb was the first such example from the wider Volkswagen Group in Australia.

    The Golf GTI and Golf R performance models will retain the slicker-shifting DSG. Euro-market offerings such as the Golf plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and diesels are off the radar for us, since sales projections are low and supplies are tight.

    2021 Volkswagen Golf pricing

    • 2021 Volkswagen Golf manual: $29,350
    • 2021 Volkswagen Golf: $31,950
    • 2021 Volkswagen Golf Life: $34,250
    • 2021 Volkswagen Golf R-Line: $37,450

    All prices exclude on-road costs.

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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