The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf is almost here.

    Set to touch down in Australia during May, the 2021 Golf – Mk8 if you’re playing the generations game – represents a significant departure from the formula laid down by those that came before.

    It’s more expensive than the Mk7.5 model it replaces, ditches the DSG dual-clutch transmission in the mainstream range, and comes with more standard equipment than before.

    At the top of the range, the Golf GTI keeps its DSG transmission and packs more standard equipment than the Mk7 model, pushing its list price above $50,000 for the first time.

    MORE: 2021 Volkswagen Golf 110TSI Life review

    Inside, the 2021 Golf trades the buttons and switches of the current model for a set of touchscreens and touch sliders, while analogue gauges have been outed at even the bottom end of the range.

    The new Golf’s higher-tech, higher-priced push comes as Volkswagen Australia prepares for the mid-sized Tiguan SUV to overtake its legendary hatchback as its best-selling car in Australia.

    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
    • 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI: $53,100

    All prices exclude on-road costs.


    The mainstream Golf range will be powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine in Australia, making 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

    It’s front-wheel drive and has an eight-speed torque converter automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

    The Golf GTI is powered by a development of the EA888 engine used in its predecessor, good for a 6.3-second sprint to 100km/h.

    The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo makes 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

    An electronic locking front differential is standard to help put the power down.

    Fuel Economy

    The 2021 Volkswagen Golf with a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine consumes 5.8L/100km on the combined cycle when paired with the automatic, or 6.0L/100km with the six-speed manual.

    The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI drinks 7.0L/100km on the combined cycle.


    The 2021 Volkswagen Golf hatchback measures 4284mm long, 1789mm wide and 1456mm tall, with a 2636mm wheelbase.

    That makes it 26mm longer, 10mm narrower and 4mm taller, with a 16mm longer wheelbase.

    Boot space is a claimed 381L in the 2021 Golf.

    Servicing and Warranty

    The 2021 Volkswagen Golf is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Maintenance is required every 12 months or 15,000km and Volkswagen offers three- and five-year prepaid service packages for $1100 or $1900 respectively.

    The Golf GTI is more expensive to service; a three-year plan costs $1450 and a five-year plan will set you back $2300.


    The 2021 Volkswagen Golf has a five-star ANCAP rating based on testing carried out by Euro NCAP in 2019.

    It scored 95 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 80 per cent for safety assist.

    Standard safety equipment in Australia includes:

    • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring
    • Multi-collision brake
    • Lane-keeping assist
    • Front cross-traffic assist
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Parking sensors
    • Reversing camera

    Opting for the Life or R-Line brings Emergency Assist and Volkswagen’s exit warning system.

    All models feature eight airbags as standard.

    Standard Equipment

    Standard equipment in the Volkswagen Golf includes:

    • IQ Drive highway driving assistant
    • LED headlights
    • Digital Cockpit (10.25-inch digital instruments)
    • 8.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Cloth upholstery
    • Keyless start
    • Automatic headlights
    • Tri-zone climate control
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Paddle shifters
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • 16-inch alloy wheels

    Moving to the Volkswagen Golf Life brings:

    • Digital Cockpit Pro (configurable digital instruments)
    • 10-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Wireless phone charging
    • 10-colour ambient lighting
    • Keyless entry
    • Factory satellite navigation
    • Microfleece cloth seating with brushed inlays
    • Front seat lumbar adjustment
    • Rear centre seat armrest
    • 17-inch alloy wheels

    Jumping to the Volkswagen Golf R-Line adds:

    • Sport seats with leather trim
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Lowered (15mm) R-Line suspension
    • R-Line exterior trim
    • 30-colour ambient lighting

    Atop the range sits the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which features:

    • Tartan-trimmed sport seats
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Twin exhaust pipes
    • GTI exterior trim and highlights
    • Adaptive Chassis Control

    Metallic or pearlescent paint is $600 ($300 on R-Line), and premium metallic paint is $900.

    A trio of options packages will be offered. The first is the Sound and Vision Package ($1500, GTI, R-Line, Life). It brings:

    • Head-up display
    • Harman/Kardon 480W premium sound system

    The Comfort and Style Package ($2000, Life) adds:

    • Microfleece-trimmed sport seats
    • 30-colour ambient interior lighting
    • Panoramic glass sunroof

    The R-Line can be optioned with a panoramic glass roof for $1800.

    The GTI is available with a unique Luxury Package ($3800) that adds:

    • Vienna leather trim
    • Heated and ventilated front seats
    • Powered driver’s seat with memory
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Panoramic glass sunroof

    MORE: Volkswagen Golf news and reviews

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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