The Volkswagen Golf has received a number of revisions for the 2023 model year, and has lost its entry-level six-speed manual variant.

    UPDATE, 06/02/2023 – Volkswagen Australia has increased the prices on its Golf hatch and wagon range by up to $1000 amid a wider price rise.

    “Shippings costs certainly aren’t diminishing. For as long as possible we shielded customers from associated price rises,” said a Volkswagen Australia spokesperson.

    “We do not allow orders made prior to the designated increase date to be subject to an extra impost.”

    MORE: Volkswagen Australia increases prices on most models

    All versions of the 2023 Volkswagen Golf will offer nine airbags – including a front-centre airbag, as well as rear side and full-length curtain coverage.

    Base Golf and Golf Life models will be first to feature the nine airbags from “late June production”, while the Golf R-Line, GTI and R variants will follow from “late November production”.

    In addition, all MY23 Golf variants will received revised Lane Assist and Travel Assist safety systems, which the company says “can more accurately detect narrow roads”.

    “Should a driver move close to the outside line of the lane due to a narrow lane, the system will no longer attempt to move the steering away from that line and will advise the driver to take control,” Volkswagen says in its media release.

    Although there are no exterior changes for the 2023 model year, all Golf models will get a new steering wheel airbag cover, while Golf, Golf Life and Golf GTI versions get new door trim inserts. GTI models also get embossed sports seat covers.

    The Digital Cockpit and Digital Cockpit Pro digital instrument clusters will also “more readily show the digital speedometer even when pop-up information is shown in the cluster”.

    Lastly, with the axing of the entry-level Golf with the manual transmission, this makes the new entry point the eight-speed automatic-equipped Golf hatch which starts at $35,190 before on-road costs.

    While that technically raises the entry point as the manual was a few thousand dollar cheaper, the return of the base hatch variant for MY23 means the entry price drops from $36,890 before on-road costs for the similarly-equipped Golf Wagon.


    Golf Hatch

    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf: $35,190
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf Life: $37,490
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf R-Line: $40,490
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI: $55,490
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf R: $66,990

    Golf Wagon

    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf Wagon: $36,890
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf Life Wagon: $39,490
    • 2023 Volkswagen Golf R Wagon: $69,990

    All prices exclude on-road costs


    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf in base, Life and R-Line trims, are powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

    These models are front-wheel drive and use an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.

    The Golf GTI upgrades to a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 180kW and 370Nm, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s also front-wheel drive but includes a locking front differential.

    Volkswagen claims the Golf GTI can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds.

    The Golf R hatch is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 235kW and 400Nm. This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with drive sent through a 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

    Volkswagen claims the Golf R hatch can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds.

    The Golf R Wagon on the other hand has the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine but with the European tune which adds 20Nm, taking the total to 420Nm. It also has a petrol particulate filter (PPF).

    Volkswagen claims the Golf R Wagon can o the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds.


    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf range has the following claimed fuel economy figures:

    • Golf hatch: 5.8L/100km
    • Golf Wagon: 5.9L/100km
    • Golf GTI: 7.0L/100km
    • Golf R hatch: 7.8L/100km
    • Golf R Wagon: 7.4L/100km

    All models require 95 RON premium unleaded petrol, except for the two Golf R variants which require 98 RON.


    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf hatchback measures in at 4284mm long, 1789mm wide, and 1456mm tall with a 2636mm wheelbase.

    The Golf Wagon on the other hand is longer at 4633mm, slightly taller at 1483mm tall, and has a longer wheelbase at 2686mm.

    Boot space is a claimed 374L in the hatch and 611L in the wagon with the rear seats in place. Their load volume expands to 1230L and 1642L, respectively, with the rear seats folded.

    Servicing and Warranty

    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km and Volkswagen offers three- and five-year prepaid service packages.

    Pricing for the service packages are as follows:

    Three-year service planFive-year service plan
    Golf GTI$1600$2800
    Golf R$1700$3000


    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf has a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing based on 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 includes:

    • Nine airbags, including a centre airbag
    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection
    • Multi-collision brake
    • Lane-keep assist
    • Travel assist
    • Front cross-traffic alert
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Adaptive cruise control with stop & go
    • Driver fatigue monitoring
    • Park Assist
    • Reversing camera
    • Front and rear parking sensors

    All bar the base model include Emergency Assist and safe exit warning.

    Standard Equipment

    The 2023 Volkswagen Golf comes standard with the following features:

    • 16-inch alloy wheels
    • LED headlights and tail lights
    • Rain-sensing window wipers
    • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit
    • 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • Six-speaker sound system
    • Tri-zone climate control
    • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
    • Cloth upholstery

    The Life adds the following:

    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Power tailgate (wagon only)
    • Power-folding side mirrors
    • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro (configurable digital instruments)
    • 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Seven-speaker sound system
    • Wireless phone charger
    • Satellite navigation
    • 10-colour interior ambient lighting
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Comfort front seats with lumbar adjustment
    • Luggage partition
    • Emergency Assist
    • Exit warning system

    The R-Line adds:

    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • R-Line exterior trim
    • Lowered (15mm) R-Line suspension
    • Progressive steering
    • LED performance headlights
    • Rear privacy glass
    • 30-colour interior ambient lighting
    • Sports seats with leather trim

    The GTI adds:

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

    The range-topping Golf R adds:

    • 4MOTION all-wheel drive
    • Torque vectoring
    • 19-inch ‘Estoril’ alloy wheels
    • Performance front brakes (358mm discs)
    • Six drive modes (including Drift and Special)
    • Extended rear roof spoiler (hatch)
    • Adaptive dampers
    • Sports exhaust
    • Matrix LED headlights
    • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster with R modes
    • Nappa leather upholstery
    • Heated and ventilated front sports seats
    • Power driver’s seat with memory

    Optional Equipment

    The $1500 Sound and Vision package available on the Golf Life and R-Line adds the following:

    • Head-up display
    • Harman/Kardon nine-speaker sound system

    The $2000 Comfort and Style package available on the Golf Life adds:

    • Microfleece cloth trim
    • Comfort sport front seats
    • 30-colour interior ambient lighting
    • Panoramic glass sunroof

    The $3800 Luxury package available on the Golf GTI adds:

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

    The $2500 Sound and Style package available on the Golf GTI adds:

    • 19-inch alloy wheels
    • Head-up display
    • Harman/Kardon nine-speaker sound system

    A panoramic glass sunroof is a standalone option on the R-Line, R hatch, and R Wagon, and costs $1800, $1900 and $2000, respectively.

    Another standalone option for the Golf R hatch and wagon is a Harman Kardon sound system for $1000.


    On the core range, metallic paint is a $600 option while premium metallic paint is a $900 option.

    The following shades are available on the core range:

    • Candy White
    • Deep Black
    • Dolphin Grey
    • Reflex Silver (excludes R-Line)
    • Moonstone Grey (R-Line only)
    • Atlantic Blue
    • Pomello Yellow

    All shades are a no-cost option in the GTI, but for Kings Red which costs $300. The following shades are available:

    • Pure White
    • Dolphin Grey
    • Deep Black
    • Moonstone Grey
    • Atlantic Blue
    • Kings Red

    The Golf R is available in three exterior paint colours:

    • Pure White
    • Lapiz Blue metallic
    • Deep Black pearl

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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