The Volkswagen Golf is set to receive a refreshed interior as part of a mid-life update, which will help align it visually with the ID. range of electric vehicles.

    The updated Golf is expected to be revealed in 2023 as a 2024 model.

    Our spy photographers have captured an updated Golf prototype that has the same exterior design as the current model but a different interior.

    The most notable interior change is a larger central touchscreen that looks a little more like a stuck-on tablet on the dashboard.

    It appears similar in size to the 12-inch unit used in high-spec versions of the ID.4 and ID.5 electric SUVs, as well as the Cupra Leon and Formentor.

    The current Golf either has an 8.25-inch or 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, depending on the variant.

    This new central touchscreen in the Golf prototype retains the volume and climate control sliders that still don’t appear to illuminate.

    Prototypes of the next-generation Volkswagen Tiguan and Passat have also been spied with this tablet-like central infotainment system.

    The rest of the interior in the spied Golf prototype appears similar to the current model, with a knobby, shift-by-wire gear selector, as well as a number of touch-sensitive buttons.

    It’s unclear at this stage if Volkswagen plans to make any other interior changes to the Golf as part of the mid-life update.

    As noted above, this spied Golf prototype has the same exterior design as the current model. Expect to potentially see reworked lighting signatures and different bumper designs though.

    The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf first premiered in late 2019 and launched in Australia in mid-2021.

    Locally, the Golf range currently consists of hatchback and wagon variants, all powered by turbo-charged four-cylinder engines.

    The hotter Golf R hatch and wagon arrived locally in 2022, and the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Golf GTE is due in the next 12 months.

    Looking past this mid-life update for the Golf, Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Thomas Schäfer recently raised some doubts about whether a ninth-generation version will make production.

    In an interview with German publication Welt in August 2022, Mr Schäfer said Volkswagen had yet to decide whether to proceed with a Golf Mk9 for the incoming all-electric era, with an eye toward European combustion-engine bans starting in 2035.

    “We will know more in twelve months,” Mr Schäfer said.

    “We will have to see whether it’s worth developing a new vehicle that does not last the full seven or eight years,” said Mr Schäfer in his interview with Welt, adding that it would be “extremely expensive” to develop a car for a shortened lifespan.

    These quotes point toward Volkswagen perhaps leaning more towards the ID.3 hatchback, which is the Golf’s all-electric alternative, as its main C-segment option – though there’s no technical reason why it couldn’t affix a Golf badge to an EV again…

    The Volkswagen brand is yet to start its all-electric vehicle rollout in Australia just yet, but the Cupra Born is slated for a first quarter of 2023 local launch, and the Volkswagen ID. 4 and ID.5 crossovers will land in Australia before the end of 2023.

    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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