Review and Test Drive: 2020 Volkswagen Golf

By Paul Riegler on 18 June 2020
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The Volkswagen Rabbit –intended 46 years ago to be the successor to the vaunted VW Beetle, which never quite left the scene until the past year – is now in its eighth generation and is essentially all-new for 2020, having had its reveal in October 2019.

It’s important to keep in mind that VW introduced the Golf as the “Rabbit” at first in the United States, largely because, as the successor to the ultra-cute Beetle, “Rabbit” sounded cute and “Golf,” the marketing folks in Wolfsburg believed, would only be associated with the sport in the United States, not the wind, given the automaker’s tendency at the time of its launch to bestow names for its cars based on the names of prominent winds and currents.  VW eventually changed its mind and, in 1984, bestowed upon it the Golf name. Oddly enough, it brought back the Rabbit name from 2006 to 2009 in an attempt to lift sagging sales, but that effort wasn’t successful and, for a second time, the Golf nameplate returned.

Don’t expect dramatic changes, however, in what has been a successful franchise for VW: the design of the Mk8 as it’s referred to by insiders are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Our Silk Blue Metallic Golf arrived on a warm spring day and quickly became the center of attention.

Just as Henry Ford limited the choice of color for Model T buyers to one color, black, VW Golf buyers have a choice of a 5-door hatch and one trim level, the TSI.  The style looks familiar but is more angular and the face features a new two-dimensional VW logo and a more prominent downward arch at the nose, which greatly reduces the Golf’s drag coefficient.  The LED running lights form a signature light that continues into the character line that runs across the length of the vehicle.

The rear sports new L-shaped taillights that recall the T-Roc, and it’s available as a standard Golf, the 1.4T, or its two more sporty variants, the GTI and the Golf R.

VW is one of the few automakers that continues to offer a standard transmission and the Golf comes with an excellent six-speed.  An automatic is optional, of course, but choose wisely.

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 2020 VW Golf

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