Compare the VW Golf MK 7 vs VW Golf MK8

Rock-steady Golf rolls into the future

Good at pretty much everything, Volkswagen’s MK7 Golf is a superb, compact hatchback that stands out as one of the best in the segment. Now, the manufacturer evolves its seven-generation Golf to the MK8, giving its time-tested all-rounder a few shiny new tricks. The newer digitized and electrified MK8 is a spacious, well-equipped modernized version that’s as much a pleasure-to-drive as ever, a bit more dressed up, and ready for the future.

February 5, 2021

VW Golf Mk8

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VW Golf Mk7

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VW Golf Mk8

Sharpened on the outside and digitally remastered on the inside, it’s still unmistakably Golf but with some innovative twists. A truly modern hatchback that leaves a lasting impression, the Mk8 is dynamic, elegant, and powerful and ready for any road. Thanks to Volkswagen’s pioneering technology, it’s also the most responsive, intuitive Golf ever.

  • Body: Hatchback
  • Doors: 5
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Engine: 1.4 TSI eHybrid
  • Power: 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp)
  • Torque: 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
  • Transmission: 7-speed DSG

VW Golf Mk7

Light, safe, and fuel-efficient, the VW Mk7 is a people-pleasing hatchback that ticks all the right boxes. And after seven successful years on the market, this exceptionally good Golf has proven itself to be a true Volkswagen treasure. Whether you want performance, practicality, or something in between, the Mk7 won’t steer you wrong.

  • Body: Hatchback
  • Doors: 3-5
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Engine: 1.4L Inline 4 Turbo
  • Power: 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) at 5,000–6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 1,500–3,500 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual/7-speed DSG (optional)

 

Performance, power, efficiency

There’s a reason why Golf is so popular—it covers all of the bases, right down to efficiency and performance. With the Mk7, the 1.4 TSI is only one of four available engines—there’s also the entry-level 84bhp 1.2 TSI, the pragmatic 104bhp 1.6 TDI and the 148bhp 2.0 TDI—and all of these are perfectly efficient. However, the MK8 takes things up a notch even further with some additional hybrid assistance. In fact, it’s available in no fewer than five hybrid drive iterations, including two plug-in hybrids that boast 60 km of zero-emissions driving, thanks to a new 13 kWh lithium-ion battery in both. When you lift off the Mk8’s accelerator, an electric motor recharges the battery, giving the petrol engine a boost when it’s needed. Volkswagen won’t make a pure EV Mk8, though, so if you want a pure all-electric Golf, you’ll need to opt for the older Mk7 e-Golf model. 

 

Design and tech

Drawing a line around the profile of both cars, these Golfs could be identical twins. But look a bit closer, and you’ll see evolutionary design changes and details that belie their generational difference. The Mk8’s front fascia is actually a notable departure from the old generation, with eye-catching new headlamps and a significantly narrower grille assembly. All exterior differences aside though, what’s blatantly obvious about the all-new Golf is that it features a considerably more modern, teched-up interior. While the Mk7 comes with quite a few digital goodies, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistant, and driver fatigue detection, the Mk8 takes the driver-assist technology up another notch too. It’s jammed with Travel Assist, IQ Light LED matrix headlights, ACC with predictive speed detection, Front Assist, Oncoming vehicle braking when turning, Lane Assist Lane-Keeping, Predictive Pedestrian Protection and Car2X tech.

 

Conclusion

At heart, the Mk8 and Mk7 are the same, both riding on Volkswagen’s clever MQB platform. More evolutionary than revolutionary, the re-design of the Mk8 means it looks a bit sharper, with a revamped front end and updated styling. However, when it comes to technology, the Mk8 Golf is an enormous leap forward. Price-wise, the Mk8 Golf is a more premium option, but also a far more multi-talented one. Whether you fancy a supremely refined drive in regular guise, require a high-quality, ergonomic cabin, or value innovative tech and drivers assist, there’s plenty of choice in both packages—Golf to Golf, you can’t go wrong either way.

The new Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI, Golf eHybrid and Golf GTE

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