Digital cockpit as standard. The new Golf is a vehicle that has been more closely connected to the driver than ever before. The basis for this includes standard digital instruments (Digital Cockpit) with a 10-inch display, the also standard Composition Infotainment system (8.25-inch touchscreen with 1,083 x 480 pixels) and a multifunction steering wheel. It’s important to note that all radio and radio navigation systems available for the Golf form part of the third generation of the modular infotainment matrix (MIB3). They are all linked to an online connectivity unit (OCU) featuring an eSIM. OCU and eSIM provide access to a permanently growing range of online-based functions and services that are made available using the brand’s own Volkswagen We ecosystem. It means that, as standard, We Connect (unlimited usage period) and We Connect Plus (delivered with free use in Europe for one or three years) can be used in the new Golf.
New digital architecture. The fusion of the Digital Cockpit and Infotainment system creates a new, consistently digital architecture. Light and vision functions have also been redesigned, bundled and made more intuitive to operate: the light as well as the windscreen and rear window heating are now operated using a digital panel to the left of the instruments. The centre console is also characterised by perfect ergonomics: this area is now clearer than ever – particularly with the inclusion of the shift-by-wire gear knob for the automatic dual clutch gearboxes (DSG), which is significantly smaller than previously. The theme is continued in the new roof console, where operation has also been digitalised, including by means of a touch slider for the optional tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof.
Networked Infotainment and entertainment. The driver’s digital workplace can be further enhanced, with a choice of Discover Media or Discover Pro optional 10-inch Infotainment systems (resolution: 1,560 x 700 pixels). Their standard equipment differs as follows: the top-of-the-range navigation system includes high-end map navigation, Wireless App Connect and natural voice control. The functions of the high-end systems can be controlled using a configurable Home screen, which is as easy to operate as a smartphone display. A windshield head-up display is also available. The head-up display is directly projected onto the windscreen and thus virtually floats in front of the driver.
Harman Kardon sound system. New optional features in the Golf include the 480-watt Harman Kardon sound system with 12-channel Ethernet booster and 10 speakers. With one treble speaker (60 mm diameter) in the A-pillars and rear door trim, and a bass speaker (168 mm) in the front and rear door trim panels on each side of the vehicle, the speakers turn the vehicle interior into a concert hall. A centre speaker (116 mm) is added to the dash panel at the front, with a subwoofer (18 inches in diameter) fitted into the spare wheel well.
New interior background lighting. From the Life equipment line upwards, the Golf comes as standard with interior background lighting that can be set to ten different colours. The selected colour illuminates the decorative trim in the dash panel, decorative door trim at the front and rear, stowage compartments in the four doors, front footwells (also rear footwells from Style upwards) and central stowage compartment in the front centre console; digital instruments and the Infotainment system also take on the selected background colour. 32-colour background lighting is also available as an option depending on the vehicle variant. Along with the individual colours – variably adjustable for different interior zones – pre-configured lighting profiles can be selected by simply touching a “mood menu”; Infinity for a warm orange or Desire for a cool blue shade.
Personalisation. The customised settings are directly saved in the Golf or can optionally also be saved in the cloud, meaning they are once again available even after having changed driver or vehicle. Depending on the equipment, this includes the Innovision Cockpit setup, the seating position, exterior mirrors and air conditioning system, background lighting and the coming/leaving home light.
Control more functions more easily. Volkswagen has always offered cars that are operated intuitively. In this context, the new Golf makes its debut as the brand’s first model to feature a combination of digital instruments and MIB3, generally available as standard as outlined above. The vehicle merges the cockpit and Infotainment system on the same visual axis to create a digital display environment. Despite these systems’ significantly enhanced functional scope, the display elements and controls are operated intuitively. Light and vision functions as well as roof console and Infotainment system elements are operated digitally, using the touchscreen, touch slider or direct access buttons depending on their function. The air conditioning system, Infotainment system, and panoramic sunroof are prime examples of just how intuitively the systems can be controlled, with sliders used for primary or secondary control in each case. To give a couple of examples from the air conditioning system and Infotainment system, there is a central slider here in the centre console, and it is divided into three sections: left, middle, and right. The driver or front passenger swipes or slides with a finger over the two outer sections to intuitively adjust the interior temperature. The same action in the slider’s middle section intuitively changes the sound system volume. In Navigation mode, you can change the map zoom by swiping the middle slider section with two fingers – just like controlling a smartphone interface. For the panoramic roof, for example, just move a finger forward or backward on the roof console to open or close the sliding roof – it could not be more self-explanatory.
“Hello Volkswagen” – intuitive voice control. Intuitive operation in the Golf can also be supported by new, natural voice control on request. The system is simply activated by saying “Hello Volkswagen” or pressing the voice button on the steering wheel. For instance, the Golf now responds with “Yes, please?” and “What would you like to do?” and reacts to intuitive voice commands, such as “Go to Lisbon” (navigation) or “I’m cold” (automatic air conditioning). New, digital microphones not only ensure perfect voice recognition and voice quality (for phone calls), but also locate the person who is speaking (driver or front passenger). You can control the navigation system, air conditioning system, phone and Infotainment with voice commands, for example. Integration of the optional Alexa web app will also follow.
“Alexa – what’s the weather like today?” Volkswagen will offer voice support via Alexa in combination with the 10-inch Discover Media and Discover Pro Infotainment systems. The following vehicle-related functions can be controlled via Alexa: Point of Interest (POI) search within the local area, POI entry into the navigation map and volume control. Functions normally used around the house can also be called up, such as information requests, weather information, news, opening times, and smart home controls. A command such “Alexa, switch the light on in the lounge,” is all it takes to activate the relevant function. Alexa in the Golf can be controlled in English (US/UK), German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
Smart electronics makes operation easier. The driver’s gearshifts in the new Golf with dual clutch gearbox (DSG) are also controlled fully electronically: the system manages them as part of shift-by-wire. Thanks to these electronically operated gear changes, the gear knob firstly becomes a lot smaller to thus save space while simultaneously boosting gearshift comfort. For example, thanks to shift-by-wire the vehicle can already engage reverse while it is travelling forwards at low speeds to make manoeuvring easier. The Golf does not make its smooth shift to “R” until the speed is right. The electronics system consequently prevents incorrect operation. The optional 3-zone automatic air conditioning (Climatronic) is also controlled by smart technology. It boasts a number of new functions: Smart Climate can be used to launch preconfigured air conditioning functions – “Clear screen”, “Warm feet”, “Warm hands”, “Cool feet”, and “Fresh air” – from the screen or via voice control. The new car menus for controlling the vehicle’s functions are perfectly adapted to the system: here they depict the Golf in its entirety, both inside and out. If a function such as interior head-up display is configured, the driver can intuitively locate the relevant menu for the head-up display settings. The same applies to driver assistance systems, which can also be explored and configured via a user-friendly visual display.
Wireless App Connect. The most recent App Connect version also offers added convenience: Wireless App Connect. Drivers and front passengers can use App Connect to directly access selected smartphone apps using the Infotainment system. In the Golf 7, this was only possible by connecting a cable between smartphone and Infotainment system as the conventional standard. These functions are now also available wirelessly with the iPhone and Apple CarPlay. In this process, it is just as simple as using Bluetooth: the connection is automatically activated as soon as drivers get into the Golf with their smartphone.