Spying on Volkswagen Golf Test Mule with huge new touchscreen inside
Hard to believe that the eighth generation Volkswagen Golf is already three years old. It’s true, and that means a mid-cycle refresh is just around the corner for the enduring hatchback. Technically, the images here represent our first look at what’s to come, but externally there’s nothing to be seen. That’s because this is a test mule, putting new interior technologies through their paces.
Our spy photographers managed to get a close look and the changes are evident. The centerpiece of the dashboard is a significantly larger touchscreen, stretching far out and up. It’s not a complete departure from the current model, as the new touchscreen occupies the same mounting location. But while the current screen has an integrated presence with the dash and driver display, this one is large and responsible. It also appears to use a new set of buttons on an angled base at the bottom of the screen. At this point, it’s unclear if they’re touch-sensitive or analog.
Interestingly, a common criticism of the current Golf is the touchscreen. Notably, there are no analog controls for operating the radio and climate system, and adjusting them by touch can be tricky. We experienced this firsthand in our GTI first drive report and realized that doing something as simple as adjusting the radio volume could be difficult on a rough road. The layout also doesn’t leave room to rest your hand while trying to use the screen. With this test mule, featuring a larger screen and an angled base, VW could address that issue.
What else can we expect from the updated Golf? This is still a mystery, as this test car has not changed externally. Volkswagen is exceptionally clever with stickers that hide changes from the public eye, but upon careful inspection of these photos, the only thing that stands out is the new touchscreen.
If other prototypes hit the streets, we wouldn’t be surprised to see minor changes to the headlights and grille, adopting a similar design to the ID.4. A proper reveal is likely many months away, potentially stretching into late 2023.