Here’s What the New Europe-Only Volkswagen Golf Looks Like

a white car on a road
Please Bring the Golf Back to America, VolkswagenVolkswagen
  • Volkswagen hasn't sold the Golf in the US since 2021, though the Wolfsburg-based automaker did confirm that the GTI will return to the US for 2024.

  • European customers continue to buy Golf models in large numbers, and Volkswagen is updating the classic hatchback for 2024 with a new face and improved infotainment.

  • Beyond these classic facelift changes, the trims and powertrain choices that European Golf customers have represent the differing states of affordable cars in Europe and the US.

Before you jump up off your couch and rejoice, we'll be the first to tell you that the Volkswagen Golf is not returning to the US market in 2024. Yes, the GTI remains on sale this year in the US, but the recent refresh of the Golf lineup in Europe is making us nostalgic for the hatchback days passed.


Celebrating 50 years of the iconic hatchback, European market Golf models benefit from a front-end redesign, featuring an illuminated Volkswagen logo and newly designed LED headlights. The new Golf will also receive a newly developed MIB4 infotainment system with a free-standing touchscreen, similar to what US customers get on the current GTI.

the inside of a car
The larger 12.9-inch infotainment screen is on display here in a Golf R-Line.Volkswagen

That's 10.4 inches of screen in the base model trim and 12.9 inches as you move up the trim levels. All new Golf models will also use the 10.2-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster, featuring a digitized round gauge and a customizable information display.

Beyond a standard exterior and interior refresh, the real allure of the Euro-Golf is its variety of powertrains. Four-cylinder power is found across the board, but the series of displacements and propulsion architectures are enough to make an economical American driver jealous.

For starters, Volkswagen offers a 1.5-liter mild-hybrid, turbocharged inline-four making 114 hp, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This powertrain will be available in Golf hatchback and wagon form, though a 147 hp 1.5-liter mild hybrid is available for the sportier among us.

Better yet, plug-in hybrids are also available, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four making 201 hp available on the eHybrid Golf and 268 hp on tap in the GTE version. That's an electrified, Europe-only version of the GTI, in case you were wondering what we missed out on. Both of these models funnel power through a model-specific six-speed eDSG transmission.

2025 volkswagen golf gte
17-inch Richmond alloy wheels are standard on both the GTE and GTI. Note the charging port on the front fender of the GTE.Volkswagen

With a 19.7-kWh battery pack, these plug-in hybrid models will offer 62 miles of all-electric range and can charge at speeds up to 11 kW. Golf GTE models will also be able to charge at DC fast chargers at speeds up to 50 kW. Combining the electric- and gasoline-powered range, Volkswagen says these models can go as far as 620 miles without refilling.

This year, Volkswagen will continue offering non-electrified versions of its 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter powerplants, with the power figures remaining mostly unchanged. The one exception to that is the non-electrified GTI, which makes 262 hp, down six horsepower from the GTE. Six-speed manual transmissions are standard on ICE Golf models.

a red car parked next to a small plane
That plane is most certainly faster than the GTI, though the hot hatch beats it in transparent screen size.Volkswagen

Last but not least, the popularity of diesel engines remains strong in Europe, and Volkswagen continues to produce its TDI models in the Euro market. Offering a single 2.0-liter inline-four turbodiesel, power figures range from 114 hp to 147 hp, though the unspecified torque figures about what really makes a diesel engine.

Just like in the US, the GTI line (which includes the GTE) is sold independently of the Golf lineup. As such, the Golf lineup features four distinct levels in a progressive hierarchy: Base, Life, Style, and R-Line. Golf GTI Clubsport, Golf R, and Golf R variants will follow later this year, with all-wheel-drive Golf models arriving in 2025.

While the refreshed Euro-Golf might not seem like much on paper, especially by American power standards, the variety of choices offered to European buyers searching for any affordable car is enviable. Whether it's a station wagon or a TDI, there is a reason that Volkswagen has sold over 37 million Golfs globally.

Have you ever owned a Volkswagen Golf? What variant was it? Please share your experiences below.