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2021 Volkswagen Golf pricing and specs detailed: Much-anticipated Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla rival takes a hike in price and safety

Volkswagen's much-anticipated Golf 8 range is now more expensive in Australia despite maintaining a base manual variant.

Volkswagen Australia has detailed the layout of its VW Golf range for the Mark 8 generation, outlining a simplification of the range and a shift in price-point and standard equipment.

The eighth-generation Golf will hit Australian dealers in Q2 of 2020, and arrive in three grades.

The entry-level Golf starts from $29,350 before on-road costs (representing a $3560 jump over the current base Trendline) and wears no extra badge (is simply known as Golf). It is available with the carryover 110TSI 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (110kW/250Nm) in either a six-speed manual ($29,350 MRSP) or eight-speed Aisin torque converter automatic guise (at $31,950 MSRP). VW said it is moving away from the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic currently available with this engine.

The Golf will initially arrive in three variants in Australia, but with a single carryover engine. The Golf will initially arrive in three variants in Australia, but with a single carryover engine.

While the full list of standard fitments is yet to be revealed for the Australian market, the brand revealed that base equipment even on the manual version will include a fully digital instrument cluster, a large multimedia screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the first time, and a re-worked interior with more touch functions and a space-increasing fly-by-wire transmission for the automatic.

Standard safety will be high, with the brand providing its entire available ‘IQ Drive' suite even on base variants consisting of freeway-speed Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection as well as oncoming intersection braking and auto braking when reversing, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, driver attention alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Despite a significant hike in tech and price, the base Golf will maintain a six-speed manual transmission. Despite a significant hike in tech and price, the base Golf will maintain a six-speed manual transmission.

Next up is the eight-speed auto-only Life at $34,250 (MSRP). Specs for higher grades have not been revealed, but it appears the Life will wear larger wheels and will likely bring a higher tier of interior trim.

Top of the standard range will be the Golf R-Line which wears an MSRP of $37,450. Also only available with the eight-speed automatic transmission, the R-Line will bring a sporty bodykit and the brand’s premium Matrix LED headlights among other enhancements.

Volkswagen says final spec will be revealed closer to the Golf 8’s second-quarter 2021 launch. It also said price and spec will be revealed at a later date in 2021 for the GTI hot hatch and R performance flagship models.

The Golf will dump the current seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for an eight-speed torque converter auto. The Golf will dump the current seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for an eight-speed torque converter auto.

For now the range of wagon variants available overseas are still off the table for the Australian market, but the brand maintains a “never say never” position on those particular variants, particularly the raised Alltrack which has done well for it in the past.

The Golf 8 will join a facelifted and expanded Passat range for the 2021 model year, a facelifted Tiguan range, the all-new fifth-generation Caddy light commercial van, just-launched Transporter 6.1, as well as mild updates to the Touareg and Amarok ranges.