TTAC Rewind: 2018 Volkswagen Golf Family First Drive - Stick With What VW Does Best

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Hello and welcome to another edition of TTAC Rewind.

For perusal over this morning's coffee, we present to you a look at the 2018 Volkswagen Golf family. As a reminder, we'll be resurfacing these old reviews just about every Sunday, so you can take a trip back in time with us.


[Image ©2017 Adam Tonge/The Truth About Cars]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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Join the conversation
  • Skippity Skippity on Oct 10, 2022

    Hello Pasoorii. Familiarising yourself with the political leanings of many North American inhabitants may help. I’m right, everyone else is wrong (and stupid) about sums it up. Also know that Art Vandelay recycles his phones.

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Oct 10, 2022

    I have had a Mk6, Mk7, and am driving a Mk7.5 GTI with a deposit on a Mk8 Golf R. The Mk7/7.5 appear to have been peak Golf.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Oct 10, 2022

      @Skippity: Not to speak for Lichtronamo, but the dash on the MK8 Golf is Haptic Touch hell, and the interior materials aren’t as good. The MK7 Golf’s interior punched way above its’ weight in terms of material quality.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 10, 2022

    I'd still have the 19 Golf SW if good old VAG knew how to do roof drains properly.

    • See 4 previous
    • FreedMike FreedMike on Oct 11, 2022

      @Irving - yep, those VAG pano roofs are problematic. The one in my old A3 had a motor burnout at the ripe old age of 50,000 miles ($900 repair). When I bought my GLI last year, I could have opted for the fancy autobahn version with the same roof and passed - took the base model instead. Live and learn.

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Oct 10, 2022

    I like the exterior of the Mk8 as a continued evolution of the Golf design. My complaints are mostly re: the interior. I think the overall design lacks the detailing of the Mk7 and the materials overall are a step back. Example is the metal on the wheel of my GTI vs. the plastic on the Mk8 basically shared now with every other VW. The shift knob is also king of cheap vs. the leather wrapped ball of the Mk6 or the golf ball on a metal tee of the Mk7. Not a fan of the one piece seats or the grey leather inserts used in the GTI.

    Not complaining about the IP interface as I've gotten used to it with our ID.4. I don't think it works as well as actual knobs, but for most things I set it and forget it. And it helps knowing the shortcut for the heated seats (not sure if it works with the cooled seats in the Golf R). One thing I have notices is the gauge screen looks small; it doesn't fill the space in the steering wheel like the gauges in the Mk7 do.

    None of this is a deal breaker for me - just seems that the Mk7 was an overall higher quality in terms of design/materials. I've got over 100K on my Mk7.5 GTI now, which has been absolutely reliable (as were my Mk 6 and Mk 7). I put a deposit on a MK8 Golf R in Oct 2021 and will wait it out. I can't seem to find anything I'd want more than another Golf.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Oct 10, 2022

      Yeah, the Mk8 is a mixed bag - they upgraded the performance but downgraded the interior.