The eighth-generation (Mk8) Volkswagen Golf was first revealed back in October this year, and with the first deliveries to customers set to take place in Germany next month, the automaker has released numerous photos of the hatchback during a recent media launch in Portugal.

The gallery gives us plenty of angles to scrutinise the Golf’s new styling, which is heavily evolved from its predecessor (Mk7.5). While the overall shape is familiar, the company says the latest model is even more slippery with a drag coefficient of just 0.275.

Contributing to this is a new front end that consists of a slimmer grille, and this meets neatly with reshaped LED headlamps – matrix LED units are an option – that have a trailing “tail” on each cluster as well as J-shaped integrated LED daytime running lights.

In the lower apron, cars in Style trim feature a wide-width intake with horizontal slats that are finished in body colour or silver. Meanwhile, R-Line-trimmed models get a more expressive bumper that replaces the slats with triangular-shaped elements, a rectangular mesh design and adds on black garnishing around the lower intake.

A third look the company is showing off is for the GTE plug-in hybrid variant, which retains the black garnishing of the R-Line, but the intake only sports a honeycomb mesh insert. Other model-specific cues include a charging port on the left side of the vehicle and a light bar on the grille.

Moving to the rear, there are more slender, two-piece headlamps that come with a slight kink at their base neat the tailgate shutline. The reshaped tailgate also provides a larger boot space aperture for easier loading of items, and we get to see the new “Golf” script that sits just below the badge cover – a cue seen on more recent Volkswagen models like the T-Roc.

Other changes include slimmer reflectors, which are now positioned higher up and in line with the top of the number plate holder. While the Style trim has covered-off “exhausts” with decorative trim around it, the R-Line gets trapezoidal-shaped ones with actual cutouts on either side.

With the redesign, the Mk8 Golf’s dimensions sees the hatchback measuring 4,284 mm in length (+26 mm), 1,789 mm wide (-10 mm) and 1,456 mm tall (-36 mm), with a wheelbase that spans 2,636 mm (-1 mm). The car rides on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, and retains the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup as before.

While the new exterior might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the interior is a different story altogether. Modern and packed with technology, it is certainly a step forward for the Golf, with the multi-tier dashboard layout seeing many of the controls for the car’s functions placed higher and closer to the steering wheel and instruments.

The most prominent item here is the touchscreen display, which is available in either 8.25-inch or 10-inch sizes, and linked to Volkswagen’s latest MIB3 infotainment system. It gets the usual mix of media and connected services, along with an eSIM to support We Connect connected services, ensure the system is kept up to date, and there’s even a voice assistant on hand.

There are also slider controls for the climate and infotainment systems, freeing up more space, and this interface is also found in the roof console to operate the optional sunroof. A second display in front of the driver is a 10.25-inch digital cockpit display that can be further augmented with an optional windscreen-projected head-up display. To the left of this are glossy black buttons to control the car’s lights instead of a circular dial in the outgoing model.

Just below the upper portion of the dash is a full-width trim piece, which features integrated air vents, bits of the car’s ambient lighting system and additional buttons for the climate control, driver assistance systems, driver mode selector and parking assistance system.

Meanwhile, the centre console gets two configurations depending on the chosen transmission, with cars equipped with a manual sporting a more archaic look with a round start button and large switchgear for the electronic parking brake and brake hold function.

As for automatic variants, there’s now a small rocker knob acting as the gear selector, which is reminiscent of what is in the latest 992 Porsche 911. This is placed in line with the start button and electronic parking brake controls, freeing up space for a small cubby. Both setups share similar stowage spaces, with one located just below the USB C ports, the two cupholders and under the centre armrest.

For the German market, the list of standard safety and driver assistance technologies include Lane Assist, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking System and Pedestrian Monitoring, a new oncoming vehicle braking when turning function, and Car2X communication, among other things.

From December, the German-spec Golf will be available with a 1.5 litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine that makes 130 PS and 150 PS, a 1.5 litre four-cylinder eTSI mild hybrid with 150 PS, and a 2.0 litre four-cylinder TDI diesel with either 115 PS or 150 PS. These are available with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG, as well as the option of 4Motion all-wheel drive.

Later on, more options will be added to the line-up, including a 1.0 litre three-cylinder TSI with 90 PS and 110 PS, a 1.0 litre eTSI mild hybrid with 110 PS, a less powerful version of the 1.5 litre eTSI mild hybrid with 130 PS, as well as two plug-in hybrid setups.

The eHybrid options utilise a 13-kWh lithium-ion battery, which gives an EV range of approximately 60 km, along with a 1.4 litre four-cylinder TSI base engine and six-speed DSG. This setup is available with 204 PS and 245 PS outputs, the latter being for the GTE model.