Coming soon: Volkswagen Golf and Fiat 500
Don't buy a new car until you've read this – our ultimate guide to the new models coming in 2019 and beyond...
Small and family cars
On sale Early 2020
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the best-selling cars in the UK, with more than 26,000 finding homes in the first five months of 2019, even though the current version will soon be replaced.
Don’t expect a revolution when it comes to the looks; the new, eighth-generation Golf will feature sharper creases to bring it into line with the latest Polo, but it will still be instantly recognisable, and the three-door, five-door and estate bodystyles are all expected to continue.
The new Golf will be based on the same underpinnings, too, but its front and rear axles are likely to be farther apart to liberate more rear leg room. The boot is also expected to grow, although it’s still unlikely to outclass the gargantuan Skoda Octavia in this area.
We’ve become used to seeing modern cars launched with far fewer interior switches than their predecessors, and this will also be the case with the new Golf. In fact, on high-end versions there will be almost no switches at all, with Volkswagen bosses describing the car’s interior as a “total digital environment”.
The 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine we currently recommend will be carried over as part of an expanded range of petrol and diesel units. Many of the petrols will feature 48V mild hybrid tech to both improve acceleration and cut emissions. There will also be a new 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesels.
The next Golf GTI hot hatch, due in 2020, will use a revised version of today’s 2.0-litre petrol unit with the mild hybrid tech, making around 260bhp, while the e-Golf will be discontinued ahead of the electric ID hatchback’s arrival.
As for tech, the Golf will be permanently connected to the internet, thanks to an eSIM that will allow it to show advanced 3D sat-nav mapping, always find the strongest radio signal and let its engine coast in the run-up to junctions or when you’re heading downhill.
On sale Summer 2020
Don't panic: the new Fiat 500 is almost certain to look much like the current one and offer a range of head-turning colours and interior finishes similar to that which makes it so popular among fashion-conscious buyers today.
Instead, interest in the new model lies in whether Fiat can complement its cutesy design with a much-improved driving experience – something that it badly needs, given its current two-star What Car? rating.
From what we know so far, the most headline-grabbing changes will be the introduction of mild hybrid tech – alongside conventional petrol engines – and the introduction of electric and estate variants, with the latter likely to be called the Giardiniera.