Volkswagen engineers have been spotted testing prototypes for a mid-cycle update of the Golf.

The current eighth-generation Golf only reached the U.S. in late 2021, and exclusively in sporty Golf GTI and Golf R grades. However, the popular compact hatchback has been on sale in other parts of the world since the start of 2020.

This updated version is slated to be revealed late this year or early next, likely as a 2025 model. While the prototypes are for the regular Golf, most of the changes should transfer across to the GTI and R grades.

The changes to the exterior are mild, consisting of only a revised front fascia at this point. The opening in the lower fascia doesn't get taller at the edges like in the current model and the center of the lower air intake has more visible vertical elements. Inside, there's an updated dash sporting a much larger infotainment screen. The Golf at present features an 8.3-inch infotainment screen.

2025 Volkswagen Golf facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2025 Volkswagen Golf facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

It isn't clear whether any mechanical mods will be made with this update, though extra power for some powertrains is a possibility. The front-wheel-drive GTI is currently offered with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 good for 241 hp, while the all-wheel-drive R sports the same engine but with a 315-hp rating.

Crucially, this will be the final Golf generation with internal-combustion power, VW brand boss Thomas Schaefer confirmed in April. The Golf name will live on in the electric era, and Schaefer hinted at a fully electric Golf arriving around 2028 at the earliest.