The Volkswagen Golf 8 was certainly not the most exciting car to be revealed this year, but the compact hatchback was one of the most important debuts given the nameplate’s immense popularity all over the world. One of the vehicle’s many party tricks is the ability to coast with the engine completely shut off to save precious fuel as previously seen in the seventh-gen Golf facelift in the 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion variant introduced in August 2017.

The novelty brought by the Mk8 is the engine-off coasting functionality is now being paired with a mild-hybrid variant of the same engine, renamed eTSI to signal its eco-friendly credentials. In the adjacent video we can see the Golf 8 being driven for an impressive amount of time without sipping any petrol to boost the car’s efficiency.

VW Golf 8 chassis and engine 1.5 eTSI 150 PS

The combustion engine was turned off for 3 minutes and 51 seconds without kicking in at all during this interval of a real-world test, which ended with the Golf averaging a fuel consumption of only 4.4 litres / 100 km (64.2 miles per gallon). During the test, the car covered 20.5 miles (33 kilometres) and was driven with the engine turned off for 9 minutes and 45 seconds or 24% of the time.

Some see this type of technology as another nail in the diesel engine’s coffin as the advancements made in petrol-fuelled engines makes them nearly as efficient as the mighty TDI that once ruled European roads. Add into the mix the proliferation of plug-in hybrids and EVs, the diesel engine is highly unlikely to regain the popularity it once had.

VW Golf 8 1.5 eTSI 150 PS engine

Bear in mind that only DSG-equipped Golfs have the engine-off coasting feature, so if you prefer to row your own gears, the petrol engine will be on at all times. Well, except for when the start/stop system kicks in. VW has said the 1.0- and 1.5-litre eTSI engines – available with 109, 129 and 148 bhp – reduce fuel consumption by approximately 10% compared to their predecessor thanks to the mild hybrid tech and engine-off coasting while improving acceleration via an electric boost.

Gallery: 2020 VW Golf 8 full image gallery