Update for the VW Golf 8 (2022) improves voice control

With the eighth generation, the Golf should be more digital than ever and really smart. But things turned out differently – and so the class leader became a problem child when it came to connectivity. The MIB-3 system had to deal with the fact that it was too slow, had poorly intelligent voice control, and kept crashing.

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However, complaints from customers and numerous criticisms from the press have had an effect. Volkswagen is now delivering a software and hardware update for the Golf 8. Can updating the technology finally eliminate the shortcomings and make the Wolfsburg-based company competitive again? AUTO BILD drove the Golf 8 with new software and shows how the compact car fares in everyday life.

Update: This should get better with the update

The Wolfsburg promise with the golf update a significantly improved voice control, shorter response times, more performance and more reliability. In addition, certain controls are locked if necessary, which is intended to protect against incorrect operation. A large part of the functions should also be possible with previous Golf 8, newly produced vehicles also use new hardware.

After the update, the software version can be read off with the number 1890, and the Golf then updates wirelessly to 1896.

Structure of the update: new hardware and software for the Golf 8

VW splits the update into two stages. On the one hand there is the software update (status 4.3.:1896) and on the other hand a new chipset for more performance (hardware status: H58). Existing customers whose Golf was manufactured before calendar week 48 in 2020 will only be equipped with new software. Golf models produced after that up to week 48/21 should receive an update later, since their software version is somewhat newer. New Golf models since the turn of the year, on the other hand, are already using the new Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm and a faster graphics unit. While the new chip is said to be around 25 percent faster, the graphics card promises to work three times faster than before.

A Golf 8 GTI with 245 hp, manual transmission and the new chipset served as the test car.

Anyone who has owned their Golf for a long time will be written to by Volkswagen in the spring and asked to take their car to the workshop. The update should then take around four to five hours. Reason for the workshop visit: Unlike the ID family, the systems in the Golf are more decentralized and therefore more complex. Therefore, the interventions in the control electronics are greater than would be the case with other models, which excludes the possibility of loading the update via the integrated SIM card.

Old stock: update also for existing customers

According to Volkswagen, internal processes have been streamlined, which allows the entire system to use the available resources better. The result: even with the previous computing technology, the infotainment should be able to work much better. What that means in practice remains to be seen. The test car provided by VW already had the new hardware.

Everyday test: Golf 8 with new technology in the test

How To Cars makes the everyday test with the digitally lifted Golf. The system is generally smoother to use and runs very stably.

Response speed and booting: System is there immediately

It used to be that it could take a while for infotainment to start working in the Golf. With a system that includes not only media but also navigation or climate control, this is not tolerable in everyday life. Luckily that changes with the update. The infotainment boots within a very short time after the ignition is activated. Here, the mixture of streamlined software and the new chipsets results in a significantly better user experience. This is also reflected in the overall performance of the system. Jerking when changing the views on the display is much less noticeable, and operation is generally smoother.

Voice control: Helpers will work more reliably in the Golf 8 in the future

VW promises to be able to process up to 95 percent of all voice inputs after the update. In practice, however, this value cannot really be understood. The language assistant now allows more free formulations, which causes less frustration, especially when looking for a navigation destination. However, navigation announcements cannot be switched off via voice control. The assistant understands what is involved, but only points out the settings. New to the update is the possibility to interrupt the language assistant. This makes interaction more natural and less bulky.

The voice assistant can now be interrupted, which makes interacting with him seem more natural.

The intelligence of the voice assistant is still limited to functions in the vehicle, questions about the weather or the score of sporting events must still be made via the Alexa integration in the Golf. Nevertheless, voice control is a useful addition in everyday life. The feature is particularly helpful when it comes to operating different systems that would otherwise have to be controlled via submenus.

Protection against incorrect operation: Touch slider can be locked

As a new function, Volkswagen is introducing the temporary blocking of control panels that are not required. This prevents incorrect operation of the volume control. Anyone who has previously supported their finger on the touch field ran the risk of suddenly changing the volume.

VW has not changed anything on the user interface, the climate control is still hidden in the submenu.

The screen now recognizes when the hand is brought to the screen for typing and blocks input in the slider. This works perfectly in everyday life and without any problems. A useful addition without much effort, after all, VW has been using a proximity sensor on its large infotainment screens since the Golf 7.

Stability: No system crashes from CarPlay

If you wanted to pair your phone with a Golf, you had to deal with frustration. The connection to wireless pairing kept dropping, or the infotainment didn’t recognize the phone after the car started. With the new software version, these problems are history: In the test, the connection with an iPhone could be established without any problems, the connection was always maintained and was immediately restored when the Golf was started again. Mobile phone use in the Golf 8 is finally fun.

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One Comment

  1. And what about Wireless connecting an Android-phone?
    I cannot get the Android-auto/car app to work wirelessly with my VW Golf mk8 although it works via USB.
    Comming Friday i get an upgrade to see level 1890. Hope that helps….

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