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Volkswagen has been working on rolling out support for wireless CarPlay across its lineup, and the carmaker recently invited me out to Asheville, North Carolina, for a look at the redesigned Mk8 Golf GTI and Golf R hatchbacks, as well as the refreshed Jetta and the rest of the 2022 lineup.

2022-golf-r-blue.jpg
2022 Golf R

Given that I've previously looked at VW's MIB3 infotainment platforms with wireless CarPlay in both the 2021 ID.4 and 2021 Tiguan, this is more of an overview of what some of the 2022 models are offering in the infotainment department for the new model year than an in-depth review.

Golf GTI and Golf R

The new Golf launched in a number of international markets a couple of years ago, but it's taken until now for it to come to the U.S. with only the more performance-oriented Golf GTI and Golf R versions joining the U.S. lineup.

2022-vw-golf-gti-yellow.jpg
2022 Golf GTI

On the infotainment side, the Golf GTI and Golf R both come with VW's latest MIB3 platform, although that arrives in a couple of different flavors.

2022-vw-golf-gti-home-screen.jpg

The GTI S trim includes an 8.25-inch infotainment screen with VW's Composition Color system that supports wired CarPlay, while moving up to the SE or Autobahn trim upgrades to a 10-inch screen with VW's Discover Pro system that I'm focusing on here. That system includes a completely different look, onboard navigation, wireless CarPlay, SiriusXM with 360L, and voice control. The 10-inch Discover Pro system is also standard on Golf R, as that model is available in only a single high-end trim.

2022-vw-golf-gti-home-2.jpg

The Discover Pro system has seen some criticism since its debut on the ID.4 for bugs and sluggishness, but VW has been working to improve it and over-the-air software updates will allow for continued refinement. I actually didn't have a lot of issues with it in the ID.4, and I still found it working well in the Golf. The system has a modern smartphone-like look with familiar home screen icons and a CarPlay-like dashboard screen showing widgets from multiple apps.

As with the ID.4, volume and climate controls are located in a capacitive strip below the main screen and are operated by swiping left or right. My initial feeling was that it was a creative way to implement streamlined and unobtrusive controls, but the more I've used them, the less enamored I am of them. They can be a bit finicky, and I'd really just prefer to use a hardware knob or buttons with a tactile response. The strip is also a natural place where you might want to brace your hand to operate the touchscreen, but then you have to be careful not to mess up your audio or A/C.

2022-vw-golf-gti-carplay-home.jpg

That said, CarPlay looks good on the system, which retains a strip of the native interface along the left side that makes it easy to hop out of CarPlay with a home button icon, as well as offer access to climate and heated/ventilated seat settings.

2022-vw-golf-gti-carplay-dash.jpg

VW's 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro screen is standard across all trims, which offers great flexibility for displaying the information you want including navigation prompts, and the Golf GTI Autobahn trim and the Golf R add a head-up display for even more glanceable information.

2022-vw-golf-gti-charger.jpg

All GTI and R trims include a wireless phone charger standard, which is always great to have alongside wireless CarPlay. The charger is a simple cubby tucked under the center stack, and it had no problems charging my iPhone 13 Pro Max in an Apple leather case.

2022-vw-golf-gti-carplay-now-playing.jpg

All trims also include four USB-C ports, with two up front supporting both charging and data while two second-row ones on the rear of the center console are charge-only.

Jetta and Jetta GLI

The 2022 Jetta includes a combination of the MIB3 and older MIB2 systems, with lower-level S, Sport, and SE trims featuring MIB2 Composition Color systems with a 6.5-inch display and support for wired CarPlay only. The higher-level SEL and GLI Autobahn trims come with upgraded MIB3 8-inch systems that support wireless CarPlay and are paired with wireless phone charging. The GLI's system is known as Composition Media and lacks built-in navigation, while the SEL's Discover Media system includes navigation.

2022-vw-jetta-gli.jpg
2022 Jetta GLI

I spent some time in the GLI with Composition Media, which features not only the 8-inch screen but also several fixed buttons surrounding the display that make it easy to hop between functions, including in and out of CarPlay. The 8-inch screen really feels like the bare minimum for infotainment systems these days, so it's unfortunate that the lower trims still come with only a 6.5-inch screen.

2022-vw-jetta-gli-overview.jpg

As I noted in my 2021 Tiguan review, performance of the MIB3 system is solid, although the simple interface lacks visual interest. That can be a good thing, with understated dark themes being easy on the eyes and limiting distraction, but it's definitely not as modern looking as the Discover Pro systems on the ID.4 and Golf.

2022-vw-jetta-gli-home.jpg

CarPlay integrates well with the system, and turn-by-turn Apple Maps guidance can also be displayed in the digital cockpit for some second-screen flexibility.

2022-vw-jetta-gli-carplay-home.jpg

The wireless charger is a rubberized pad inside a nook at the base of the center stack, and it worked well as my phone stayed in place and it had no trouble delivering a consistent charge. For wired connectivity, there's a pair of USB-C data-and-charge ports adjacent to the phone cubby, and another charge-only one in the center console compartment.

2022-vw-jetta-gli-audio.jpg

Taos

The final 2022 VW I spent significant time in was the Taos, which features the 8-inch MIB3 system on the higher-end SE and SEL trims, with the SEL's Discover Media including onboard navigation to distinguish it from the SE's Composition Media unit. The base S trim features the older MIB2 Composition Color system on a 6.5-inch screen, which again is difficult to recommend these days due to its small size and lack of wireless CarPlay.

2022-vw-taos.jpg
2022 Taos

The MIB3 Discover Media system on the Taos SEL trim I drove is essentially the same as the one in the Jetta at this event and the 2021 Tiguan I previously tested, so there's not a lot else to report. As with the Jetta, the Taos SE and SEL trims include a well-designed rubberized wireless phone charging pad, as well as the same pair of data-and-charge USB-C ports up front. A third charge-only port is located on the rear of the center console for second-row passengers.

2022-vw-taos-cockpit.jpg

Wrap-up

Overall, VW is making some nice strides in the infotainment department, pushing things forward with the MIB3 platform with wireless CarPlay and wireless phone charging. Unfortunately, the lineups can still be a bit confusing, with lower trims still featuring the older MIB2 system while higher trims on the same vehicle get MIB3.

Even within the MIB3 system, there's significant variation in the overall look depending on the vehicle, with the large-screen Discover Pro systems found in vehicles like the ID.4 and Golf bearing essentially no similarity in looks to the Discover Media and Composition Media systems found in other vehicles like the Jetta and Taos. And the MIB3 interfaces in the Jetta and Taos look closer in appearance to MIB2 systems than they do MIB3 Discover Pro systems, but with improved performance and some extra features like wireless CarPlay.

It obviously takes time for automakers to roll out updated systems like these, generally requiring some level of interior refresh to accommodate changes to the hardware, so there will always be a staggered rollout across a lineup, but I feel like there's a bit more confusion than there needs to be right now.

So if wireless CarPlay is important to you, make sure you're closely checking the specs for your desired trim. On the Golf and Taos, everything but the lowest-level S trims include it, while the Jetta requires either the SEL or GLI level at the higher end. Other models will vary.

Article Link: All-New Golf GTI and Golf R Headline VW's 2022 Lineup With Wireless CarPlay on Many Trims
 
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joelisfar

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2012
102
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Just got a '22 Tiguan and I gotta say that wireless CarPlay is sooo nice (when it works well, which seems to be about 98% of the time).

Now do I have to wait for a mid-life crisis to get a Golf R or what?

@WildCowboy I haven't thought about Kiss That Frog by Peter Gabriel in YEARS but thanks to you I'm listening through that whole album now.
 
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PsykX

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2006
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Wonder what will happen when Apple releases a port-less iPhone.
Will we have to purchase a WiFi adapter for CarPlay ?
 

Wanted797

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2011
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Australia
Don’t mean to offend anybody, but the look of the new Golf makes me think the new Golf owner will be just like any modern BMW or Audi driver.
They’re about the same price now.

I wanted a golf for years. Bought a new car this year and looking at golfs the price for features was crazy.

Ended up with a Kia Cerato GT MY22 (no wireless CarPlay but the price vs features made it a no brainer).
 
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DrV

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Sep 25, 2007
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"The Discover Pro system has seen some criticism since its debut on the ID.4 for bugs and sluggishness, but VW has been working to improve it and over-the-air software updates will allow for continued refinement."

I have had a VW ID with the Discover Pro for over a year. Sluggish, buggish, rubb... oh, well. The capacitive touch surfaces are bearable at best, the volume control is not as bad as it sounds. (The ones for the ACC are unbearable. Touch a little: ±1, touch a bit more: ±10 for the setpoint. I have not learned to use them reliably. Whoever got the idea was probably paid well by VW's competitors.)

The wireless CarPlay works quite nicely, though. Not completely flawless, but more reliable than rest of the stuff in the infotainment.
 

twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2017
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Don’t know if you lot across the pond get the same MIB3 as Europe but in the UK it has been a complete disaster. It’s been out for ages and some people are still unable to get satnav activated on it after collecting their cars 6 months ago. Dealerships say VW doesn’t know how to solve it.
 
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high3r

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Jul 23, 2015
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Hungary
I have the Style trim Golf MK8 (not available in the States) for more than a year and the infotainment system is quite bad.
I've 3 years of We Connect subscription with which you can log in the car so you can track some data about the car. The iOS We Connect app causes some battery drain on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I found it out after doing two clean restores. But that's not really the problem and We Connect can be accessed with a browser too.
The car itself loses (eSim) connection every 6-7 days for a whole day therefore it can't connect to We Connect and can only login as Guest in the car.
In the infotainment system settings if eSim is enabled then streaming music via cellular on my phone is stopping every few seconds. Disabling eSim makes music streaming perfect. At the same time the car stays connected to the internet. ?
Well, perfect for 50 minutes or so when Carplay disconnects then reconnects. ? It's always like this.
Wireless charging is a no go. Phone gets incredibly hot and it's hardly charging at all. It was the same with a 12P. Maybe it's the magnets.
Also some Assist systems are reporting errors from time to time.

So currently I would call it a pile of poo. The car itself is great though.
My dealership says there are updates that apparently fix these issues but it can only be performed in the service. I'm a bit skeptical about it but might give it a go.
 
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trigf

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arggg14

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Dec 30, 2014
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From a non-infotainment review perspective, the new Golf GTI is a sad replacement for the previous version. Bean counters have cheapened it everywhere they can, pissing off long-time GTI enthusiasts.

Yep. MK7 GTI driver here. The MK8 interior is a complete step backwards. Cheap materials abound and the infotainment system is sluggish. There are NO physical buttons, everything is touch with haptic feedback. VW in their infinite wisdom also chose not to illuminate the volume sliders on the dash so it’s impossible to see what you’re doing at night.

Other than the cluster of an interior, the MK8 will be a better performer than the MK7 in every way.
 

840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
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@WildCowboy looking forward to a test run with these cars soon, but curious your feedback on the digital cockpit from the CarPlay system (the screen in the gauge cluster). On the newer Audi systems I find it a bit lacking, and wished the steering wheel controls would automatically bring you back to media selection (or have a setting to enable it) when you toggle one of the arrow navigation buttons on the wheel.

Are Apple Maps now supported in the center screen during navigation, or is that still locked to the center screen?
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
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That's a good spot to do some testing but looking at the photos and such, it looks like they really limited how much time you had with each model. Did you only get to drive it a mile down the road for a photo then go back and get the next one? I Know this is now an automotive outlet but I'd require a day with each model or I'm staying home.
 

840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
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Twin Cities Minnesota
Yep. MK7 GTI driver here. The MK8 interior is a complete step backwards. Cheap materials abound and the infotainment system is sluggish. There are NO physical buttons, everything is touch with haptic feedback. VW in their infinite wisdom also chose not to illuminate the volume sliders on the dash so it’s impossible to see what you’re doing at night.

Other than the cluster of an interior, the MK8 will be a better performer than the MK7 in every way.
Is part of that due to EU regulations regarding controls and such? Been a while since I read Autocar but I seem to recall an article warning that central buttons and such tasks will need to move to the steering hub to help prevent distracted driving.

Regardless, Overall the trend in VAG is really furstrating as I have zero interest in MMI Touch in the newer Audi models, and while I love everything else about the current generation (C8) A6 Allroad, I don't want to depart from my tactile buttons of my C7.5 A6 with classic MMI, and winter glove friendly buttons.

Nothing is as good as the chunky buttons and knobs my MK3 VR6 Jetta has though ;) .
 

synergize

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
376
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The Golf R has 315 hp and does a quick 4.7 zero to 60, it recently won the Drivers Car of the Year, CarPlay makes it even better. That will be a superb drivers car and a boatload of fun on the backroads.
 
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kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
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the updated R is pretty amazing. interior not quite as nice as the comparable audi, but bests the audi in performance. quite pricey, though...i think i'd go for the audi at that price. still loving my mk7 GTI but the mk8 R has me interested. tbh, wireless carplay is towards the bottom of my wish-list...
 

kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
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The Golf R has 315 hp and does a quick 4.7 zero to 60, it recently won the Drivers Car of the Year, CarPlay makes it even better. That will be a superb drivers car and a boatload of fun on the backroads.
was i mistaken that i saw a video review where the guy did 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds?? completely stock, i believe.
 

synergize

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
376
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was i mistaken that i saw a video review where the guy did 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds?? completely stock, i believe.
I don't think it's quite that fast. The Audi RS3 does a 3.9 Zero to 60.
2021 Audi RS 33.9 sec12.1 sec-109 ft.

Plus, it will be one of the last manual transmissions VW will ever build, this car might hold its value over the long run.
 
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kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
1,140
129
Yep. MK7 GTI driver here. The MK8 interior is a complete step backwards. Cheap materials abound and the infotainment system is sluggish. There are NO physical buttons, everything is touch with haptic feedback. VW in their infinite wisdom also chose not to illuminate the volume sliders on the dash so it’s impossible to see what you’re doing at night.

Other than the cluster of an interior, the MK8 will be a better performer than the MK7 in every way.
yes, that's what i've read, too. it's sad that VW is going the route of losing the physical buttons...it's a fad. many car makers are already moving back to allowing some physical buttons on things. i have a mk7 GTI and i love that it has a physical volume knob. i'd hate it if it were a slider...
 

twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2017
788
1,735
I have the Style trim Golf MK8 (not available in the States) for more than a year and the infotainment system is quite bad.
I've 3 years of We Connect subscription with which you can log in the car so you can track some data about the car. The iOS We Connect app causes some battery drain on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I found it out after doing two clean restores. But that's not really the problem and We Connect can be accessed with a browser too.
The car itself loses (eSim) connection every 6-7 days for a whole day therefore it can't connect to We Connect and can only login as Guest in the car.
In the infotainment system settings if eSim is enabled then streaming music via cellular on my phone is stopping every few seconds. Disabling eSim makes music streaming perfect. At the same time the car stays connected to the internet. ?
Well, perfect for 50 minutes or so when Carplay disconnects then reconnects. ? It's always like this.
Wireless charging is a no go. Phone gets incredibly hot and it's hardly charging at all. It was the same with a 12P. Maybe it's the magnets.
Also some Assist systems are reporting errors from time to time.

So currently I would call it a pile of poo. The car itself is great though.
My dealership says there are updates that apparently fix these issues but it can only be performed in the service. I'm a bit skeptical about it but might give it a go.
Member of the T-Roc forums (I have a MY20 R-line) and our MIB3 members hate the new system too lol. I don’t know what’s going on at VAG but it seems like they’re desperately trying to ruin all of their car software. I’m actually glad I got MIB2 when I did as MIB3 doesn’t sound great. I really dislike the touch buttons on the steering wheel and for climate control too. Such a shame. Have you lifted your hood yet and wondered where the ? your gas struts are? VW are such cheapskates these days.
 
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