Currently reading: Volkswagen to upgrade Golf infotainment with new software and hardware
Tweaks to voice control and touchscreen detection aim to remedy customer complaints

Volkswagen will roll out a major upgrade to the often criticised infotainment system of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf with new hardware and software to speed up the system and add extra voice control functions.

The latest Golf uses the MIB3 infotainment system, which was designed for a dashboard featuring a greatly reduced number of physical buttons. But the system has drawn criticism for being slow to respond and occasionally buggy.

Volkswagen has revealed that latest versions of the new Golf will now feature an upgraded infotainment system with a number of hardware improvements. Changes include a more powerful System on Chip (SoC), which is a new central processing unit that, VW claims, offers triple the graphics performance of and 25% more computing capacity than the previous system.

This is linked to a major software update that includes a number of changes to the way the system works. In a bid to prevent people from selecting the wrong controls, VW has now set the system to automatically disable the haptic buttons and volume slider when a user puts their finger near the screen. The update has also enhanced the infrared sensors to enable gesture control from a greater distance.

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In addition, VW has made a major revision to the voice recognition control, which, it says, has been optimised to be faster and give more precise responses to general questions. The system now has greater understanding of natural voice control, so saying “I’m cold” will prompt the car to turn the heating up.

The digital microphone can now recognise the difference between the driver and passenger, meaning it can also set the air conditioning separately. The firm also claims that the voice control now has a 95% comprehension rate.

The updated hardware will be offered initially on new models only, but Volkswagen said it plans to roll out the new software to existing Golf models in the coming months.

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Peter Cavellini 17 December 2021

I think overall we're getting lazy, too many Apps for this and that means while your doing all this on the move because we will mostly do it when we're actually driving, we're relying on technology to be proactive and either take action or warn us.

00se7en 17 December 2021

Hopefully software updates will roll out to all VW cars with MIB3.  The system in my MY21 Tiguan is pants compared to the pre-facelift MY18 model I had before.  USB audio is buggy and it occasionally decides to think it's in Germany, which means the adaptive cruise control tries to accelerate me to 110mph (no joke!) and when I overtake on the motorway it thinks I'm undertaking and applies the brakes.  Should be a serious safety recall.  That's not to mention the frequent SOS call failure that takes out the whole infotainment system.  I'd gladly downgrade to MIB2 if that was an option.  At least I have physical buttons for most things - dread to think how bad this is in the Golf/ID3 etc.

abkq 17 December 2021
Any electronic upgrade will be no more than incremental and marginal. Nobody will be fooled. Just put back physical controls as no cost option. Or get a lightly used Golf mark 7