Read This: The First European Review of the Mk8 Golf

Although we’ll still have to wait months, if not years, for the new Golf to find its way into our dealerships, Europeans are getting their first taste of the car. The UK’s AutoExpress has published an early review of the new car and the good news is that it still sounds remarkably like a Golf.

You may have been able to guess that from the generally similar outward appearance and the almost identical size (not that we’re complaining), but the review really does feel eerily familiar. The car is good overall and whatever niggles keep it from perfection won’t surprise VW fans.

There’s the power steering, for instance, which is good at speed, but perhaps a little over-boosted at low speeds. Or how about the DSG gearbox, which gets you off the line well, but can be a little slow to shift down when you ask it for power?

A little more surprising (and dare we say disappointing) is that AutoExpress’s Jan Horn calls the cabin noisy.

“While wind noise is well suppressed, tyre [sic] roar is a constant companion,” writes Horn. “The engine can be heard too, incidentally; under heavy load and beyond 4,000rpm, we’d even describe it as a little bit rough.”

But the drive is still everything you’d hope for out of a base Golf. Horn calls it “admirably stable” in the corners thanks to its MacPherson struts up front and its multi-link suspension in the rear—a set up that will be familiar to anyone who has driven a Mk7.

All of its green initiatives are well pulled off, too. The engine can run on two cylinders, though you would apparently never notice, and the mild-hybrid system helps this 1.5-liter car get off the line better.

As for the new car’s signature change, the new infotainment system, Horn says that while it may take some time to get used to, the quality is high and the look is classy.

Read the full review at autoexpress.co.uk.