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‘22 PW DSG Golf R ‘02 WS6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, this has been a common topic of contention that I’ve seen in various groups and forums. I wanted to reach out to this (and I’ll likely post in the opposing section) and see if there’s any people out there that have owned or have otherwise been around a mk7 for a long enough time to have a valid knowledge base on it.

I frequently hear that the 8 is a drastic step back in interior quality (I also hear the opposite, or rather that it’s more lateral) and want to get definitive outlook. Now what I mean by quality is not the styling. Haptic/physical buttons or any subjective stylistic differences aside, I mean material vs material. Door card to door card for instance.

So like I know the rear doors have hard plastic on the top. That’s an example. Or the glove box in the 7 used to be felt lined. Stuff like that. Does anyone have a breakdown or specifics in favor of one or the other and lastly is the consensus that the 8 is a “huge” step down? Mild step? Negligible or lateral? Just trying to get some actual info besides the generics I always hear of just “8 has cheap plastic.” To me “cheap” plastic is like the bottom door cards. Both have that for instance. Where I find the center console “trim” to be nice, smooth, and a much better plastic.

Anyway that’s it. Again this isn’t a debate on which car is better or I’m not trying to start that. Just want an overall interior “quality” breakdown or comparison.
 

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There's a couple areas that have hard plastic, where it was softer on the mk7.

But then you have nicer seats, ventilated seats, a HUD, heated rear seats, sunroof, wireless charging/carplay, heated steering wheel, trunk light, a far more impressive (and customizable) interior lighting setup, puddle lights, way more impressive (and customizable) digital display, and I'm sure I'm forgetting other stuff. Can't remember if the mk7s could parallel park themselves and back into a parking spot.
 

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2016 Golf R, 2001 Cabrio VR6
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This stuff comes up with every generation. Do a search for "cost cutting" in each Golf forum for the first year of production and you'll find loads of people saying the new interior is a step down from the old one ever since the Mk5 came out. Carmakers know that prices are sticky in the human brain, even though after a six year car generation inflation alone should drive the cost up by 17%. Combined with the aforementioned pressure to add features to the car, both from consumers and regulators, costs have to come out of the BOM somewhere in order to meet a price consumers are willing to pay. You should see the number of engine bay parts that used to be metal in the Mk4 days and have gradually become plastic. Just enjoy your nice new car.

That said, I'll be sitting in my Mk7 playing with my sliding cupholder cover.
 

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‘22 PW DSG Golf R ‘02 WS6
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There's a couple areas that have hard plastic, where it was softer on the mk7.

But then you have
Yes, I know. Trust me, you don’t have to convince me. I advocate for all of the above more often than I can count lol.

I wasn’t looking to really “discuss” this, like I said in the OP. I just didn’t know if anyone had specific info on the areas is all. I don’t have buyer’s remorse or anything and surely wouldn’t give up everything my 8R has to offer in lieu of one padded section of some random thing.
 

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‘22 PW DSG Golf R ‘02 WS6
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This stuff comes up with every generation. Do a search for "cost cutting" in each Golf forum for the first year of production and you'll find loads of people saying the new interior is a step down from the old one ever since the Mk5 came out. Carmakers know that prices are sticky in the human brain, even though after a six year car generation inflation alone should drive the cost up by 17%. Combined with the aforementioned pressure to add features to the car, both from consumers and regulators, costs have to come out of the BOM somewhere in order to meet a price consumers are willing to pay. You should see the number of engine bay parts that used to be metal in the Mk4 days and have gradually become plastic. Just enjoy your nice new car.

That said, I'll be sitting in my Mk7 playing with my sliding cupholder cover.
I get it man, I do. I promise. None of that is new to me. I’m merely looking to see if anyone wants to share specifics for the sake of an additional conversation I’m having with someone else. I don’t have a 7 near me to visit myself at the moment. Just reaching out to those who might.
 

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I drove a mk7 for ~3 years. I've had a mk8 since January.

The leather on the steering wheels are nice in both. The seats are comfy in both. These are my main points of contact with both. Who is running their hand over the dash or the door trim and thinking 'oh, that's nice.' Both cars look good visually and don't look cheap, whether or not the plastic happens to be hard or soft in a given area. Honestly, while I do remember that there was some softer plastic materials in the 7, I couldn't tell you where nor could I tell you if there is soft plastic in the 8. If it looked cheap that would be one thing, but they don't.

Don't even ask me about the back seats. I have no idea what it's like back there. I paid for the car, I'm driving! Any passenger sitting back there who doesn't like it is free to get out at any time. Anyone back there who verbally complains that the plastic on the door isn't soft enough will be forcibly removed because I don't need that kind of person in my life.

Personally, if the main sticking point in an R is the interior quality I'm not sure this is the car for you. A hot hatch is about mixing fun and practicality. The interior quality is lower down the priority list. But, if you think a mk7 is better in that regard, buy one. You won't regret it. If you think you might like a mk8, buy one. You won't regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have an 8R and do enjoy it very much :). You didn’t answer the point but you did say what’s always in my head every time someone mentions it to me :p
Ironically the seats and wheel are one of the objectively better things in the 8 haha.
 

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2022 Golf R White w/Manual Transmission
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Hey guys, this has been a common topic of contention that I’ve seen in various groups and forums. I wanted to reach out to this (and I’ll likely post in the opposing section) and see if there’s any people out there that have owned or have otherwise been around a mk7 for a long enough time to have a valid knowledge base on it.

I frequently hear that the 8 is a drastic step back in interior quality (I also hear the opposite, or rather that it’s more lateral) and want to get definitive outlook. Now what I mean by quality is not the styling. Haptic/physical buttons or any subjective stylistic differences aside, I mean material vs material. Door card to door card for instance.

So like I know the rear doors have hard plastic on the top. That’s an example. Or the glove box in the 7 used to be felt lined. Stuff like that. Does anyone have a breakdown or specifics in favor of one or the other and lastly is the consensus that the 8 is a “huge” step down? Mild step? Negligible or lateral? Just trying to get some actual info besides the generics I always hear of just “8 has cheap plastic.” To me “cheap” plastic is like the bottom door cards. Both have that for instance. Where I find the center console “trim” to be nice, smooth, and a much better plastic.

Anyway that’s it. Again this isn’t a debate on which car is better or I’m not trying to start that. Just want an overall interior “quality” breakdown or comparison.
Hey guys, this has been a common topic of contention that I’ve seen in various groups and forums. I wanted to reach out to this (and I’ll likely post in the opposing section) and see if there’s any people out there that have owned or have otherwise been around a mk7 for a long enough time to have a valid knowledge base on it.

I frequently hear that the 8 is a drastic step back in interior quality (I also hear the opposite, or rather that it’s more lateral) and want to get definitive outlook. Now what I mean by quality is not the styling. Haptic/physical buttons or any subjective stylistic differences aside, I mean material vs material. Door card to door card for instance.

So like I know the rear doors have hard plastic on the top. That’s an example. Or the glove box in the 7 used to be felt lined. Stuff like that. Does anyone have a breakdown or specifics in favor of one or the other and lastly is the consensus that the 8 is a “huge” step down? Mild step? Negligible or lateral? Just trying to get some actual info besides the generics I always hear of just “8 has cheap plastic.” To me “cheap” plastic is like the bottom door cards. Both have that for instance. Where I find the center console “trim” to be nice, smooth, and a much better plastic.

Anyway that’s it. Again this isn’t a debate on which car is better or I’m not trying to start that. Just want an overall interior “quality” breakdown or comparison.
Buy the car. It's loads of fun to drive. And the features mentioned by
Hey guys, this has been a common topic of contention that I’ve seen in various groups and forums. I wanted to reach out to this (and I’ll likely post in the opposing section) and see if there’s any people out there that have owned or have otherwise been around a mk7 for a long enough time to have a valid knowledge base on it.

I frequently hear that the 8 is a drastic step back in interior quality (I also hear the opposite, or rather that it’s more lateral) and want to get definitive outlook. Now what I mean by quality is not the styling. Haptic/physical buttons or any subjective stylistic differences aside, I mean material vs material. Door card to door card for instance.

So like I know the rear doors have hard plastic on the top. That’s an example. Or the glove box in the 7 used to be felt lined. Stuff like that. Does anyone have a breakdown or specifics in favor of one or the other and lastly is the consensus that the 8 is a “huge” step down? Mild step? Negligible or lateral? Just trying to get some actual info besides the generics I always hear of just “8 has cheap plastic.” To me “cheap” plastic is like the bottom door cards. Both have that for instance. Where I find the center console “trim” to be nice, smooth, and a much better plastic.

Anyway that’s it. Again this isn’t a debate on which car is better or I’m not trying to start that. Just want an overall interior “quality” breakdown or comparison.
Buy the car. It's loads of fun to drive. And all the new features mentioned by T4coT4ctical far outweigh any additional plastic. The seats are much better quality leather than in the MK7, and they are ventilated. The HUD itself is a huge addition as is the heated steering wheel. Incidentally, I've had 3 passengers comment on how much they like the plastic design of the dash.
 

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I have an 8R and do enjoy it very much :). You didn’t answer the point but you did say what’s always in my head every time someone mentions it to me :p
Ironically the seats and wheel are one of the objectively better things in the 8 haha.
Does "someone" own a Mk8 R?
 

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Don't forget that the Mk7 had generally nicer interior details than the Mk7.5. I owned both and while I could list the differences, I don't really miss any of them. The back door panels on my Mk7.5 are hard and cheap feeling, so I can't imagine the Mk8 will be any worse. My biggest fear about the Mk8 is the lack of interior storage, I hear they killed the sunglass holder in the headliner and the coin holder to the left of the steering wheel. I've gotten used to both of those and it will take a minute to adapt to not having those.
 

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22 GTI Autobahn Pomelo Yellow
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This stuff comes up with every generation. Do a search for "cost cutting" in each Golf forum for the first year of production and you'll find loads of people saying the new interior is a step down from the old one ever since the Mk5 came out. Carmakers know that prices are sticky in the human brain, even though after a six year car generation inflation alone should drive the cost up by 17%. Combined with the aforementioned pressure to add features to the car, both from consumers and regulators, costs have to come out of the BOM somewhere in order to meet a price consumers are willing to pay. You should see the number of engine bay parts that used to be metal in the Mk4 days and have gradually become plastic. Just enjoy your nice new car.

That said, I'll be sitting in my Mk7 playing with my sliding cupholder cover.
I really think people forget the Golf GTI/Golf R are just that, a Golf. It's not 40k Mercedes E350 that then is tuned up and made fast. It's a Golf. If interior quality is all someone cares about then buy something else. Yes there is maybe 2% more plastic in the back, but I really think people forget the MK7 Climate Controls and Shifter. Take away both and you get a slightly older MK8 interior, that of plastic, soft touch material and leather.

I recently drove a MK7 for vacation, feels pretty damn similar to my MK8 in terms of quality. Back doors, surprise surprise hard plastic as well.
 

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Can't remember if the mk7s could parallel park themselves and back into a parking spot.
Parallel park, yes (optional on higher trims though in the USA). Golf SELs with the right option package had this. Not sure about GTIs and Rs.

Back into a parking spot like perpendicular to lane of travel like in a parking lot? That one I can't remember if it was also available in the USA or not.
 

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What cracks me up the most is how piano black plastic has been the bane of interiors for years but as soon as VW switches to a matte black plastic on the MK8, piano black suddenly becomes "premium" plastic versus "cheap" plastic!
It might be unpopular, but I like the matte finish way more. If the whole shifter area was covered in piano black I'd puke. There's just to much surface area there.
 

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... Can't remember if the mk7s could parallel park themselves and back into a parking spot.
Yes, my 2019 Mk7.5 Golf R will do this according to the manual. I've personally never tried it, but the feature is there if someday I decide I need to use it :)
 

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Over the last 20 years, I've gone from a B5.5 Passat to an A6 GTI to a Mk7 GTI to a Mk7.5 GLI. Every one was a step downward in interior material quality, but every one was pretty much a step up in gadgets/conveniences, and in driving quality as well. (The Mk7 GTI and the Mk7.5 GLI were pretty much the same in that regard.) But you know what, who cares if the A-pillar isn't covered in cloth anymore, I mean, who spends time stroking their A-pillars? The places they've cheaped out are things you generally don't touch anyway. They've still got just about the best steering wheels and seats around, and isn't that what matters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
This has been largely not informative but alas, thank you all :p

I do have an 8R. I do love it and do indeed agree with the consensus. For what it’s worth.

Buy the car.
Again, I did way before this thread.
Does "someone" own a Mk8 R?
Yes. The whole point is that (mostly on groups) occasionally you get someone bashing the interior; often while praising the 7/7.5. These people usually have had both. I’m always one to say that cost cutting is a silly argument considering everything we got new and that even with that out of the picture, the u terror is still of s pretty high quality all things considered. I only wanted to get a direct comparison of the 7 (since I personally haven’t owned one) to better inform or rebuttal these claims. Alas, I will not find that here it seems haha. But it’s all good.
 

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Having owned Mk6,7,8 I can't say any "quality" degradation to interior occurred down the gens.

Different, sure.

Bottom line humans are going to bitch.

Give one a pound of gold and tell them they can keep it after one week but they must take it everywhere with them. Everywhere. They'll bitch about having to carry around a pound of gold.

Arguing on the Internet is akin to screaming at clouds. Everyone's mind is already made up and they're just looking for the echo chamber to validate their feelings.

Opinions are like... and mine stinks too. 😏
 
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