Technology is great, but why change something that has been working perfectly fine for decades? Maybe it's for the sake of adding a bullet point to a press release mentioning a new "feature" to show it's not just a carryover item. This approach in the automotive industry backfires every now and then. Case in point, Volkswagen has been heavily criticized for installing touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheels of some of its latest products.
Well, it looks as though the Wolfsburg brand has listened and promises to fix the issue by reverting to conventional controls you simply push. Thomas Schäfer, the head of the VW core brand, took to LinkedIn to announce the company he's running has listened to customer feedback and will get rid of the touch keys on the steering wheel.
"We are sharpening our portfolio and our design, plus creating a new simplicity in operating our vehicles. For example, we are bringing back the push-button steering wheel! That's what customers want from VW."
The facelifted Golf due in 2023 could be the first to get rid of the touch panel. At the end of last month, a prototype was spotted featuring a massive touchscreen for the infotainment system but with traditional steering wheel controls. Many owners would argue putting the "old-school" buttons back only solves half of the car's interior problems.
The fixation on touch controls extends to the center console where the Golf has a slider for adjusting the temperature. To make matters worse, it's not illuminated. The slider was still there on the test vehicle caught by car paparazzi in September, so bringing back the HVAC buttons seems highly unlikely at this point. The silver lining is there's a Clima button for quick access to the settings through the touchscreen.
Whatever changes VW intends to apply next year with the Golf's facelift will likely be carried over to sister models SEAT/Cupra Leon and the Skoda Octavia. Lest we forget the Golf has already received more computing power for the infotainment for quicker operation. There were also some teething problems with the software, which has been refined with OTA updates.