Skip advert
Advertisement

Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI

Hatch favourite now comes with efficient turbo engine

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Volkswagen Golf
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Car fans who love driving but want to keep a close eye on running costs at the same time will fall for this version of the Golf. The attractive price buys you unrivalled luxury and refinement in this class, while the new 1.2-litre super-turbo powerplant serves up real thrills – and great fuel economy. With petrol prices creeping ever higher, this small, punchy engine could prove to be a real winner, and it only adds to the appeal of the latest Golf package.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Brilliant driving dynamics, excellent build quality and a badge you can trust... it’s a formula that has kept the VW Golf at the top for decades.

But with cheaper rivals on the scene, the expensive hatch is facing some serious competition. Is it still worth the money? We took to the road in an entry-level S variant with the firm’s new 1.2-litre TSI engine to find out.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the VW Golf

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_narrow","fid":"69241","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image"}}]]

Fitted with a turbocharger, the unit is a perfect demonstration of just how much combustion engines have changed over the last three years. It offers the performance of a 1.8-litre without the fuel bills, and gives the car strong green credentials, plus the promise of a fun driving experience.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

From the outside, the S looks much like any other Golf, but there are a few key things missing – foglights, chrome grille inserts and alloy wheels all cost extra. Without these additions, the car appears plain, even
in our model’s £430 optional metallic Passion Red paint.

It’s a different story inside. High-quality soft-touch materials, coupled with comfortable seats, an excellent driving position and brilliant soundproofing, give it the feel of an executive saloon.

There’s plenty of head and legroom in the back for adults, but the Golf falls down slightly with its load area. It offers only 350 litres of space – small for this class – although with the rear seats folded flat, this rises to a more reasonable 1,305 litres.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The cabin is a little short on kit, too. While the Golf gets air-con, seven airbags and electric front windows as standard, cruise control, a leather multifunction steering wheel and a touchscreen stereo are optional. Even electric rear windows will set you back £165.

On our fully loaded car, the raft of extras included took the price beyond £18,000.

The real star of the package, though, is the engine. This is the second cheapest Golf, but its 1.2-litre turbo is smooth, lively and feels much quicker than the 10.6-second 0-62mph time suggests. In town there’s easily enough power, and at cruising speeds you’ll never find yourself struggling to keep up with traffic.

Slip into sixth, and the refined engine combines with the quiet, comfortable cabin to give excellent motorway progress. Adding to the appeal is its 49.6mpg economy and 134g/km CO2 output. The Golf rides well, too; the excellent suspension insulates the driver from potholes and harsh surface changes, while also making the Golf capable on twisty B-roads.

Strong grip and a composed chassis ensure it’s easy to make swift progress. The only flaw with the handling is the speed-sensitive power-steering, which is precise and well weighted, but a little short on feedback.

Even in its most basic form, the Golf is a great all-rounder, and the competitive £16,565 price cements its place as the family hatchback of choice.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift
Nissan Qashqai reveal - front
News

New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift

In addition to its new much sharper design, the Qashqai now features Google apps and voice assistant built in
17 Apr 2024