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Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI surprises


The Volkswagen Golf is the benchmark when it comes to premium hatchbacks. It has been around for 43 years, has amassed sales of 33 million units worldwide, 350 750 in South Africa alone, and has been the car of choice for many a first time buyer.

Launched back in 2013, Volkswagen recently gave the seventh generation of its evergreen hatch a mid-life facelift, with its arrival at the Autodealer office being accompanied by the same question asked of its predecessors; is it still the class yardstick?

When the updated Golf, dubbed 7.5 turned-up, I went out and spent a good few minutes trying to spot the differences which Volkswagen claim are quite noticeable.

After some time, I did come across a few cosmetic changes both inside and out. For starters, it features a new streamline front
bumper, new headlights which look almost exactly like the old model, a new rear bumper and a fresh take on the now obligatory LED taillights. Overall the design is still unmistakably Golf; it is neat, fresh and uncluttered.

It is however inside where the changes become more prevalent. The Golf has never had a mind blowing interior in terms of design, but countered this with excellent levels of fit-and-finish. In the Golf 7.5, it once again shows.    

Everything feels as if it was assembled with the same precision brain surgeons aspire to. Good quality materials also fill the spacious cabin. What’s more, there is a new infotainment system.

The touchscreen display is larger, glossier and easier to use than the previous unit. It houses all the necessities like Bluetooth for phone and app connectivity, as well as USB and Aux inputs. My only issue with the screen is that its gloss finish tends to show finger marks and dirt quite easily.

As for practicality, well it’s a Golf, so you can expect a lot. It has a large glove box, storage pockets under the seats and large door compartments to store all your things. Legroom at the rear is adequate with the same going for headroom. Boot space meanwhile is a capacious 380-litres.

As for the engine, my tester featured the smallest and indeed newest offering in the form of the same 81kW/175Nm three-cylinder 1.0 TSI used in the Polo R-Line. Replacing the bigger but less powerful 1.2 TSI from the pre-facelift Golf, the blown three-pot came across as a willing and refined performer. This was backed-up by an impressive fuel consumption figure of 5.4-litres/100km recorded over its week’s stay, as well as a smooth shifting six-speed manual gearbox.

As for the steering, it just feels right. It’s light and accurate but not too light that it feels numb. The pedals are all perfectly spaced. In fact, when I first got into the car, I didn’t even have to adjust the mirrors, everything just feels so right in a Golf.

The 1.0 TSI really surprised me with its quality, refinement and engineering detail. It is not a car that will get you noticed, but is does personify the trait of doing what it was designed for; being an exceptional all-rounder.


1.0 TSI Trendline - R289 900

1.0 TSI Comfortline - R304 200

1.4 TSI Comfortline DSG - R356 400

GTI DSG - R545 800

Article written by Justin Jacobs
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