Volk­swa­gen Golf TSI

Golf brings Euro pres­tige to the $30K hatch, Lancer of­fers strong value. Paul Pottinger casts his vote

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -

Value

An at­trac­tive en­try price, but the twin clutch auto adds $2500 and VW don’t miss on op­tions. If the TSI’s stan­dard kit is ad­e­quate rather than lav­ish, run­ning costs are a concern. The TSI will go on 95 RON but goes still bet­ter on 98. VW charge Euro­pean prices for gen­uine parts and ser­vice.

Safety

Unim­peach­able. So read­ily did the Mark VI Golf se­cure a five star crash safety rat­ing from NCAP that a case can be made to in­crease the de­gree of dif­fi­culty. All the pas­sive and safety mea­sures are here, plus a sense of hewn qual­ity.

De­sign

VW’s not about to change a peren­ni­ally suc­cess­ful for­mula. If the ex­te­rior is rather dull, it af­fords classlead­ing leg and head­room for rear seat pas­sen­gers matched in the Mark VI by ma­te­ri­als of qual­ity. A bit gloomy in there, though.

Tech­nol­ogy

A seven-speed twin clutch auto and 118kW/240Nm di­rect in­jec­tion en­gine that’s both su­per­charged and turbo-charged for max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency would un­til re­cently have seemed the stuff of high-end pres­tige cars. Class lead­ing, but po­ten­tially ex­pen­sive if it went wrong out of war­ranty.

Driv­ing

Less re­ally can be more as all that clever charg­ing and in­jec­tion be­lies the TSI’s mea­gre 1.4-litre ca­pac­ity. So solid and com­posed is it that only the keen­est driver would re­gret not reach­ing fur­ther fi­nan­cially for the GTI. An en­ter­tain­ing drive and en­tirely sen­si­ble fam­ily trans­port.

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