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