ONE EURO

1-LITRE EURO­PEAN HATCHBACKS FIGHT!

Torque (Singapore) - - FRONT PAGE - STORY JEREMY CHUA PHO­TOS TAN MENG CHOON ART DI­REC­TION MICHAEL CHIAN

FORD FO­CUS vs VOLK­SWA­GEN GOLF vs SEAT LEON

THIRTY years ago, a car with a 1-litre engine was an af­ford­able lit­tle run­about with tiny per­for­mance.

Three decades on, a 1-litre car is far from be­ing just a weedy run­about. Thanks to tur­bocharg­ing, to­day’s sin­glelitre en­gines are pow­er­ful enough to drive every­thing from hatchbacks to crossovers. The old­est of the three con­tenders is the Ford Fo­cus, which was in­tro­duced in 2011. But thanks to a timely up­date, which gave it a bolder ex­te­rior and en­hanced cabin, the Fo­cus still isn’t show­ing its age. Its big­gest im­prove­ment is its new tur­bocharged 1-litre 3-pot mo­tor, which is punchier than the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.6-litre 4-cylin­der it re­places. Hop­ing for con­tin­ued suc­cess in this seg­ment is the Volk­swa­gen Golf. Like its ri­vals, it also boasts en­hance­ments to its ex­te­rior (al­beit sub­tle ones), and fur­ther re­fine­ments to its in­te­rior. And with more torque com­ing from the Golf’s tur­bocharged 1-litre 3-cylin­der engine, which re­places the tur­bocharged 1.2-litre in­line-4 in its pre­de­ces­sor, it prom­ises to be a spright­lier drive, too. Look­ing to put the Golf in the shade is its Span­ish cousin, the Seat Leon. Although both cars are me­chan­i­cally sim­i­lar, the Leon has two ad­van­tages: bet­ter looks and more power.

Which of these 1-litre hatches ul­ti­mately of­fers the most value for money? Con­tinue read­ing and find out what we think.

VOLK­SWA­GEN GOLF 1.0 ver­sus FORD FO­CUS 1.0 ver­sus SEAT LEON 1.0

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