Golf 1.0 TSI (MK7-7.5)
Can the little engine prove itself worthy?
On a UK test of the Golf’s different TSI engine’s it was too easy to overlook the one-litre option. The spec sheet making it appear too underpowered and without a market when the 1.4 TSI, which has since morphed into a 1.5, was so good. However, a trip to Cyprus and an exceptionally hot day forced a reconsideration. The zippy little Golf has a torque curve that steps in quick enough to stop the driver having to mash the throttle constantly to make progress, even with two passengers and a boot full of stuff.
on a particularly clear stretch of road that appeared to be used as a top speed proving ground by the locals, the Golf ticked along nicely.
Where this became apparent was accelerating up a slip road and in expectation of a struggle. All that was required was a cog switch to a lower gear, the little turbo spun up quickly and smoothly and delivered an increase in speed that wouldn’t bother a Porsche but didn’t leave you feeling embarrassed. Now sometimes low expectations can create reviews that are too graceful about low points and overly kind.
With this planted in mind, a long highway cruise was needed. Again, the golf delivered, overtaking slow-moving traffic without labouring over the chore and cruising at speed limits without issue. There were times when an extra twenty horsepower would be ideal but they are few and far between and on a particularly clear stretch of road that appeared to be used as a top speed proving ground by the locals, the Golf ticked along nicely.
All this with the air conditioning dialled unto eleven keeping the scorching heat at bay in the cabin.
The car itself has the classic Golf feel, as though an engineer has spent hours staring at the tightest of areas and ensured that not a single inch is a compromise. All the materials were premium enough to justify the price, and the seats were nicely supportive. The suspension was tested on a few unpaved roads, and it managed to shine against the competition.
We all know that there is a shock absorber and a metal coil spring moving up and down to soften the ride for the occupants, yet Volkswagen manages to communicate a feeling of solid build quality in the ups and down of the surface. It feels like it could do this for years and years and feel new, a trick that the Golf has refined, whilst competitors make the ride slightly too hard or allow too much roll in the corner, the Golf has mastered the recipe.
With the MK7-7.5 no longer in showrooms and the MK8 model taking up the floor space in the greenhouses we visit to buy cars. It may pay dividend to take a step outside to the forecourt to the approved used section. The 2013-2019 run of VW Golf may be the best for some time to come. Many early ones in this generation will be diesel, this alone will turn away buyers. Consider the diesel, but ask for a drive in the TSI and if there is a 1.0 litre example being overlooked by other punters, get it out on the road. Few will be disappointed.