Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI review – new petrol engine improves the definitive family hatchback


Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI review – new petrol engine improves the definitive family hatchback


Chris Knapman
The Telegraph
The new Golf is a very good car, and the 1.5 TSI shows that petrol engines are approaching diesels in terms of efficiency

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The new Golf is a very good car, and the 1.5 TSI shows that petrol engines are approaching diesels in terms of efficiency

It wasn’t long ago that ordering a petrol Golf represented a brave decision as far as residual values were concerned. Yet in this post-Dieselgate world, where diesel registrations were down 21 per cent in August alone, you could well argue the opposite is now true. All of which makes the arrival of a new petrol engine into the Volkswagen range worthy of a closer look.

The engine in question is a direct injection 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo that will go on to appear in a wide variety of VW Group products, including the new Polo. It uses Active Cylinder Management technology much like the 1.4-litre unit it replaces, meaning it can shut down cylinders when coasting in order to save fuel. Sounds complicated, but from behind the wheel you can’t detect it happening.

This engine is available in two states of tune, starting with a 128bhp BlueMotion that returned 58.9mpg on the EU Combined cycle and can get from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds, although it is more notable for the fact it can switch off entirely when coasting in order to eke out every last mile per gallon.

The car tested here has the more powerful 148bhp version of the same engine, which is only available on higher-spec GT and R-Line Edition Golfs and merely cuts off two of its four cylinders when coasting. It  produces its maximum power between 5,000-6,000rpm, while peak torque stands at 184lb ft between 1,500-3,500rpm. These figures along with a sub-8.5 second 0-62mph time put it at level pegging with the engine it replaces, although the combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg is a useful improvement.

Mk7 Golf 1.5 TSI review

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The Mk7 Golf facelift is a handsome hatchback

For comparison purposes VW’s 2.0-litre diesel in 148bhp guise makes peak power at 3,500rpm and produces its 236lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm. On the EU Combined cycle it manages 65.7mpg, but it takes three-tenths longer to get from 0-62mph and costs about £1,500 more than the 1.5 petrol in the same specification.

All of which is a long-winded way of demonstrating that while ultimately not quite as fuel efficient as a diesel, the new 1.5 is certainly getting close. As much is confirmed on long motorway runs when it easily trickles along between 50-55mpg, while average economy on mixed roads for us worked out in the high 40s. Compared with a diesel this new engine is also supremely quiet, and while it lacks the TDI’s big surge of mid-range torque it is still plenty strong enough, as well as more flexible at low revs.

1.5 Golf TSI VW review interior

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Quality rather than quirkiness

The sporty looks of the R-Line Edition (it borrows styling cues from the all-wheel-drive Golf R) and the engine’s keen performance might even fool you into thinking this 1.5 is some kind of sub-hot hatch, but actually the engine isn’t sweet enough at high revs to be worth exploring much beyond 4,500rpm.

Our car was fitted with VW’s DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox rather than the standard six-speed manual. It’s a fine combination for 95 per cent of the time, but there’s still some hesitancy when manoeuvring, which can make shuffling into parallel parking spaces unnecessarily tricky, as well as causing a nervous delay when you go to pull out of a busy junction.

1.5 TSI petrol Golf diesel Volkswagen

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The 1.5 TSI brings diesel efficiency into a petrol package

While it is possible to drive around such faults, it’s a shame they blot an otherwise almost pristine copybook. Yes, the Golf really is that good. True, the latest Mk7 facelift might not have made huge gains in any particular area, but nor did it need to. This is still the best all-round family car on sale today, deftly mixing just the right amount of space with a compliant and quiet ride and confidence inspiring handling.

Of the mainstream hatchbacks the Golf also still feels like the benchmark for interior quality and design, with all models now coming with an excellent 8-inch touchscreen system and buyers also able to upgrade to an optional digital dial display. Throw in technology such as adaptive damping and radar cruise control with active lane guidance and you start to see how the Golf really does offer a lot of big car features in a relatively accessible package.

Volkswagen Golf TSI 1.5-litre review

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Opt for the manual rather than the automatic

Our only reservation is that by restricting this particular engine and power output to higher trim levels Volkswagen might price a lot of potential buyers out of contention. Mind you, they could do a lot worse than settle for the company’s turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine instead, which on a price-to-performance ratio remains the sweet spot in the Golf range.

Either way, for those who still want a Golf but don’t want a diesel the news is only good.


Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI EVO R-Line Edition DSG

Tested: 1,495cc turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, front-wheel drive

Price/on sale: From £26,510/now

Power/torque: 148bhp @ 5,000-6,000rpm/184lb ft @ 1,500-3,500rpm

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds

Top speed: 134mph

Fuel economy: 56.5mpg (EU Combined)

CO2 emissions: 114g/km

VED costs: £160 first year, then £140

Verdict: An outstanding all-rounder that provides a viable alternative to a diesel Golf, particularly for retails buyers. However, so does VW’s 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is cheaper still and almost as impressive.

Telegraph rating: Five out of five stars


New Century Volkswagen promotes all-new 2018 Golf GTI hatchback


New Century Volkswagen promotes all-new 2018 Golf GTI hatchback

Los Angeles area drivers looking for more information on newest VW model can learn with local dealership

GLENDALE, Calif.Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Today’s hatchback market is populated with vehicles that are able to please with generous amounts of power, handling capability and interior cargo volume throughout. One of the top performers in the hatchback class is the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI, and to get drivers ready for its release later this fall, local dealership New Century Volkswagen is offering readers an inside look at its features and capabilities.

Under the hood, the 2018 Golf GTI will feature a similar 1.8-liter turbocharged Inline 4 engine that previous iterations also offered. This engine is capable of providing up to 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque depending on trim levels; a six-speed automatic transmission offers a smooth and responsive ride to go along with such power.

Stepping inside, the 2018 Golf GTI promises to wow consumers with an aura of luxury and sophistication. Drivers can relax on plush leather-trimmed seating, and a multi-function steering wheel (with available paddle shifters) allows for even more control over the road. In addition, an upgraded VW Car-Net infotainment system allows for drivers to connect their compatible smartphones for hands-free media streaming, navigation and communication.

The 2018 Golf GTI will also introduce intelligent safety features, highlighted by Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These combine with many other innovations to give drivers much needed peace of mind for the road ahead.

With the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI scheduled to be released soon, all prospective car shoppers looking for more information on the model are invited to contact the sales team at New Century Volkswagen by phone at (855) 995-9887 or online at dealership is located at 1220 South Brand Boulevard in Glendale, California.

Media Contact: Tony Saghetian, New Century Volkswagen, 855-995-9887,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Review By Larry Nutson


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
The only European compact SUV

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Earlier this summer, on the invite of Volkswagen, I drove the new 2018 Tiguan out in the wide-open spaces around the environs of Denver, Colorado as well as in the nearby even higher elevations of the Rockies.

I recently had another, but more typical, test drive with the new Tiguan. This time it was closer to sea-level, in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. VW says the new Tiguan is “The New King of the Concrete Jungle.” Well now I was about to find out how the Tiguan would rule the busy city-street, tight parking spaces, and pock-marked city streets that so many urbanites experience every day.

Volkswagen’s SUV line-up is now focused on three core models. This all-new, second-generation 2018 Tiguan compact SUV that’s longer, has more cargo space and has three-row seating to carry up to seven passengers; the new Atlas mid-size seven-passenger SUV; and the previous generation 5-passenger Tiguan, rebadged as the Tiguan Limited.

The all-new, three-row seven-passenger 2018 Atlas has a starting MSRP of $30,500 for the four-cylinder turbo 2.0L TSI S FWD model, and $31,900 for the 3.6-liter V6 S FWD model.

The 2017 Tiguan Limited 5-passenger compact SUV, based off the original platform, is reconfigured for low complexity and high value and is now offered in one trim with an MSRP of $21,995.

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The new, bigger 2018 Tiguan will be offered in S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels priced from $25,345 to $36,250 for the front-drive models. VW’s optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive is $1,300 additional on each of the trims.

The three-row seating is standard on the front-drive trims and a $500 option on the all-wheel-drive trims.

Under the hood is VW’s 2.0-L turbo 4-cylinder engine that has been updated, now with 184-HP. There’s plenty of low-end torque, 221 lb-ft, and together with the standard 8-speed automatic the Tiguan performs well.

Around Chicagoland the Tiguan delivered good overall performance with no significant shortcomings in acceleration from stop, merging onto highways as well as passing. Engine noise is well managed and the overall driving experience from inside the cockpit is quite comfortable.

VW’s 4Motion AWD is biased to a front torque split so that power goes to the rear wheels only when needed. This helps keep fuel consumption lower. A console-mounted control allows the selection of four different driving modes–snow, on-road, off-road, and off-road custom.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the front-drive models are 24 combined mpg, with 22 city mpg and 27 highway mpg. The AWD models have the same 27 mpg highway rating and are rated one mpg lower at 21 city mpg. The identical highway mpg ratings illustrate the efficiency of the AWD front torque split.

For my Chicago drive I was in the SE model with 4Motion AWD that has a base price of $30,230. Overall I got 20 mpg average, just one mpg less than the EPA rating, for my driving that was mostly at slower city speeds with lots of stops and accelerations. I’m not light on the pedal and I like to get where I am going quickly, and safely too. Frequently, time is of the essence.

Longer by 10. 6 inches over the Tiguan Limited, there’s up to 58-percent more cargo space. Despite its increased length, the new Tiguan is easy to maneuver with a smaller turning radius of 37.7 feet. I often need to parallel park during my routine day and the Tiguan is not at all a challenge to park with its good outward visibility and the rear-view camera to help.

Although most SUVs never get off-roaded, the Tiguan is ready with 7.9 inches of ground clearance. The higher ground clearance helps out to keep you going in deep snow. The front bumper is similar to the European model’s off-road package with a 26-degree approach angle and in back there’s a 23-degree departure angle.

Three-row models max out cargo carrying at 65.7 cu ft, with 33 cu ft behind the second row and 12 cu ft if all rows are upright. Two-row models are slightly more roomy with 73.5 cu ft max and 37.6 cu ft with the second row upright.

The Tiguan is tow-rated at a 1500 lb. braked trailer.

Standard features include a rear view camera, roof rails, LED front and rear lights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. An R-line package will eventually be available.

Options include 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels, a large sunroof, power liftgate with hands free opening, and a Fender 480 watt 9-speaker premium audio system.

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PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

A 12.3-inch digital display is available instead of the standard instrument cluster. The hi-res display can store up to four different driver profiles so that personal preferences are easily at hand. The navigation system map can also be displayed in the display for easy viewing.

The new Tiguan offers a full range of driver-assistance safety features that I highly recommend. Front brake assist with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert with braking, lane keep assist, 360-degree camera view, adaptive cruise control, and park distance control with rear braking will all be available.

The new Tiguan is arriving in dealer showrooms now. For more information, features and specs go to

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For that added peace of mind during ownership, the all-new Tiguan, as well as the Atlas, have America’s Best SUV Bumper-to-Bumper Transferable Warranty of 6 years/72,000 miles.

In my view the new Tiguan is well designed and equipped to take on the concrete jungle. It has a nicely performing drive train as well as good ride and handling that is typical of its Germanic heritage. With it’s increased size and good looks the new Tiguan is a good choice for buyers shopping for a roomy compact SUV, whether they be in the urban or suburban concrete jungle.

The ongoing electrification of newly designed vehicles will be interesting to watch. We’ll have to wait and see what direction VW takes to keep a strong presence in the SUV market.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

2018 VW Atlas receives 5-Star Safety Rating

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Earns NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating

2018 Volkswagen Atlas photo by Brian Wong

CARS.COM — Volkswagen’s all-new-for-2018 Atlas adds one more accolade — or, five more, as it were — to its crashworthiness count. The seven-passenger SUV earned the full five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Five-Star Safety Ratings program for both front- and all-wheel-drive versions.

Related: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

The Atlas earned perfect scores in frontal- and side-crash ratings, and four out of five stars for rollover evaluations, for an overall score of five stars. The SUV newcomer joins the 2018 Golf lineup, Jetta, Jetta GLI and Passat, as well as the 2017 Beetle, as five-star-rated members of the VW family.

“[The] Atlas is the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which is standard on all models,” VW said in a statement. “This system builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact — the most significant of which can cause additional collisions.

“The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.”

Despite its five-star NHTSA rating and Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Atlas fell short of IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus honor, earning requisite good scores in all five crash tests and a superior rating for its optional front crash prevention system, but receiving only a marginal rating for its headlights.

Versus 2017 competitors, the Atlas only fared better than the Ford Explorer, which failed to earn an IIHS accolade due to a marginal score in the small overlap front crash test, a basic rating for front crash prevention and a poor score for headlights. The Honda PilotMazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander all earned the Plus designation. In the NHTSA ratings, the 2018 Explorer, 2017 Pilot and 2018 Highlander all earned five stars, while the CX-9 has not been rated for either the 2017 or 2018 model year.

Volkswagen R Taking the Fight to AMG

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

On June 1, racing manager and former Ford motorsports boss Jost Capito took over the Volkswagen R division from Ulrich Riestenpatt Gt. Richter, who had led the offshoot since its inception in 2009. The division has been responsible for several Volkswagen R models, most notably the VR6–powered Golf R32, the Passat R36 with an even more powerful VR6, and the V-10 TDI–powered Touareg R50. But those models were launched in the increasingly distant past.

More recently, Richter put Volkswagen R on a profitable track with the highly successful R-Line trim packages that are factory options added on the production line, but the release of true R models has slowed to a trickle. In fact, there is only one left now, the Golf R, while a 400-hp variant of that model we were promised was axed following the Dieselgate-related departure of former VW Group R&D chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser.

But now we are told that Volkswagen R is ready to make a major move. “Crush AMG” seems to be the battle cry, and we expect it to inspire a number of full-fledged R models, some of which likely will feature bodies modified beyond the usual bumpers and spoilers. There will be a new, more extreme Golf R and a T-ROC R, and we expect to see Tiguan R and Touareg R models as well. An Arteon R is also possible. With the exception of the Touareg, the models should be powered by ultra-high-output four-cylinder engines, although an Arteon R with a turbocharged, slightly downsized VR6 is a possibility.

As for the man leading this charge, Capito’s high-performance credentials include starting his career at Porsche before moving to the Sauber Formula 1 team. He took over Ford’s performance-vehicle activities in 2001 and led VW Motorsport between 2012 and 2016. He then joined McLaren as head of McLaren Racing in 2016 before returning to VW. It’s early into his tenure at VW R, but let’s hope these rumblings mean his experience is being put to good use.

The Bus is Back! Volkswagen to launch I.D. Buzz in 2022

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Volkswagen is returning to one of its most iconic vehicles, the 1960s Microbus, and will relaunch a modern electric version based on the I.D. Buzz concept in 2022. The vehicle will be aimed at buyers in North America, Europe, and China and will come in passenger and cargo van models. VW also says the bus will be a strong part of its strategy for autonomous transportation.

The news was confirmed Saturday one day before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as VW seeks to reconnect the Buzz with its predecessor’s easy-going California surfer vibe from the 1960s.

Volkswagen describes the production model as a compact four-door with the batteries mounted in the floor. It will have a long wheelbase with short overhangs, elevated seating and available all-wheel drive. It will be based on VW’s new purpose-built electric architectureAutoblog reported earlier this month that another electric, the I.D. Crozz, will launch before the Buzz.

The production name of the Buzz – Microbus would be a solid bet – and electric range were not immediately specified. The Buzz concept has a range of 270 miles on electricity and 162.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats down.

By turning to one of the most-loved vehicles it’s ever sold in the United States – and introducing full-electric propulsion – VW is taking its most dramatic step to move away from diesel engines, its former signature technology. Since emissions-cheating revelations came to light, forcing the company to pay millions in fines and face numerous legal issues around the world, VW has changed its leadership team, revamped its product strategy and pivoted from diesel engines to be more in step with consumers who are seeking electric power.

In addition to its emotional play for van enthusiasts from a bygone era, the modern Microbus will take aim at the commercial sector, potentially using Level 3 autonomous technology to aid deliveries in crowded urban areas.

VW made the call to produce the I.D. Buzz after strong reaction to the concept that debuted in January at the Detroit Auto Show. “This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership,” VW’s North American Region CEO, Hinrich Woebcken, said in a statement. “The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.”


Volkswagen will debut the T-Roc on August 23, but until then, it’s previewing the new subcompact crossover in its most revealing teaser video yet. This latest teaser shows off the headlights, taillights, bodywork, and parts of the model’s interior.

As revealed in the video, the T-Roc features a bold design that departs from the somewhat-conservative look of VW’s other crossovers. Case in point: the new wide radiator grille with integrated headlights. Creases on the hood hint at the T-Roc’s athleticism, and the silver trim brings out the vehicle’s golden paint job. In back, the T-Roc features a bulbous rear end and unique taillight signatures.

Inside, it looks very much like a Volkswagen, save for the bold yellow accents on the interior. Simplicity dominates the cockpit, and in the center sits a familiar rectangular multimedia infotainment unit.

The T-Roc will ride on Volkswagen’s MQB platform and should offer a range of turbocharged gas and diesel engines in Europe. Production gets underway in the second half of this year, as we reported in our initial First Drive review. It’s unclear if the model is coming to the U.S. market or not, but if so, it would compete against the Mazda CX-3Toyota C-HR, and Honda HR-V in quite a favorable market for crossovers.