Despite the relentless advance of SUVs, the Golf remains Volkswagen’s flagship in the European market. Although pursued by the T-Roc, it is still the best-seller and can count on a wide and diversified range, ranging from the 110 HP 1.0 TSI to the very bad 320 HP R, not to mention the various GTIs, the 200 HP GTD. , the CNG variants and the plug-in hybrid ones. A really wide choice that also includes three mild hybrid versions with 48 Volt electrical system. We tried the smaller one, with the “thousand” 3-cylinder in the eTSI version. An engine born in the middle of the last decade with great promises (kept) of efficiency, so much so that it was the first petrol engine to earn the then distinctive “Bluemotion” acronym. It was the summer of 2015, the Dieselgate had yet to break out and the electric revolution that would soon hit the entire Volkswagen Group was not even visible. Now that everything has changed, version 1.0 eTSI is a very smart choice, let’s see why.
With 110 HP and 200 Nm of torque, the three-cylinder has enough “beer” to get by well in all situations. Maybe five of them, fully loaded and on an alpine pass, could be a little short of breath, but these are borderline conditions. In everyday life it is ready and flexible, it is able to push the Golf up to 202 km / h and to make it go from 0 to 100 km / h in 10.2 seconds. It is combined exclusively with the 7-speed double clutch transmission which, compared to the 6-speed manual of the standard 1.0 TSI, is mainly responsible for the price increase of 2,700 euros. But they are money well spent as they gain both comfort and smooth running, as well as efficiency and fuel consumption. This Golf easily travels 15-16 km with a liter in the city, climbs towards 17 on the motorway and catches a glimpse of 20 in extra-urban situations. Furthermore, the emissions are only 98 g of CO2 per km.
Overall an excellent result that few competitors are able to match.
After all, it is an engine with advanced technical solutions, such as the construction completely in aluminum and without a balancing shaft, despite the odd fractionation. Thermal management is painstaking, with the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head and a separate cooling circuit for the lower and upper parts of the engine, plus another dedicated to the intercooler.
Direct injection, on the other hand, is at 250 bar, while the turbo reaches 1.6 bar of pressure. All this configures a very homogeneous behavior, with the thrust already reaching 1,500 rpm and continuing non-stop up to 6,000 rpm. In other words, this Golf 1.0 eTSI is always pleasant, also thanks to a full-bodied steering and a well-calibrated structure, certainly tending to soft but never too yielding.
For the rest, the atmosphere on board is that of the other eighth generation Golfs, very welcoming, basically hi-tech but not too exciting.
Above all, the dashboard with the double digital display stands out, one for the instrumentation and the other for the infotainment system, which is always standard. You are immersed in an easy, intuitive and widely configurable digital ecosystem. On the contrary, the lower part of the dashboard is too bare and with hard plastics not so pleasant to the touch. In any case, the eighth-generation Golf was the first Volkswagen model to introduce Car2X communication as a standard, which allows the car to communicate with both other pre-engineered cars and “smart” infrastructures, increasing safety. It is a service whose diffusion has just begun but which will become more and more common in the coming years. Speaking of safety, this Life version already includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping. The standard equipment also includes automatic climate control (single zone), full-LED headlights and the keyless system.
Volkswagen Golf 1.0 eTSI, the card
What is that: the less powerful and cheaper mild hybrid version of the eighth generation Golf
Dimensions: length 4.28 meters, width 1.79 m, height 1.49 m, pitch 2.62 m
Trunk: 380 liters
Motor: 1.0 3-cylinder turbo petrol with mild hybrid system, 110 HP and 200 Nm
Exchange: automatic 7-speed double clutch
Benefits: efficiency, comfort, habitability, technology on board
Defects: equipment to be completed, plastics of the lower part of the dashboard
Production: Wolfsburg, Germany
Prices: The Volkswagen Golf 1.0 eTSI costs 29,300 euros, while the price list starts at 26,600 euros for the 1.0 TSI with manual gearbox