Published on August 25th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


ThinkBlue With The Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI

The Golf has been the mainstay of Volkswagen’s model lineup since the first generation was launched in 1974. From the base model stemmed many variants, such us the cult-favourite Golf GTI and the blisteringly quick Golf R. But while these variants proved popular amongst enthusiasts, what could Volkswagen offer the every man that would still appeal to the driver at heart?

The 5th generation Golf TSI proved to be just that. Before TSI engines were widespread within Volkswagen’s model lineup, the only options were plain old naturally aspirated petrol engines that played second fiddle to the powerful GTI engines. Having the TSI engines available at a relatively low price meant accessible performance, without the nagging issue of poor fuel efficiency.

With the 6th generation Golf TSI, the 7-speed DSG gearbox made its debut and was made available for even the 1.4 TSI models. This made the Golf 1.4 TSI even more appealing, as it pushed fuel efficiency even higher and offered snappy, racecar-style shifting for the spirited driver. The engine and gearbox combination pushed sales up: a little over 400,000 of these hatchbacks were sold in Europe alone last year, ranking as the most popular model in the region.

Taking over from the 6th generation is the 7th generation, which features a plethora of changes, not least amongst which is the all-new MQB platform. Fantastic cornering ability in a relatively compact chassis, the Golf 7 TSI proved to be the very embodiment of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The new model is also up to 100 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces, although in our market this is down to about 50 kilograms of weight saving thanks to the options list.

The TSI engine received a rework for the 7th generation as well, eliminating the supercharger in an effort to simplify the engine. Torque figures were pushed up to improve performance at the low end, and though the power was slightly compromised one would be hard pressed to feel the difference. The increased low end torque meant less effort to start off from a standstill, which is where quite a large amount of fuel is expended.  Naturally the 7-speed DSG, with its tall gear ratios, allowed for cruising at very high speeds while maintaining a low engine rpm to reduce fuel consumption. With these new updates, the 7th generation Golf TSI was capable of returning a 6.6 litre per 100 kilometre fuel economy figure, which put it on par with hybrid cars on the market.

The result? A great everyday car with room for a family of 5, the power to outpace unsuspecting sports cars, the handling to back the performance up, and fantastic fuel economy to boot. The Golf 1.4 TSI is Volkswagen’s proof that it’s possible to create a high volume car that still meets the strict emission regulations and more than satisfies the expectations of the everyman.

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