Volkswagen Launches A Cheaper, Cat A-Friendly Golf

Volkswagen Launches A Cheaper, Cat A-Friendly Golf

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
10 Apr 2023

The wacky world of COE hasn't shown signs of unwinding, with the bar seemingly set higher each time we check their premiums. For those who just want a new simple, daily commute, they’ll have to fork out more than S$96,000 for a Cat A-eligible car. With a gap of more than S$20,000 between Cat A and Cat B/E, that’s another hurdle to overcome, and a pull factor strong enough to persuade some brands to put more eggs in the Cat A basket.

Just ask BYD, who released a Cat A-eligible, 100kW-specced, ATTO 3 for S$25,000 less than the 150kW-powered variant last month. Even 2 (out of 4) of the locally-made Hyundai Ioniq 5’s trims are Cat A-suitable. Now, Volkswagen has expanded the Mk8 Golf lineup to include another Cat A-eligible Golf.

The Golf 1.5 96kW eTSI joins the 110kW-powered Golf in Cat A, and in base-spec “Life” trim, will cost S$169,900 with COE - a substantial S$20 grand less than the 110kW variant in equivalent “Life” trim. There are also "Life Plus" and "R-Line" trim levels for the 96kW variant, although prices are yet to be confirmed for these 2 trims.

While we’d assume that you’ll also be getting substantially lesser goodies given the smaller (but still chunky!) financial outlay, Volkswagen addresses this concern by emphasising that the 48V mild hybrid drivetrain is retained.

It will not look like a poverty-spec Golf too, with the 1.5 96kW eTSI Life also maintaining features introduced in the 1.5 110kW eTSI Life version, including 17-inch wheels and welcome lights, ambient lighting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless smartphone charging and a 10.25-inch high-resolution Digital Cockpit.

Other than the more subdued horsepower count, peak torque is rated at 200Nm, 50Nm lesser than the 110-kW-powered Golf. But we’d hazard a guess that most drivers might not even feel the deficit in the city as peak torque arrives earlier in the rev range - 1,400rpm versus 1,500rpm when pitched against its 110kW sibling. The performance difference should become more apparent when roads open up and the entire rev range can be exploited - century sprints are dealt with in 9.4 seconds, versus the 110kW version’s 8.5 seconds.

Now that the Golf 1.5 96kW eTSI is only S$10,000 more than the Polo Beats 1.0 TSI, it remains to be seen how many more tweaks Volkswagen Singapore can make to the spread of Cat A-friendly cars in Singapore. Sure, there’s a limit to how much (or little) “affordable” cars can cost, but desperate times call for desperate measures - can a poverty-spec Polo thrive here? Unlikely given such a high price barrier to entry, but tables might turn if cards are played right…


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