Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI (DSG) Review
Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures
17 Jan 2018

The simplest Golf gets reasonably-sized and re-designed 10 spoke, 16” rims (good for those who fret about the cost of a new set of shoes), with 205/55 tyres

Perhaps good enough is not enough? The facelifted entry-level Golf sits comfortably around the same price point as some of the Japanese competition.

The mid-life facelift sees new daytime running lights, and a chrome strip across the front grille, which continues into the redesigned halogen headlamp clusters. Squint a little, and you would notice that even the VW badge up front has shrunk a little.

In the rear, a redesigned tail lamp cluster and neatly restyled rear bumper keeps the styling fresh, while the Golf’s signature C pillar stands out, its recognisable side profile.

The simplest Golf gets reasonably-sized and re-designed 10 spoke, 16” rims (good for those who fret about the cost of a new set of shoes), with 205/55 tyres.

The Driving Experience

The biggest change to the car comes in the form of a right-sized 1.0 three cylinder engine, but still with a 7-speed dual-clutch cog-swapper. While the 1.2 did perform well, there was a little bit lacking in terms of its power delivery, the new engine, which is shared with the likes of the Audi A3 and Q2, delivers an impressive 200Nm of torque. While quite an improvement over the previous 1.2 unit’s 175Nm, delivery of torque is within a narrower 2,000 to 3,500rpm sweet spot, while the previous car’s near-idle 1,400rpm maximum torque delivery was more welcome during start stop situations.

Additionally, there is a bit of an exhaust drone resonating within the cabin, coming from the rear below 2,000rpm, due to the 7-speed DSG switching up early for the purpose of fuel economy. But the car does glide smoothly, especially on its final gear, and is friendly to you lifting off the gas pedal to “coast” a little, without the nasty jolt of power connecting.

Lug the shifter back for Sport mode, and the transmission holds its gears, delivering the sort of spritely performance that could put quite a few compact cars to shame.

As with all Golfs, there is so much love from this car, as it indulges you as you plant it into a series of bends, while remaining poised and balanced. Just for a while, you could actually feel some of that GTi DNA coursing through the steering, with the rear wheels feeling very planted. It might not be as surgically sharp as the GTi for sure, but for what it is built for, it is certainly hard to fault.

With a century sprint of 9.9 seconds, a slight improvement over the previous car, the one litre does deliver a combined 20Km/l, but does seem much thirstier if pushed hard. 

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Engine Capacity 999cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 3
Power 110bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 2000rpm


Acceleration 9.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 196 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 20.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4258 x 1799 x 1492) mm
Wheelbase 2620 mm
Turning Circle 10.9 metres
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L