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The new Volkswagen Golf TSI. A pint-sized powerhouse or a pushover? Find out.


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Everything loveable about the Golf hatchback is now available with an economical 1.0-litre engine.

Since its introduction more than 40 years ago in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf has been an icon of all-round efficiency, performance and style. And across that span of time, some seven generations of Volkswagen Golfs have come and gone, with some 33 million cars manufactured.

In a bid to make the car more accessible to more drivers, Volkswagen recently introduced a 1.0-litre Golf TSI variant when the entire range received a mid-life update. And while it may boast a pint-sized three-cylinder turbocharged engine, just how well does it stack up against its siblings?

Confident good looks

At first glance, nothing much has changed. On closer inspection, nip-tucks to its front grille, side profile and the inclusion of LED daytime running lights have accentuated its already sharp good looks.

If it helps, you could think of it as that preppy schoolmate who was always well dressed. And introduced to your conservative parents at home, it would certainly charm them into giving their nod of approval.

Punching above its weight

And while the Golf TSI may come modestly endowed, its pint-sized three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged engine is no pushover. Tuned to excel in our city’s start-stop traffic, keen drivers will enjoy the engagement in a drive that is earnest and responsive.

Thanks to an updated dual-clutch gearbox, gear shifts are now smoother, and shift up faster as it prioritises efficiency.

However, when necessary, it revs to speed with a surprising perkiness usually found in cars with larger displacement engines. That said, the car does feature a slight droning rattle at low revs – a characteristic of three-cylinder engines.

A precise drive

Where it really matters, the Golf TSI handles with the same kind of sure-footed agility that seems like it was telepathically connected to you. Its precise handling doesn’t just give you the confidence to focus on the road but it will also let you manage even the most narrow of Singapore’s multi-storey carparks like a seasoned pro.

Bells and whistles?

As an entry-level variant, the Golf TSI may not come with amenities like Park Assist, GPS in its new 6.5-inch infotainment system, or even parking cameras.

But basic doesn’t translate into cheap because the car features the same understated interior trim, complete with leather seats, auto start-up and an electronic parking brake with auto-hold functions.

Dollars and sense

With a displacement of just 999cc, you’ll score big on the tax front with a road tax bill of just $392.

And with a published fuel consumption figure of 20km to the litre, one could theoretically manage 1,000km on a single full tank.

Couple all of that with the practicality of seating five, space in the boot for a pram and shopping, and you’ll find many of the boxes on the list checked off.

The only thing left to do, would be to get in touch with Budget Direct Insurance to get a free quote for the car’s insurance premium.

Our comprehensive car insurance premium for the Golf 1.2 and 1.0 starts from just $514.96 for a driver with the following profile:

  • A 45 year-old MARRIED man
  • 10 years driving experience
  • 50% NCD
  • Driving a 2017 Golf 1.2 

Volkswagen Golf TSI Car Insurance Quotation
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