We've taken the Golf on a big family day out down to Kent. How does the VW's 1.0-litre petrol engine handle the steep hills and extra weight?
16 July 2016

Our new three-cylinder Volkswagen Golf has taken us on our first family foray: a drive to the River Medway in Kent, for a day of messing about on the river. It was a nice day out for us but a potential challenge for a medium-sized car with a 1.0-litre petrol engine.

If it had been the ancient 1000cc-engined Morris Minor I once owned, a day of lethargic acceleration would have been guaranteed. However, loading the Golf up with children and grandparents — and the mother of all family picnic hampers — wasn’t the nightmare travelling in a tiny-engined car with four passengers and their luggage would once have been.

On flat sections of road, the extra weight was barely noticeable. Only steep hills fazed the engine a fair bit, making it whirr loudly as it struggled with the extra weight.

Space in the cabin proved a pleasant surprise. All five of us had enough room to spread out and be comfortable on the hour-long trip to deepest Kent.

The only chink in this eco-Golf’s armour so far is fuel economy. Having done more urban driving with passengers since my first report on the car, overall economy has dipped just below 50mpg, which is more than 15mpg short of the official figure.

To be fair, I was initially paying little attention to the subtle eco tips that regularly flash up on the screen between the speedo and rev counter. As well as suggesting I change up a gear or two far earlier than I normally would, they politely explain that I’m adversely affecting the car’s aero efficiency if I drive along with a window open.

Now that I’ve started to pay more attention to these reminders, fuel economy has improved. I’m now achieving around 56mpg, on weekdays at least. I think the only way I could improve on this would be to stop doing the 40-minute school run through town before jumping on the motorway. Tempting prospect. 

Claire Evans

Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 115 Match Bluemotion Edition

Price £20,735 Price as tested £21,120 Economy 49.8mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 22.6.16

Read our first report on the Volkswagen Golf, here

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Volkswagen Golf

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Comments
19

16 July 2016
Given the poor economy often reported with small turbo engines, Ford's 1.0 ecoboost springs to mind, getting 50mpg in the real world and potentially more is pretty good. However I hope you're calculating these figures from refills and not relying on the cars computer. Not sure I'd trust a VW computer.

16 July 2016
Bit unfair to a Morris Minor ! It was a different time when the Morris was around. I find it good to see a Morris Minor or two nearly every day over 40 years since the last new ones. Wonder if the VW will be about in that time. I know which I would rather own.....

16 July 2016
we were not told when to change gear in order to avoid the makers ending up in court for lying in their teeth over economy figures. We also always had a quarterlight (where they go??) open at least to enjoy country air. Modern has its place but the solid build Minor A40 (first with the hatchback) were a pleasure. Modern materials and manufacturing of course make those old boys look daft, but never in the memory

what's life without imagination

16 July 2016
Car computers can be way out and although it would be nice to achieve the mpg stated I honestly find it hard to believe ,from my experience many makes are way overstating the mpg in particular to our favourite cheating brands Audi and VW and Seat etc.From my experience having several in our family and social circle they are 40% below the official figures.Can't see getting above 40mpg with this golf to be honest.

16 July 2016
In a way, I find it surprising that an article like this refers to official economy. It is now a well vented subject, the discredited official figures, the laboratory ones, the only ones manufacturers are allowed to publicise. Much more relevant to most people, surely, is what the car actually achieves in the real world, and how this compares with other cars if indeed this is a deciding factor in their car choice. As @SkiKid has pointed out on a number of occasions, reality can be disappointing.

I find it refreshing to read that the real world figure for a petrol engine (any engine, in fact, never mind the small cc's) in this size of car is this good (up to 56mpg) and I am prepared to believe this is an as-measured figure given that Autocar/Whatcar go to great lengths to find out real world figures. It is also good to hear that the car drives nicely, and for many I would have thought that is important, possibly more important than a few mpg here or there - it would be for me.

16 July 2016
Economy sounds great, especially when you consider t's powering something the size and weight of a Golf. This engine is registering almost 52mpg average on real-world economy websites. It not only puts Focus Ecoboost real-world economy to shame (42mpg), it betters the much lighter Fiesta Ecoboost (45mpg). In fact it might even challenge the real-world economy of city-cars (Aygo 54mpg). If those figures are accurate, economy sounds amazing.

All VAG need is reliability to make this engine a sucess story, something that can't be attributed to many of their headline designs of late.

17 July 2016
scotty5 wrote:

All VAG need is reliability to make this engine a sucess story, something that can't be attributed to many of their headline designs of late.

On my 4th Golf and no issues with any of them whatsoever........

16 July 2016
Unlike a VW Golf, if a Moggie proves a bit too slow for you, you can always shove a Rover V8 in the front...

Citroëniste.

16 July 2016
I am getting a genuine mid 50's in a 63 plate S60 D5 automatic..

16 July 2016
Does the S60 D5 use petrol?

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