From £23,965
Economical turbodiesel is smooth but slow
Autocar
10 September 2009

What is it?

The Mk6 Golf but with a new 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, which replaces the 109bhp version of the 2.0 TDI.

For now the 1.6 TDI comes in two states of tune: either 89bhp (available only in S trim), or 104bhp (S or SE) as tested here. A third version will appear later this year in the Golf BlueMotion, with the same 104bhp but better economy and emissions figures.

What’s it like?

Smooth but slow. At idle and at low revs the 1.6-litre diesel is very un-diesel-like, making the most of the Golf’s refined cabin and relaxed ride.

If you’re not in a hurry, this is a ideal car to get places while using the minimum of the world’s resources, the engine returning 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and emitting just 119g/km of CO2.

For gentle town driving or motorway cruising the Golf’s performance is entirely adequate, but if you want to pick up speed quickly, for instance to squeeze into a gap in traffic, there isn’t the low to mid-range torque you might expect from a turbodiesel.

In VW’s defence, the 1.6 produces as much torque as the old 2.0-litre (185lb ft) but that doesn’t change the fact that it feels somewhat slovenly.

Both versions of the engine come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, and we can’t help thinking an additional ratio would help lift the performance. You can specify a seven-speed DSG on the 104bhp version, but at a cost of £1455.

Should I buy one?

If the Golf’s maturity appeals and you’re happy to live with the relaxed power delivery, the 1.6 TDI offers economical and polished family transport.

For those who want a little extra performance, the 138bhp 2.0 TDI costs around £1000 more but pushes the CO2 rating up to 129g/km, meaning road tax of £120 (rather than £35) and a BIK band of 15 per cent (rather than 10 per cent). As they say, the choice is yours.

Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate

Comments
52
Add a comment…
moe360 17 June 2010

Re: Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 SE

feefee wrote:

Oops sorry - Having been a Qashqai owner for years - reverted to abbreviaton. QQ is short for QASHQAI....

Thanks drivedrivedrive for putting folk right!!!!!

MOE - Dealership phoned back - they cant supply the SE after all so are ordering me a Match but I have to wait 12 weeks for delivery. Will be worth it after all they did come back with a fab monthly payment. I am well pleased.

Fee

Good to hear the good news, as I first mentioned the Match is a much better spec then the SE and you get a lot of goodies with it as well which make it the perfect everyday car for people wanting something classy and nice and cheap to run.

12 weeks will fly by let us know how you get on with it once it arrives

moe360 17 June 2010

Re: Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 SE

drivedrivedrive wrote:

moe360 wrote:
What the hell is a petrol QQ ?

It's a Nissan Qashqai powered by a petrol internal combustion engine.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So QQ is the new new nickname for the Qashqai sounds better then the full cars name

feefee 17 June 2010

Re: Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 SE

Oops sorry - Having been a Qashqai owner for years - reverted to abbreviaton. QQ is short for QASHQAI....

Thanks drivedrivedrive for putting folk right!!!!!

MOE - Dealership phoned back - they cant supply the SE after all so are ordering me a Match but I have to wait 12 weeks for delivery. Will be worth it after all they did come back with a fab monthly payment. I am well pleased.

Fee