Just like wondering why Mercedes carries on making manual 'boxes, we’re beginning to wonder why Volkswagen persists with petrol engines.
Diesel’s dominance might just start sliding with the new fifth-generation Golf though. Why? Because the mainstays of the petrol line-up are the latest-generation FSI motors, which promise to go some way to matching the economy and emissions of derv power. In view of this, buyers should at least be considering putting unleaded in their tanks.
Indeed, regular readers will know that the 115bhp 1.6-litre incarnation has already notched up a success, putting a Ford Focus and Renault Mégane to the sword in last week’s comparison test (Autocar, 30 September). This week we’ve been driving the 150bhp 2.0-litre version that goes on sale in March, two months behind the rest of the range.
It could be worth the wait for those intent on bucking the trend and buying a petrol Golf. Jumping from a 1.6 to a 2.0-litre obviously gives you performance and flexibility advantages, but the bigger motor’s greatest strength is its extra refinement.