Twin-charger engine and DSG gearbox fail to impress. We'd stick with the diesel.

What is it?

VW gives the Golf's saloon sister some supposedly green performance credentials.

Bascially this is the Jetta equivalent of the Golf GT. That means a "twin charger" turbocharged-and-supercharged 1.4-litre unit and, on our test car, the optional DSG gearbox.

The marketing objective is presumably to give the occasional 318i box-ticker pause for thought.

What's it like?

Less than the sum of its parts, perplexingly. The twin-charger engine is one that seems to become progressively less impressive over prolonged exposure, and it has to be said that DSG doesn't show it up to particularly good advantage.

The motor doesn't have much in the way of low-down punch and gets loud when worked hard enough to deliver rapid progress, while the DSG's automatic mode seems programmed to show up the powerplant's shortcomings by alternatively labouring the engine or delivering over-enthusiastic kickdowns.

The rest of the package is inoffensive enough - if you're one of the few people looking for a Golf with a boot stuck on.

So, should I buy one?

Probably not. On this experience TSI and DSG are best sampled apart: and despite the TSI's supposed planet-saving economy credentials, we only managed 32 mpg against the claimed 38 under restrained use.

It's hard to see the point over the 2.0 litre TDI.

Mike Duff

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