From £19,780
Auto 'box is cleaner and more fun
9 June 2009

What is it?

This is the entry-level Scirocco but it now comes fitted with Volkswagen’s clever DSG gearbox.

Unlike the six-speed “wet clutch” DSG in the 2.0-litre Scirocco, this is the newer seven-speed “dry clutch” version, which VW says faster, with a shift time of two- to three-hundredths of a second.

The seven-speed unit has been developed specifically for smaller output engines. The dry clutch set-up is more fragile than the oil-bathed wet version, so VW warns against any excessive aftermarket tuning for this car.

Despite an extra cog, the 70kg seven-speed 'box is also 23kg lighter than the six-speed. The 1.4-litre four-pot may not sound to at home in a sports coupe, but thanks to a supercharger and turbocharger it makes a healthy 158bhp.

What’s it like?

We already know the Scirocco is a good car; and in many ways the DSG makes it even better.

In manual mode the gearbox is well suited to the eager 1.4, and it's a doddle to use.

The manual shifts are effortlessly smooth and, thanks to the twin-clutch technology, changing cogs is almost instantaneous, plus using the paddles behind the wheel allows more time to concentrate on the Scirocco’s finely judged chassis.

The only downside is the paddles are perhaps a touch too low, sitting at the ends of the horizontal steering wheel spokes.

Putting the car in “D” is only good if you want to cruise, as the auto shift is not so in keeping with an enthusiastic engine like the 1.4 TSI.

If you want to make progress but don’t want to change gear then the Sport mode is perfect for this rev-hungry 1.4 unit, holding a gear high up the rev range, and providing acceleration on tap.

The DSG box is good for you conscience too; delivering 44.8mpg on the combined cycle compared to the manual’s 42.8mpg, and CO2 emissions are 147g/km instead of 154g/km.


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Perhaps due to the smaller diameter wheels on the entry-level Scirocco, and the fact it is a touch lighter, it feels nimbler than the range-topping 2.0-litre. Ride is a touch better too.

It is huge fun, being both chuckable and supremely composed, thanks to the ACC adaptive chassis control system, and flicking through the excellent seven-speed 'box adds to the enjoyment.

It feels genuinely rapid too, making VW’s claimed 8.0 seconds 0-62mph time seem conservative.

Couple to this striking looks, especially in white, and a first rate cabin and you realise the Scirocco is a bargain.

There’s plenty of space up front too, and the manually adjustable seats, without inflatable back cushions, seem to be a better fit.

Should I buy one?

The DSG box brings this car a lot closer to the price of a manual 2.0-litre TSI, Scirocco but if you are in the market for this kind of transmisison then the lower powered car will not disappoint.

The entry-level Scirocco is a cracking all-rounder and this gearbox is another reason to recommend it.

Ollie Stallwood

Join the debate


9 June 2009

Sounds good but I wish they would lose those silly rear headrests which make the rear view even worse than it should be. VW, while you're about it, adopt the far more sensible type which slide into the top of the seats to sit almost flush when not in use. The Scirocco that I drove also still had its damper setting switch hidden behind the gear lever, in the LHD position, where the setting can't be seen without dangerous contortions from the driver.

10 June 2009

Volkswagen have used the 1.4 TSI in practically every application I can think of bar one - will we see it coming to a low cost Audi TT?

10 June 2009

The TT already uses the identically-powered 1.8 TFSI in the entry-level Roadster. I think the 1.8 has a smidge more torque than the 1.4.

10 June 2009

How about a 1.6tdi entry level model? After all the original was available with a 1.1 motor.

11 June 2009

I think the looks on this car means business. And the interior is very good as well. Driving feels good too.

12 June 2009

I also quite like the looks although when I first saw the pictures, it reminded me of a Fiat Brava/Bravo from some angles. Quite impressed by the performance figures for the car given that it is only a 1.4, albiet with a supercharger and turbocharger bolted on.

31 May 2013

its average and economic car. recommended. 

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