Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI 150 Match 5dr DSG

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 121 g/km CO2
  • 121 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 8.4 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 150 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Golf, Volkswagen has significantly updated this eighth generation design, most significantly inside. As one former Volkswagen Group Chairman once pointed out, 'the biggest mistake any Volkswagen Golf can make is to stop being a Golf'. That's not happened here and loyal Golf owners will find lots to like.

Background

Previous versions of this model have been marked by gradual evolution and that's happened once again here. You won't notice many differences from the outside because most of the significant changes lie within. The previously awkward infotainment system's been vastly improved and the cabin's now considerably more user-friendly. Plus there's a second generation PHEV powertrain for those wanting to plug in. So most of the awkward edges of this previously quite controversial MK8 design have been ironed away. And pricing now undercuts a number of rival Stellantis Group models. All of which means you might want to take a fresh look at this Golf's family hatch segment proposition. If you always wanted one, then you'll like what Wolfsburg has done here.

Driving Experience

In the family hatchback segment, there's nothing quite like the solid, reasuring feel of a Golf - though of course its drivetrain engineering is almost identical to what you'd find in the three other VW Group products in this segment, the SEAT Leon, the Skoda Octavia and the Audi A3 Sportback. Not much of that has changed with this update, particularly at the affordable end of the range, which as before offers 115PS and 150PS version of three engine formats: conventional 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre petrol eTSI mild hybrid and 2.0 TDI diesel (the latter lightly updated). Only the 115PS unelectrified petrol and diesel units can be had with manual transmission. Otherwise, you'll be looking at the usual 7-speed DSG automatic. More significant differences lie further up the range. The Plug-in Hybrid eHybrid and Golf GTE models now get a larger 1.5-litre engine (up from 1.4) and a much bigger 19.7kWh battery (up from 10.6kWh before), which means a much longer 62 mile EV driving range. The eHybrid still puts out 204PS but the GTE now has 290PS. Also gaining a power hike is the Golf GTI hot hatch, whose 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine now puts out 264PS, nearly 20PS more (though unfortunately this variant can't now be ordered with a manual gearbox). An even faster revised version of the top Golf R is planned to slot in above. The 2.0 TSI turbo unit powering both these hot hatches is also used in a lesser 204PS state of tune with 4MOTION 4WD in the crossover-themed Golf Alltrack estate. Otherwise, things are much as before. As usual, across the range there's the option of Volkswagen's 'DCC' 'Dynamic Chassis Control' adaptive damping system which works with a 'Driver Profile' driving modes system offering 'Eco', 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Individual' settings. And of course there's plenty of camera-driven tech, including an optional 'Travel Assist' system which combines Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane assist to allow 'hands-free' driving at speeds of 130mph. Which sounds vaguely alarming but which Volkswagen assures us is a significant safety aid.

Design and Build

There aren't too many visual differences with this 'MK8.5'-era Golf. There are fresh illuminating signatures in the new-look angular LED headlamps and revised bumpers front and rear, plus an illuminated VW badge on the nose, new sills beneath the doors and smarter LED tail lamps. Plusher variants can now have a contrasting black roof too. As before, there's a choice of hatch and estate body styles. The main mid-life changes to this eighth generation model though, lie inside. The original design's widely-criticised infotainment system has been thoroughly updated to what VW calls' MIB4' status, which means it gets quicker processing times, smarter menus and slicker graphics. The centre screen's updated too, 10.4-inches in size as standard, with a bigger 12.9-litre monitor being optional. Talking of screens, there are a few minor updates to the 10.2-inch 'Digital Cockpit Pro' instrument display, which can be customised to model via different layouts. And there's a better head-up display available. The steering wheel's different too, now restored with proper buttons, instead of the pre-facelift model's fiddly touch-sensitive ones. The awful touch slider below the infotainment screen has been retained, but it's now more responsive and (at last) is back-lit for easier night use. The voice control set-up's better too, thanks to ChatGPT tech, which can be used to control navigation, 'phone and climate functions. The advantage here is that if Volkswagen's own voice activation set-up doesn't know the answer to a question you might be asking the car, it'll be relayed to the ChatGPT AI system - though the same VW voice will still give you the answer. Otherwise, things are the same as before. So a couple of adults will fit reasonably well on the back seat. And the conventionally-engined models offer a 380-litre boot (considerably improved to 611-litres with the estate version).

Market and Model

Prices for this updated 'MK8.5' Golf start from just over £27,000 for the hatch or from just under £28,500 for the estate. It's much more likely though, that you'll be paying closer to the £35,000 mark for your chosen engine and spec. The core trim levels are 'Life', 'Match', 'Style' and' R-Line'. Even 'Life' spec offers LED headlights, navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, all-round parking sensors and 16-inch wheels, plus a 'Digital Cockpit Pro' instrument screen and a 12.9-inch infotainment system. 'Match'-spec adds 17-inch wheels, a rear view camera, High Beam Assist and rear privacy glass. And with the 'Style' versions, you get body-coloured bumpers, 'intelligent' 'LED Plus' headlamps, exterior ambient lighting, 'sports comfort' front seats, 'ArtVelours' microfleece upholstery and multi-colour cabin lighting. 'R-Line'-spec has a sportier look, 17-inch 'Coventry' alloy wheels and the optoion of a contrast-coloured roof. Manoeuvring can be simplified by the latest assist systems including the enhanced 'Park Assist Plus' and 'Park Assist Pro' systems, which are available for the first time for the Golf and enable you to stand outside the car and part it with your smartphone. The 360-degree Area View is another new and useful feature. Five fresh alloy wheel designs and four new metallic paint finishes have also been added to this updated range. And as before, there's quite a portfolio of optional semi-autonomous driving tech, including a 'Travel Assist' feature that allows the car to accelerate, steer and brake on motorways at speeds of up to 130mph.

Cost of Ownership

Let's get to the WLTP-rated efficiency stats. The base 1.5 TSI 115PS petrol unit manages up to 52.3mpg on the combined cycle and up to 123g/km of CO2. The mild hybrid 48-volt electrical system boosts the returns only very slightly - to 53.4mpg and 120g/km in 1.5 eTSI 115PS guise or 53.0mpg and 121g/km in 1.5 eTSI 150PS form. You'll do far better of course, with the Plug-in Hybrids. As we told you in our 'Driving' section, the larger 19.7kWh battery used with these variants can now take the eHybrid and GTE models up to 62 miles on EV power, contributing to a total range of around 620 miles. So you really could now use a PHEV Golf much like an EV for short commuting duties. And warranties? Well the standard package is still three years and 60,000 miles. We can't see why Volkswagen couldn't extend that mileage limit to 100,000 miles, since that what you get on its mechanically very similar Caddy model. Doing that though, wouldn't give Volkswagen dealers so much of an opportunity to sell extended warranty packages. There's one for four years and 75,000 miles or, if you plan to see a bit more of the world in your Golf, there's a five year / 90,000 mile package.

Summary

We like the improvements made to this eighth generation Golf. So much that we think you might even now feel that this Volkswagen is a better home for your money than a pricier premium-branded model of this sort - the Audi A3 that shares nearly all of this car's engineering for instance. Now that the annoying infotainment glitches of the original version of this MK8 design have been dealt with, there's lots to like here from a car that feels engineered to a depth that most rivals can't match. Certainly, the safety kit, media features and autonomous driving tech are all cutting-edge. All of which means that this is still, as a Golf always should be, a benchmark in its segment; a car that must feature highly on any family hatch buyer's shopping list. In short, this is still a Golf - with all the model line heritage, depth of engineering and inherent quality that this badge has come to represent.

  • Comfort telephony + wireless charging, without wireless aerial connection
  • Digital radio reception (DAB)
  • Diversity antenna for FM reception
  • Infotainment system with 12.9" display
  • Body colour door handles
  • Chrome plated radiator grille inserts and light switch surrounds
  • Rear exhaust tailpipe
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Standard bumpers
  • 12V socket in front centre console
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • 2 USB C ports in front, 2 USB charging sockets on the centre console in the rear charging capacity upto 45W
  • Front centre armrest
  • Plastic gear knob
  • Rear cupholder and loadthough
  • Soul black instrument panel
  • Standard pedal cluster
  • Storm grey roof lining
  • 3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners
  • 3 rear three point seatbelts
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Two tone horn
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alarm with interior protection
  • Anti theft wheel bolts
  • Keyless locking and starting system keyless accesss with SAFELOCK
  • Preparation for alcohol interlock
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 121
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 121
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1498
  • Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 85.9
  • Engine Code: DXDB
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 5.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 54.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 55.4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 150
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: eTSI 150
  • Coin Series: Match
  • Generation Mark: 8
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 22E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 9300
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 162
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 220
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Top Speed: 139
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: NOTTINGHAM
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1483
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4282
  • Wheelbase: 2620
  • Width: 1789
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1860
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 381
  • Max. Loading Weight: 559
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 680
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1301
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.1