The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf seems to have not done too well in the first few months on sale. The popular compact has seen its demand reduced significantly compared to other exercises and although it is still the star model in Europe, the distance with other cars is no longer great.
What might seem like a negative for Volkswagen is not. A majority of the users interested in the Golf who went to a dealership ended up taking a T-Cross, T-Roc, or Tiguan, with the crossover offer being the true protagonist in these times.
With the e-Golf at least those interested in 100% electric cars also had in the compact a traditional, sober design and nothing indicative of a somewhat “special” vehicle being carried. Now with the ID.3 and ID.4, it has been Volkswagen itself that has taken the Golf off the limelight.
Of course, the compact has also been received by a part of the population negatively due to a peculiar design that does not quite like it, especially on the front. I have had the opportunity to test a Volkswagen Golf 1.0 eTSI 110 CV Life for a week and I must admit that it is still the usual balanced car.
For many, the eighth generation of the Volkswagen Golf has lost in the aesthetic aspect, sporting a more anodyne image. While it is true that the more complete and expensive finishes such as the GTE and GTI have a more careful and striking presentation, the more conventional versions wear a more anodyne print.
The tested unit is associated with the level of termination Life further including wheels 17 alloy optional inch solid white color and tinted glass. That it does not incorporate a more striking light signature is a mistake that should be solved as soon as possible in these times in which the “appearance” has a great weight, especially among young people. Halogen blinkers don’t help either.
Playing with the options it is possible to achieve a somewhat more showy appearance but in no case will it be able to abandon the excessive sobriety of its lines, some lines that have certainly made it an almost timeless car that ages very well. This is a positive point to assess against other more risky vehicles but with an expiration date.
VW Golf 1.0 eTSI Inside
If on the outside its lines can be summarized as simple and anodyne, the interior is not revolutionary either. It boasts a very complete endowment and the colorful screens for the instrumentation and multimedia system taking all the leading roles but highly valued elements such as the independent air conditioning controls have been lost.
As has happened in the SEAT León and Skoda Octavia, the Volkswagen Golf has most of the air conditioning functions integrated into the multimedia system, requiring several steps to be taken. Some physical controls like much more, they are intuitive and you will not need to take your eyes off the road.
The Life trim level instrumentation is digitally configurable but with many limitations. It does not allow to view the complete map, an element that is reserved for the most complete finishes, or if the list of optional elements is used. In any case, the one it carries is enough.
The multimedia system included in the tested unit has 10 inches, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, several USB-C sockets, and voice control. I have not had problems with the equipment and it has always worked correctly; It seems that some of the first units were “hanging” but it is something that Volkswagen says has been resolved. Yes, I found it somewhat slow in its response, especially with the wireless functions.
Beyond the air conditioning controls integrated into the screen that does not convince me, it is appreciated that it has independent regulation for the passengers in the rear row who can even play with the air vents. It is not usual in segment C to use air conditioning systems with three zones.
The quality of the plastics has seemed correct to me at a good level within the C segment but I think there is no significant advantage over the materials that you can find in a SEAT León or Skoda Octavia, something that you could appreciate in previous generations. Here I think that the Golf does not stand out and is even harmed by the abusive use of glossy black that is dirty and scratches easily.
The interior of the Volkswagen Golf is in the middle of the segment in terms of space and habitability. As with most rival models, four passengers will be able to travel comfortably while a fifth guest will find a narrow, hard, and uncomfortable rear center seat.
In the front seats, there are good heights in all directions. The generous headroom (at least in this unit without equipping the sliding sunroof) while the width between the two seats is more than sufficient. I like that there is an adjustable armrest and a very clean lower console (the tiny gear selector is striking).
In the rear seats, the two side seats are comfortable, their access is very good thanks to the generous opening of the doors and there are air vents, climate control, and a central armrest with two can holders. There are also USB sockets for charging electronic devices.
The trunk capacity has 380 liters of the base that can be considered correct. It does not shine compared to other cars in the segment but it is not the worst. If desired, the rear tray can be removed and the backrests folded down to achieve a capacity of 1,237 liters. It is also possible to play with the bottom of the boot with two heights.
The current range of the Volkswagen Golf consists of the trim levels “Golf”, “Life”, “R-Line”, “eHybrid”, “GTE”, “GTI”, “GTI Clubsport” and “R”. In all cases, the endowment is quite extensive and this will be appreciated by those interested users who do not have a particularly high budget.
The Life tested finish features as standard with EcoLED headlights, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning, automatic city braking, alert and lane assist, rain sensor, photosensitive interior mirror, hill start assist, SmartBeam, road detector objects in blind spots, and in reversing maneuvers, XDS system, etc.
Also standard are the tri-zone climate control, button start, multimedia system with touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, four power windows and mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, access without a key, DAB radio, etc.
The base price of the Volkswagen Golf 1.0 eTSI 110 CV Life DSG at the time of writing the article has been set at € 30,458, to which should be added the white paint, the Life pack, and the Discover Media navigation system. All this raises the cost to € 31,895 although applying the minimum promotions (valid in July 2021) remains at € 29,850.
It is not necessary to review the market too much to see that indeed this Volkswagen Golf eTSI 110 CV Life is very expensive. A SEAT León 1.0 eTSI Style Go DSG starts at € 23,220 and the Toyota Corolla offer, to name a conventional hybrid, starts at € 20,590 including all promotions (Spanish is possible to find for more adjusted prices so we advise you you take a look at various dealerships).
VW Golf 1.0 eTSI Engine
The mechanical offer of the Volkswagen Golf has always been very extensive and the current range will not disappoint you. In gasoline, the 1.0 TSI with 90 CV (not in Spain), 1.0 TSI with 110 CV, 1.5 TSI with 130 CV, and the 2.0 TSI with 190 CV are offered, which for now has not reached our country. The sports options equip the 2.0 TSI with 245, 301, and 320 hp (GTI, Clubsport, and R respectively).
If you are looking for the ECO label, you can choose the 1.0 eTSI of 110 CV and the 1.5 eTSI of 130 and 150 CV. In these cases, the box is always DSG and they include light hybridization. The hybrid and GTE are labeled ZERO and 204/245 CV respectively. For some countries, there is a version 1.5 TGI 130 CV adapted methane that for now is not offered here.
Finally, we must talk about the very popular diesel blocks with TDI technology that have been losing relevance. Available are the 2.0 TDI with 122 and 150 hp even beyond our borders there is also an alternative with 200 hp. They spend very little but seeing their price and after having tested the 1.0 ETSI of 110 hp, many numbers would have to be done to see if they compensate.
The 1.0 eTSI 110 hp block on paper might seem like a small thing to move to the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, but it is not. While underway, you can see the extra help of the hybrid system and the good functioning of the DSG box, which will always seek the best ratio to get the most out of the engine block without damaging consumption.
The expense is precisely one of the things that could justify the purchase of this version. I have made several medium and long-distance trips at legal rates with the automatic climate control on and three adults, and in all cases, it has cost me an average of over 5.5 L / 100. With the ECO mode selected, motorway trips will be very affordable.
The ride of the Golf with 110 hp under the hood is more than enough for a large majority of users and even more so seeing the panorama with the country’s roads flooded with radars. Undeterred, it maintains the legal rhythms loaded and in prolonged ascents, and when it is necessary to overtake it responds with sufficient solvency.
For example, to go from 80 to 120 km / h in D took only 7.4 seconds, which is quite a good figure for a vehicle of that power. There are cars with greater displacement and power that are much slower and here the small thrust of the electric motor is perceived as a great help at low revs.
In all fairness, I hoped that the light hybridization system was simply the current patch needed to achieve tax advantages in most European markets by boasting a hybrid technology without really having the advantages of the somewhat more complex options. In this case, it seems that tuning is key and they have achieved good performance and very low consumption.
The main question is whether it is recommended to jump to the 1.5 eTSI block of 130 CV which has an additional cost of € 870. If the budget is not fair, I think it could be worth that extra reservation, although I do not think that consumption as low as in the one-liter block can be achieved.
Something that does not admit criticism is the behavior of Volkswagen Golf. In this case, the Life version with the comfort suspension manages to be very comfortable without impairing its manner, which I think is adequate given the calm character of the car, with correct containment of the swayings.
For those looking for a more lively and cheerful ride, they will need to leap to the R-Line finish and of course to motorization with a little more character. It does not make much sense to equip a 1.0 eTSI with 110 hp with the R-Line pack and huge wheels that can only harm performance and consumption.
On long trips, I liked this Golf Life for the general comfort, the silent operation of the engine, and I was surprised by a large number of occasions that the set is used to drive “under sail” and even with the engine off (the best of the hybrids light ones I’ve tried).
Once in the city, the Golf is neither bulky nor large. Corners are well controlled from the driver’s seat, and their square shapes allow for quick size. Just in case, it includes the front and rear parking sensors as standard, and the automatic assistant, in addition to the camera that always comes in handy to equip it.
I liked the lighting of the simple LED headlights although I must admit that aesthetically the simple daytime running lights are very inconspicuous. The automatic short/long changeover system has not malfunctioned although it is sometimes a bit slower than it should. I liked the adaptive cruise control for its correct operation.
In general, the Volkswagen Golf is still a very valid car for those who do not want to fall into the crossover fashion. This version 1.0 eTSI 110 CV Life has a much better ride than you might expect and spends little. Before you criticize it mercilessly I would advise you to try one.