Review: 5/5 VW Golf TSI


Club Member
Nov 13, 2011
south wales
I've pondered where to put this, I'll let the mods decide if they want to move or delete.
A couple of weeks ago I used a hire car provided by my employer for a trip from Swansea into central Birmingham.

Last time this happened I was given a Mondeo, pretty damn big just for little me, it was OK but I was a little disappointed with the build quality.
This time I was given a brand new Golf TSI estate.
I struggled to get my phone to link via blue tooth, it wanted a code which I couldn't figure out.
North bound was M4, M50, M5 and then into central Birmingham. I was well behaved, sticking religiously to 70, I used the cruise control. It had the front radar feature, I've not used it before . Once I got used to it gently applying the brakes and then letting them off as I pulled into the lane 3 to overtake I was quietly impressed. TBH it was a very easy motorway trip.
It had the lane guidance assist, It caught me by surprise at first as it gave me a gentle nudge on the steering wheel back into my lane. I soon realized it was because I was being lazy when pulling back in after an overtake and not using the indicator. Use the indicators and it is smart enough to know I'm changing lane on purpose. I'd heard of this feature and thought I'd hate it. In reality I'm surprised to be writing that I decided it was actually pretty good. I can see it would be a massive help if you were caught unawares when driving too long and tired.
Other little assists that I didn't expect ? There is a little light on the inside body work of each exterior door mirror. I noticed on the motorway that whenever a passing vehicle, or a vehicle I was passing was in the door mirror blind spot the light would illuminate. From my motorbike riding and training I'm very blind spot conscious but for the less aware driver they are a really good little tool. It is sufficient to catch my peripheral vision
I mentioned the radar feature on the cruise control but it operate all the time, I noticed it was breaking sooner than me into roundabouts, I tend to come off the gas and roll towards the slower traffic without braking, it didn't like that and would gently apply the brakes if I didn't join in on the pedal it would brake stronger. On one occasion I deliberately didn't brake at all. My foot was poised above the pedal but I wanted to test its brain power. It braked much stronger and flashed up on the screen in front of me BRAKE. so I did.

The sat nav was pretty intuitive, controlled via the touch screen which I'm not a fan of, I always find them cumbersome, the car moves, and you dab the wrong button. I tried resting my hand on the base of the screen, but that let me touch another button on the screen and I got back to the radio mode. WTF? My DS sat nav is controlled by a knob in the centre arm rest, easy peasy everything nicely to hand and passenger can set the nav while the driver drives, so loss of mark to VW for the touch screen.

After work I nipped over to collect some C2 headlights from Dandamano, and left with a couple of other bits too.
Setting off west of Birmingham and heading for home rather than Swansea, IE further west than Swansea the sat nav plotted a route on A roads across country, Yup I'm up for that let's go.
That was where the fun started. I soon found the handling was really sharp, not too surprising maybe with maybe just a few thousand miles on the clock, pushing into corners it stuck like glue.

Of course sooner or later I hit some slower moving cars. Treating the car as I would my motorbike I waited for a gap and pulled a quick overtake. Not knowing how slow or quick it was going to be I dropped a gear and floored it. Boy did she go. Hey this thing is real fun. Razor sharp handling and instant acceleration. Single cars soon became multiple cars. At one point I was behind an artic HGV. I wasn't there long and a straight appeared, drop a cog, floor it and the HGV was in the mirrors, job done and so easily I had room to spare, she dived around the bend at the end of the straight with no hint of drama.
To be honest it's probably the most fun I've had in a car for years. Mrs Mabo would not have approved, I have been warned in the past whilst having fun on A roads, if you don't slow down I'm going to throw up. No passenger today , game on.
When I got home that evening I was raving about the car to Mrs Mabo, she asked how much are they, do we want one ? If I was in the market for a new car this really would be the perfect car for us. I've not looked at the price tag, I'm not in the market for a new car. The tech is very very impressive, the features I thought I'd hate are all really good. On the motorway All I had to do was point it in vaguely the right direction. On A roads it was an absolute blast.
So where did all this power come from ? It was a 1.5 petrol, I suspect its maybe the one with supercharger and turbo strapped to it but I have't checked.
What about fuel economy ? I hear you ask, it was showing an average of 50 something when I checked the next morning when I dropped it back to the hire depot. I was gentle on the motorway but gave her a good work out on the A roads so thats an impressive number.
During that cross country blast it kept popping up a message along the line of " economy tip, change into higher gear sooner " My response, Nah this isn't about economy, I'm choosing the gears.

Seriously I was very very impressed and could be persuaded to buy one. Getting into the Suzi GV 1600 on an 04 plate for the trip back home was radically different, I enjoyed the drive home in a very different way.
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