Volkswagen Golf 1.5

TSI Evo - First

Drive

Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, front
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, front, action
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, side
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, rear
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, interior
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, instrument panel
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, display screen
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, rear seats
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, boot
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo, 2107, engine

TRAILBLAZING is as much a part of the Volkswagen Golf legend as its hot hatch GTI image.

For more than 40 years it has been a car at the cutting edge and that's reflected in astonishing sales of more than 33,000,000 models making it the most successful European model ever.

Now there's a new version on the way updating the Mk Vll Golf with a technology overhaul and an all-new engine.

Due for release in May the 1.5-litre Golf TSI will be the first of many a new Volkswagen to be fitted with VW's new turbocharged Evo engine that blends power, performance and economy.

It will replace the 1.4 TSI engine used in certain Golfs since the current model arrived in 2012 and will cost from around £20,000 in SE trim.

The Evo engine will also be making its way into SE Nav, GT and R Line versions in both hatch and estate body styles.

On the road it is smooth and refined, pulls well and with 150ps on tap it gives the Golf a 0 to 60 time of 8.3 seconds and a maximum of 135mph.

That's a fraction more than the top end of the current 1.4-litre model yet like for like the Evo engined model will be around £600 cheaper.

In terms of fuel consumption the Evo engine is rated at 55.3mpg with emissions as low as 116g/km for a six speed manual version and that's not far off the mark in everyday conditions where we saw an average of 50.5mpg.

The Evo engine has slightly longer legs than the 1.4 TSI and feels well balanced in the new Golf making it easier to achieve good economy.

While the Evo models may be a few months away from arriving in the UK, the other changes VW is making to the Golf line up will be coming on stream by the end of March.

The new models are slightly restyled with new bumpers and a smoother appearance all round.

On the inside the changes are more significant and the new Golf can be had with a 9.2-inch display screen complete with gesture control, a digitised 12.3-inch multi-mode instrument panel and full onboard connectivity enabling Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Internet hook ups.

The new look display screen is the largest currently available in cars of this ilk and the system menus can be scrolled through by making a swiping gesture in front of the high definition screen.

It looks very upmarket albeit a £1,325 extra while the high tech instrument panel - which can display a sat nav map right in front of the driver - is standard on high specification versions and a £495 option on other grades.

A wireless phone charging pad is another option at £355 while LED headlights are becoming standard on top range models.

Safety aids include automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection and on all but the two base grade Golfs semi-autonomous drive assistance systems can be fitted for £1,225 enabling the car to control itself in traffic.

Integrating the radar sensors into the VW badge on the front grille is another smart move which has helped clean up the lines making the new Golf the smartest ever in more ways than one.

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