Volkswagen was one of the first manufacturers to spot the market potential for a low capacity high output petrol engine when it launched the 1.4-litre TSI in the Mk5 Golf in 2007.
It’s a measure of how far the manufacturer has come in such a short space of time that seven years later Fleet News is running the latest incarnation of this engine as a long-term test vehicle, extolling the very real benefits for fleets of removing the blinkers when it comes to petrol.
The original model offered 138bhp and a sub nine second 0-62mpg time – matching our current car’s figures. The big difference is in efficiency: 39mpg and 169g/km versus 60.1mpg and 110g/km.
Interestingly, the Mk5 Golf’s £19,000 P11D price saw company car drivers in the 20% tax bracket paying £761 benefit-in-kind; the newest model, despite a much higher £24,810 P11D, costs them just £744, at least in the 2014/15 tax year (come 2018/19, that will rise by £32 per month to £1,141 due to the tightening tax bands).
Our Mk7 model also features a much greater level of safety equipment, with electronic stability programme and differential lock offering improved traction and handling, plus automatic distance control (radar-controlled distance monitoring, city emergency braking), driver alert system and pre-crash protection.
It also has, as options, the £150 park assist for parallel or bay parking and an upgraded £1,165 navigation and digital radio system with voice activation and a whopping eight-inch colour screen.
Even without taking into consideration the inflationary impact on the price difference, this is substantially more car for the money.
- Volkswagen has responded to our last report which mentioned the tendency for the Golf to switch languages between English and German on alternate journeys - see here). Apparently it’s an early software issue. Anyone similarly affected simply needs to take the car to their local retailer to have the software updated.