The success of the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Mk 7 has soared ever since its launch last year. Clinching numerous awards such as the European “Car of the Year” award and the “World Car of the Year 2013”, the Golf also proves immensely popular amongst drivers here.
It doesn’t help that the recategorisation of COE has pushed the Golf Sport up to the Category B class, leaving the base 1.4 alone in the lower category. But Volkswagen has just came up with an alternative – an even more attractive (for your pocket, that is) option if you would be considering this award-winning hatch.
The Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI.
The Golf 1.2 rides on the same body as its 1.4 siblings – you get to enjoy the sleek and sophisticated design of the 7th generation Golf.
As per the 1.4 variants, the Golf 1.2 adopts the same detailed and sophisticated styling in the front and rear bumpers, making this hatch stand out to even the non-automotive fanatic. The Golf also adopts a slimmer and sharper set of eyes compared to the rounded ones on the Mark 6, which I felt fell short of what I would call “sleek”.
The Golf 1.2 runs already-satisfactory 16” rims. While the 17” set found on the Golf and the 18″ on the Golf Sport look much fiercer, the 16” looks good enough to satisfy.
In all honesty, if you were to compare between the Golf 1.2 and the base 1.4 variant, you should be prepared to realise the vast similarity between these two hatches.
The Golf 1.2 comes with rather decent features for you to toy with, ranging from automatic air conditioning system with dual-zone climate control, to the asymmetrical split folding rear seats which allows you to expand your boot space vastly, and even to the 5” TFT touch screen infotainment display.
Being an entry hatch, the Golf 1.2 does not come with the gadgets you’d find on the higher end variants. However, I was pleased to note the quality and finishing of the interior, which I dare say was better than most sedans in the Category A market. And while sedans such as the Toyota Altis provides numerous features and gadgets, it is quite apparent that the built quality of the Golf 1.2 more than makes up for the shortfall in this aspect.
The Golf 1.2 succeeds in bringing across the marriage of luxury and sportiness (as achieved by both the 1.4 variants). If you’re not a equipment-chasing driver or the obsessed fan looking out for such technology, the Golf 1.2 would perhaps leave you with more than what any other hatch out there could offer.
Perhaps the main difference between the 1.4 variants and the Golf 1.2 would be the engine. With an all-new turbocharged 1,197 cc plant beneath its hood, I was impressed with the output and performance of the Golf 1.2.
While the Golf 1.2, standing at 105 horses, may seem short of what any other 1.6 litre sedan could offer, it makes up for it by delivering 175 Nm of torque starting from as low as 1,400 rpm. This allowed me to propel myself way ahead of most entry sedans on the roads.
Completing its century sprint in just slightly above 10 seconds, the 7-speed DSG gearbox provides you with a much-refined and smooth drive, whether you are cruising down the bumpy KPE or even maneuvering the ever-famous South Buona Vista bends.
The 1.2 engine may seem a little slow when overtaking, but this can be easily solved with a heavier foot on the accelerator, where the engine roars to life and brings you up to your desired speed. It does, however, tend to drag on the 2nd and 3rd gear, but once past that stage, you enjoy the smoothness and silent power of this amazingly turbocharged engine. And not to worry, similar to its 1.4 siblings, the Golf 1.2 takes on high speeds pretty comfortably too.
You may feel that the number of different Golfs available in the market now could prove confusing to those interested, but really, there isn’t much confusion to be worried about. While the 1.4 may provide you with the much desired power, the new Golf 1.2 delivers the level of excitement and standard which you won’t feel left out from the 1.4, at a cheaper price, no less.
While the Golf Sport may be able to provide you the luxury of gadgets and technology, the Golf 1.2, standing at $8,000 lesser than the base 1.4, comes in as one of the ideal choice when you’re looking for something that gives the combination of good looks, built quality, fuel efficiency, and perhaps power suitable for its class.
What I like:
- Sleek looking
- Quality interior
- Ever-amazing low torque range of Volkswagen
What I don’t like:
- Feels a little overworked when overtaking
- Lack of gadgets and features
This article was first published on Oneshift.com. All information are correct at time of publication.