What Car? Q&A - Why is my Golf not being delivered?

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Q: I ordered a Golf 1.4 TSI 120 Match 5dr for delivery in March. Last week, the salesman phoned to tell me that because of demand and a shortage of the new 1.4 engines, they would not be able to supply the car.

He has offered me a 1.6 version for approximately £200 more. Is what he is telling me correct, and would I be getting a 'new' 2008 Golf if I accept the 1.6 engine version he is offering?
Alex Elder


A: The salesman is right - Volkswagen has stopped taking orders for the new 1.4 TSI 120. A component shortage means that, at present, VW only has 100 a week to sell in the UK. With a backlog of 1700 cars already sold, the company has had to close its order book.

Things are so bad, in fact, that the company has restarted production of the old 1.6 FSI engine to meet demand.

The 1.6 FSI is still a pretty decent engine, but not a patch on the new 1.4 TSI. So, you've got the option of waiting six months or so, or going for the older FSI.

We'd advise waiting if you can, because the 1.4 TSI offers better performance, improved fuel economy and a lower carbon dioxide output than the FSI. Being a newer engine, it will also hold its value better.

As you've already placed the order, we're surprised the dealership didn't give you the option of waiting in the queue for the new engine. We suspect the salesman might be trying to eke a few more pounds out of your pocket.

The 1.6 FSI was, in fact, cheaper than the new 1.4 TSI. Given that the FSI is now outdated, you should be paying a lot less for the car - not more. Either tell the salesman you want to wait for the TSI, or pay no more than £14,300 (before options) for the FSI.

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