2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 85 review – verdict

It's the cheapest version of the VW Golf you can buy, but is the 1.0 TSI 85 the best?...

2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 85 review – verdict

Let’s be clear: the Golf is one of the very best family hatchbacks. Few cars in any class manage to blend such tidy, enjoyable handling with a wonderfully supple ride, and fewer still do so without breaking the bank.

But this entry-level version is really best avoided. Its mediocre performance might not be a deal-breaker if you mostly drive in town, but the fact that you have to make do without alloys, an alarm or leather-trimmed steering wheel is pretty galling given that this is still far from a cheap car.

That you can have a more lavishly equipped Skoda Octavia or Seat Leon with a punchier engine for less cash makes the Golf 1.0 TSI 85 even harder to recommend. If your budget isn’t flexible, we’d suggest choosing either of those alternatives. But if you can stretch to the brilliant 1.0 TSI 115 SE (only £1090 extra if you’re paying cash), the Golf is well worth considering.

You can find out about more recommendable versions of the Golf by reading our full 16-point review.

What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5

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Skoda Octavia

Seat Leon

Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 85

Price from £17,765

Engine 3cyl, 999cc, petrol

Power 84bhp at 5000rpm

Torque 129lb ft at 2000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-62mph 11.9sec

Top speed 112mph

Official economy 58.9mpg

CO2, tax band 108g/km, 20%

Release date Now