Volkswagen Golf long-term test review: report 3

The Volkswagen Golf has been a family favourite for generations, and now has more clever tech than ever. We're living with one to see if it still deserves its tight grip on the market...

Volkswagen Golf 2021 long-term

The car Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI 150 Life Run by Chris Haining, digital reviews editor

Why it’s here To see if the Golf remains true to its "all things to all drivers" pedigree, to prove that cutting-edge technology need not be reserved for electric cars.

Needs to Use petrol sparingly, provide day-to-day comfort, make life easy on long trips.


List price £23,955 Target Price £22,743 Price as tested £28,700 Mileage 1383 Official economy 50.5 mpg Test economy 42.1mpg


6 April – economy drive 

Last time I drove a car in “two cylinder mode”, it was my ancient Audi A4 and I’d not connected two of the spark plug leads properly after a DIY service. In this case, though, it’s entirely deliberate; the 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine of my Volkswagen Golf has a clever cylinder-deactivation system that basically turns it into a 750cc twin when full power isn’t required.

Volkswagen Golf 2021 long term Haining at wheel

It’s very impressive, too. When the system kicks in, you get a “two-cylinder mode” notification in the instant fuel consumption display. You can subtly feel and hear it, too – it’s a bit like two of the plug leads aren’t connected. However, far from being an unpleasant sensation, it’s quite a gratifying one, because it reminds me that I’m saving money.

In fact, I’d appreciate the opportunity to select it manually; as it is, the car judges for itself when it doesn’t need to fire on all cylinders. Still; with 47mpg being realistic on a long, steady A-road journey, it clearly knows what it’s doing.

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