First drive of the new, seventh-generation VW Golf in several trim levels and with four different engine types. The greatest Golf ever is priced from £15,824. This car £22,015

VW Golf SE 2-litre TDI 150 PS 6-speed manual test drive

Friday, 11 January 2013 12:31 PM

2013 VW Golf

The new VW Golf is probably the very best Golf they've ever made. An excellent all-rounder


The next up 2-litre diesel engine brings a lot more power with its extra 400cc, more than enough grunt – some 320Nm of torque – to work the traction control regularly on these greasy roads. Keep the wheelspin in check and this Golf will march on to 62mph in a nippy 8.6 seconds, through its snicky 6-speed manual gearbox.

At 106g/km of CO2, this Golf won’t get you off the London congestion charge and it will attract a tiny bit of road tax, but it is fast and fun to drive; able to push the Golf’s poised ‘n’ pointy chassis much harder than the 1.6 TDI.

I found fuel economy of 42.2mpg – again after around 20 miles of hard back lane driving, and that’s only a touch less than the 46.6mpg I found in the 1.6 TDI. Again, I must stress that this was fast driving, to explore the chassis, and with the in-dash eco-prompts reminding you to shift up and the ever-so-early engine torque letting you hit sixth gear at in-town speeds, I’d expect to get much closer to VW’s claimed combined economy of 68.9mpg. All of these Golf engines are the very best of their latest eco-tech after all.

Quick diesel fans will definitely try this 2-litre TDI first as it’s significantly quicker than the 1.6 TDI, but there is a price premium to pay of course for the bigger, faster motor, and if cruising is your everyday thing, the 1.6 has enough poke – and great handling – for a bit of apex-chasing fun now and then.

Radar safety device nestles in the front bumper

Click for: VW Golf SE 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS 6-speed manual test drive (£19,645)