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Volkswagen Golf hatchback - MPG, running costs & CO2

Engines are new or upgraded and a plug-in hybrid is available

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The Volkswagen Golf has long faced competition not only from ‘external’ rivals, but from models within the VW Group, namely the SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia. The competition has taken a new twist in the form of the all-electric ID.3 from Volkswagen's emissions-free electric-only range.

To remain competitive for those buyers not quite ready to make the switch to an EV, Volkswagen has made its legendary Golf more efficient than ever. Its engines have been revised, VW has ditched the 1.6-litre diesel in favour of the larger but more efficient 2.0-litre TDI, 1.5-litre TSI and eTSI mild-hybrid petrol models are available along with a 1.0-litre entry-level model and a new GTE plug-in hybrid arriving later in 2020.

Volkswagen Golf MPG & CO2

The range starts with Vollkswagen's 108bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine. This can return up to 52.9mpg in the Golf and emits 121g/km of CO2, placing it in a reasonably low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band for company-car drivers.

We’ve driven the 148bhp eTSI mild-hybrid petrol, which combines a conventional 1.5-litre engine with a powerful 48-volt starter generator paired with a small lithium-ion battery. It assists the engine, helping to return up to 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of around 130g/km depending on the size of the alloy wheels.

The eTSI engine is only available with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, allowing the car to coast with the engine off thanks to the mild-hybrid system. The starter generator also gives the car a small electric power boost when accelerating to further improve fuel economy.

The same 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine without the mild-hybrid tech is also available in 127 or 148bhp power outputs, and is only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 128bhp version is the most efficient of the petrol engines, with claimed fuel economy figures of up to 52.3mpg and emissions of 122-130g/km. The more powerful 148bhp version performs similarly well with claimed economy figures of up to 47.9-51.4mpg while emitting 125-135g/km of CO2.

Meanwhile, the new 2.0-litre TDI diesel is available in two power outputs. The most powerful 148bhp version is now only offered with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, and is likely to appeal to higher-mileage drivers with claimed fuel economy figures of up to 60.1-62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 117-122g/km. The engine features 'twin dosing', where AdBlue is injected into the exhaust in two places to cut NOx emissions by up to 17%, helping to make this the most efficient diesel engine ever fitted in a Golf.

The 113bhp diesel engine can only be specced in the lower ‘Life’ or ‘Style’ trim levels with a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s the most frugal engine in the Golf range with claimed economy of 62.8-67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 117-122g/km.

While it does have a high price tag, the Golf GTE is desirable. The new plug-in hybrid combines a 1.4-litre TSI petrol and electric motor to produce 242bhp, while its 13kWh battery pack enables an electric range of up to 37 miles. Fuel-efficiency figures haven't been confirmed yet, but it's expected to emit below 30g/km of CO2, slotting it into a very low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band for business drivers. Charging the GTE's battery pack takes just over 3.5 hours using a home wallbox, or around five hours from a standard socket. Due to the arrival of the ID.3, the e-Golf is unlikely to be replaced.

Insurance groups

Insurance groups for the Mk8 Golf start from group 14 for the base 1.0-litre Life spec car, going up to group 23 for the sporty 148bhp R-Line 2.0-litre diesel. We’d expect the forthcoming performance GTD and GTI versions to sit in the 30s out of the 50 insurance groups.

Full performance specifications for the GTI, GTD and GTE models have yet to be announced, but these are all likely to sit nearer the group 33 rating of the outgoing GTI Performance model.

Warranty

We'd be surprised if Volkswagen deviated from the three-year/60,000-mile warranty it offers across its model range. This equals rivals like the Ford Focus, but can't compare to the more generous five year warranties for the Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla, or the seven-year warranty the Kia Ceed is sold with.

Servicing

Volkswagen has traditionally offered variable servicing intervals for the Golf, and customers can help budget for maintenance costs by paying monthly.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 115 S 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £21,500

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,270

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 300 R 5dr 4MOTION DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,125

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