Reviews Tried & Tested Volkswagen

Tried & Tested: Volkswagen Golf VI 1.4 TSI

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Welcome to AUSmotive’s second Tried & Tested review. This time, with a bit of a difference. As you can see we’re discussing the new Mk6 Golf, and with the new Golf not making its Australian debut until later this month I have had to follow a few leads via the VWvortex forums to file this report. This has led me right to the heart of Volkswagen, with the owner of this Mk6 Golf, Jimmy, an ex-pat US citizen now residing in Wolfsburg. Jimmy has been kind enough answer a few questions about his new wheels…

Q. Can you please list the full spec of your car, how long you have owned it and kilometres travelled.

A. I have the 1.4 litre TSI 160PS (approx 117kw) engine and the 7-speed DSG transmission, with flappy paddles on the steering wheel. It is only a few months old and I have completed just 1500 kilometyres so far.

It also has heated leather seats with power lumbar, the new generation RNS-510 sat nav system (with the hard disk drive). There is also Park Assist, although no reverse camera, just sensors in the bumpers, and it can also parallel park automagically.

Obviously by the pictures you can see it is a three door version. As of right now new Mk6 Golf is still quite rare, even here in Wolfsburg. I’ve only seen one or two others like it, quite unique for a town that renamed itself “Golfsburg” a few years ago.

My car was made in Mosel (Zwickau) and not in Wolfsburg.

[Ed: This is interesting, as I had previously heard that all Mk6 Golf production was to take place in Wolfsburg, perhaps all Golf production will now be in Germany, rather than Wolfsburg itself.]

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Q. The story goes Volkswagen rushed the Golf VI forward because the Golf V was too costly to produce, are there any obvious signs of cost cutting and does the build quality meet expectations?

A. The car has spent a few hours in the shop for a blown driver’s side power window motor. Despite recent cold and snowy weather the car is garaged for the majority of the time, so I doubt Volkswagen can blame the cold for the problem.

Aside from me putting a few dents in my past Volkswagens I have yet to have a mechanical failure of any kind and I don’t feel any difference in this one.

My wife is a Volkswagen employee and we get a new/lease car every nine months or so and the trip to the dealership for the window motor was my very first repair to one our cars in over 5 years.

However, as I don’t have my cars for very long so I’m not sure I can report in regards to true long term ownership.

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Q. You have the 160PS 1.4 TSI, can you describe its performance.

A. To put it mildly, it is a screamer, plain and simple. I once saw a comment on an Australian website by a Golf GT owner hoping the specs for this car were incorrect (the car was not released yet) because this car has more power, is faster and costs less than his Golf GT. I think he will be disappointed. This car flies!

Having said that, the 7 speed DSG races through the gears a bit too fast for my taste. Before you know it you are in 6th or 7th gear. There is a Sport mode which is the complete opposite.

When driven in normal mode the car can and does accelerate at a surprising pace. Sure, on paper and in a race it may not beat a GTI, but I firmly believe it will certainly make a GTI driver sit up and take notice, no matter how much their pride tells them otherwise.

Q. Can you elaborate a bit more on the 7 speed DSG.

A. I’ve never driven the previous 6 speed DSG, but I love this new 7 speed DSG. It is a bit quirky when you first press the gas pedal. The transmission pauses or hesitates when you first step on the gas, but only very briefly. From then on it is completely smooth shifting and predictable. No surprises, no problems—it just goes.

It is so smooth that I need to check the dashboard display to see which gear I am in.

Q. Volkswagen claims a combined city/urban fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI is 6l/100km (47.1mpg), in your real world experience does this claim stack up?

A. The way this car races through the gears to get to 7th gear it would not surprise me if it gets pretty close to 47mpg, but I honestly have not kept track of fuel economy.

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Q. Your car has quite a lot of options and features, is there one you like or dislike over the others?

A. The functionality of the audio system and sat nav would be my favourite.

But, I hate the turning/cornering lamps! If one more person tells me I have a driving light burned out I’m going to scream. If they would only come on when I activate the turn signal I would not mind, but they light up at ANY turn and I find it annoying. If there is a way to de-activate them easily my wife and I will be very embarrassed because we’ve combed the owner’s manual with no luck.

Q. Have you had any reliability problems or build issues with your car?

A. Aside from the window motor not really. I have noticed a “soft spot” in the floor behind the driver’s side (where the rear passenger puts their feet). It is probably just a drainage plug in the floor in case water gets into the passenger compartment, but it’s a bit disturbing to step down and feel like you’ve just broken something under there.

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Q. What are the most favourite and least favourite things about your new Golf?

A. Favourites (radio/sat nav functions aside), acceleration, handling, looks, uniqueness (though that probably won’t last long in Wolfsburg) and driving position.

My least favourite things would be those damn cornering lamps, the black interior looks dirty within days (see photos), the slight gas-pedal pause, the heated seats do not stay on between drives, the ever present slight antifreeze smell when the heater is on (though all of my more recent VWs had this as well) and it is difficult to clean the inside of the front windscreen (this may have something to do with the vapours from the antifreeze smell, as my previous newer VWs also had this).

Volkswagen's Autostadt in Wolfsburg

Q. You collected your car from the Autostadt, what was that experience like?

A. I’ve been to The Autostadt dozens of times, whether it be to pick up our cars, for the occasional concert, or just to see the latest additions to the Volkswagen Collection. To me, it is not so special any more. Although, picking up your car there is quite different.

The building towers you go to for your car collection is within, and part of, the Autostadt itself. Of course, admission to the Autostadt is free if you are picking up your car.

Arrangements are made ahead of time and you are notified by mail of the day and time your car will be ready to be picked up. You check in at a special office on the second floor of the main Autostadt entrance. After you check in and receive your entrance card you wait around until your name appears one of several screens which tell you which gate to go to. (Inside the main entrance building there is a Volkswagen accessory shop and a couple of places to eat, so there is enough to keep you amused while waiting.)

After your name has appeared on screen you are then led downstairs to your car. Here you can get a complete run down of your car and its features. You can always look downstairs at the waiting cars from above. It’s actually quite fun to try to spot your car down there, I guess it just adds to the uniqueness of collecting your car at the Autostadt.

Q. What other Volkswagens have you owned, and how does your Golf VI compare?
A. I’ve owned two 1980s Mk1 Golfs (Rabbits) in America, a 1985 GTI and a 1985 Scirocco.

Here in Germany I’ve had mostly family cars, Golf wagons, Tourans and Caddys.

Believe it or not, apart from my 1985 model, I’ve never driven a newer GTI!

Technology marches on and this new Golf VI, at least my TSI version, is my favorite. I highly doubt it will beat my 1982 Rabbit Diesel for long term reliability. That car just ran and ran and ran every day. However, this new one is very impressive.

Is it more impressive than the Golf V? I honestly don’t think an owner of a Golf V will be overjoyed with emotion at the difference between the V and the VI.

This is also my first petrol Volkswagen I’ve had in Germany, all of my previous cars here have been TDIs.

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Golf VI 1.4 TSI with DSG

Thanks to Jimmy for sharing his thoughts with AUSmotive, there’s some great feedback there and you can be sure I’ll be keeping an eye on some those points when I get my hands on a Mk6 Golf later this year.

If you can’t wait to see the Golf for yourself, have a play around on the Golf VI configurator, courtesy of Volkswagen UK.

For more feedback and larger images, check out Jimmy’s thread on

35 replies on “Tried & Tested: Volkswagen Golf VI 1.4 TSI”

[…] Volkswagen Australia released pricing and specification detail on its new Golf range today. Most dealers across the country currently have stock either on their showroom floor or in storage ready for display this weekend. The media launch took place in Byron Bay earlier today and you can expect to see initial reviews around the interweb before next week (in the meantime check out our reader review from earlier this month). […]

I purchased a 118TSI with DSG in June 2009..
Squealing noise appeared at roughly 2000 km..
Low pressure in 4th cylinder after 4 months leading to complete engine replacement and water pump replacement… Car was in service for over 6 weeks!

I have the same model from sep 2009, first few month there was a squicking noise when accelerating, resulting in a water pump change, then the car oil warnings went on showing thencar has burned more than 1.5 liters of oil in less thatn 14000 km, follownup by a complete engine break down, the car will be in the shop for at least 8 weeks.

I am gathering information about this , has any one else experienced the same ?

انا عندي السياره دي وبصراحه سياره كلها مشاكل تخيلوا ماشيه 22000 كم والجير باظ
وقبلها البستم اتكسر
بصراحه سياره زباله

انا عايز اشتكي المصنع في حد عندي العنوان ارفع عليه قضيه

Hi Doron and Guy

I purchased a Golf TSI 160HP in March 2009.
Squealing noise when stepping on the accelerator started a few weeks later.
In January 2010 pressure problems in 4th Cylinder.
Since car is in warranty complete engine replacement.
Squealing noise still present and a few days ago am told by dealer after inspection that this is normal for these types of cars.
Squealing noise present only on drive D and not S. Would love to hear of any solutions or simillar issues.
Neshan Balian

I have a golf GT mark V here in Hong Kong. The car ran well and have no problems as mentioned above. Is this only happened on mark VI as I heard same comments in HK for mark VI too? It seems VW should recall the Golf VI.

Bought a 118TSI manual in May 2009, engine developed failure after 20,000 kms (lost compression in cylinder 1). Engine getting replaced. Other than that I’ve been happy with the ownership experience.

Bought my 118TSI in August 2009. Had no problems till 20000km, lost compression on a cylinder, VW replaced the motor. Had the squeaking noise when accelerating, they changed the supercharger’s waterpump, this failed whilst testing and refitted the original pump and gave me my car back until the new parts arrived. The fitted a new supercharger waterpump and parts to the turbo. No more squeaking on acceleration(that was last week). Yesterday, my car lost compression again, back in the shop for a 3rd motor in 33000km.
I have now had enough of this!!!!

Same problem here…EPC light, engine flashing…car was literally not drivable. Went to VW this morning..absolutely disgusting service…might disclose dealer details later on. Was advised that engine needed replacement. NO ETA…no offer of a taxi back home..nothing!!..Guys, is there any way we can sue VW??..not happy at all!!..there is something fishy going here with no RECALL notices on the cars for the year…I am thinking there is cover up here…TODAY TONITE or CURRENT AFFAIRS need to know about this…I am sure there is some cover up from VW going on here..

Engine missing at 20,000 Km. Lost compression on one cylider. Short block being replaced. Local dealer supplied courtesy golf while engine shipped from Germany to NZ (about 6 weeks.) Excellent service but I doubt I will keep the vehicle beyong the guarantee period.

I can’t believe what I am reading here! I have had the same problems for a year now with my 1.4TSI 7DSG 160HP. EPC light, Flashing engine and complete pressure loss. I have had it 6 times already in 1 year! They have replaced: Injection system, fuel pump, new computer, completely new gearbox, etc…

Now 3 weeks after my last visit to the dealer: same problem again!
The dealer is going to contact Autostadt to definately take back the car now.
fingers crossed and never a Golf mark VI anymore! Maybe never even a VW again!

Good luck to you all.

2009 scirocco 1.4tsi engine failure 3 months ago. VW replace engine. 1 month later running gear disconnects from the engine. VW replace parts. A few weeks later car misfires on new engine and looses all power. VW replace accelerator control. I am now on 12000km on a brand new engine and it has developed a misfire again in higher gears around 3500 revs…trying to get somebody from VW to help?? Thought Toyota had a bad run but VW can’t hide from this one. I googled engine problems a few months back and there were no results, things have changed since then, and my car is completely unreliable, and still new.

We are the unfortunate owners of what we thought was a great little car …
EPC light came on six weeks ago, and we have been without a car since, full engine replacement. After picking up the car … 3 days later the EPC light returns, will not move and has been towed to the dealer. Gearbox this time … another 4 weeks.I have little faith that the replacement engine will last again, and next time we will be outside the warranty period, driving a expensive little bomb….

Done the right thing to try and protect other consumers and lodged complaints with ACCC & Dept Infrastructure (Vehicle Recalls – there needs to be a safety issue) but unless consumers band together and report the poor quality of this vehicle this will not get flagged or investigated.

i bought 2009 tsi 118kw on18500 now i have low pressure on cylinder one . my problem is that i bought the car from a company who imported the car from the gulf. the agent in egypt does not cover anything for my car because i did not buy it from him. i do not know what to do?

hi partners tsi 1.4 118kw engine problems group , after getting my warranty from ?

ali&sons in dubi d.o.d 29/5/2009 although i bought it 18/5/2010 from egypt . the vw agent told me that my warranty is finished 29/5/2011,asked me to pay all the cost of repair ? is it reasonable? although they know this happens with most cars having this engines?is going to be bad for vw. they will lose there reputation.never vw again

2009 118tsi dsg golf comfortline supplied portugal engine knocking reported after 1 year no action by dealer. 2 years 25 days poor running engine software mod installed.
new engine required . VW only offer 70% of cost of engine as out of warranty cost to us 3000 euros. dealer will not disclose cause of failure or date and details of software mod.
does anyone know about this

2009 118TSI , manual
1st Time VW owner
18K’s done
Engine Replaced
Clutch Replace
Now have a boot full of water ….
I am over it….. getting rid of it

2009 118TSI DSG.
2 water pumps replaced, Engine replaced, waiting on two new clutches from germany to be replaced and just had it towed to VW today due to misfiring which is similar to when we last had the engine replaced. All within 30k’s
Time to get rid of it i think!!

In Australia the VW 118TSI in nicknamed the handgrenade.Due to all the blown up engines

Bought a Demonstrator VW Golf 118 tsi dsg (Made in 2009) but registered in 2010 from Essendon VW. Car’s been amazing, delivery of car with bulge in Front Left Tyre wall, which Essendon VW replaced, …and always had shudder in 2nd and 6th all went well.

Then a few days ago, in Sydney, while in the Harbour Bridge tunnel, two loud bangs under light throttle. Car let out belching blue smoke, lacked power and idle poorly as if its lost a cylinder.

NRMA found no faults, no engine probs, although it belched out blue smoke, he suggested it was drive-able and might be the PCV.

Took it to Sydney VW dealership, they had it for 3 days and reported one of the cylinders has lost compression, and the gearbox needs attendance. Suggested I replace entire engine under warranty and address whatever is causing shudder.

I’m now keen to get a new car and not take back this one as its a dud engine.

Up ’til this happened the car’s been amazing and regularly gets under 6L/100km which is still very economical.

Thoughts ?

Golf 6 1.4 TSI 90 KW 2009
It has reached 190,000 KM with no problems, but now it has started to have some problems with petrol pump. I still believe it’s a good car. I can’t wait for Golf 7

Golf V 1.4 TSI 170 cv 57,000 Km from 2006 engine BLG
EPC light came on April 2012
Lost compression on one cylinder
1600€ of repair without garanties
Is this the german reliability?
All owner of 1.4 TSI or FSI engines with problems should make a complaint to

I have a VW Jetta 2010 model with the 1.4Tsi engine and have just been informed that there is low compression in cylinder 3. Bought the car in Canberra and no solution has been provided as yet. VW are still deciding as analyzing the data to see what solution is best but apparently an engine overhaul may be on the cards. By the looks of things in this forum it seems I’m not alone. What advice can I be given when dealing with VW about this issue? Any suggestions what I should do?

My car Golf 1.4 Tsi, its engine was broken and burned , more than 4 months I couldn’t find a replaced one , your agent here in Syria couldn’t help me ,he said that VW in German will not send any spar parts to Syria. What can I do , pls. Help me. Thanks , Reem Hamzeh

Golf TSI 118 2009 142,000 km no engine issues but had DSG mechatronix thingo replaced under warranty (had to make’em do it out of warranty) fabulous to drive, esp. with 4 pple on board, on the windies.

Golf Gti 2010,2.0, 155kw, CCZB eng code. Engine running rough, sounds like it missing on 1 cylinder, no power, EPC light on. No engine trouble codes. spark plugs and coil pack all seem to operate fine once taken out of engine and crank tested. sparking ok. Can anyone shed any light on problem??? Thanks

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