In the era of BS6, Volkswagen has left behind diesel and naturally aspirated petrol engines in favour of direct injection and in this case, a 1.0-litre TSI unit producing 109bhp/175Nm. It can be had with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, the latter of which we have driven for this review. Put the car in first, ease off the throttle, and let the needle go past the 2000rpm mark and you will be greeted with a surprising wave of torque that’s linear and unrelenting to the 6000rpm redline. Keep the throttle pressed and you will hit three-digit speeds quick, a helpful feeling on the highway when you need to make your way around slower moving traffic.
The mid-range is strong with not much effort needed to get the best out of the six-speed gearbox to stay in the meat of the torque band. The gearshift actions are light but feel notchy and take some time to get used to in terms of muscle memory.
It’s not a particularly refined engine and during idle you can hear and feel the thrum associated with three-pot motors. On the go, it is quite vocal if you rev it hard but with so much action available so easily and constantly, you would be busier paying attention to the road rather than the engine note.
As a replacement for the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol as well as the 1.5-litre diesel in VW’s range the 1.0-litre TSI certainly feels more than adequate. In a car with better NVH insulation, we expect it to hum away quietly in the background while doing its thing. This engine is offered with the Polo hatchback and is also expected to power certain versions of the upcoming Taigun SUV.
The big question now is fuel efficiency which Volkswagen claims an ARAI figure of 17.69kmpl. We will be able to give you real-world figures once we have fully tested the car.