By on March 27, 2013

The MQB invasion is here, and we no longer have to deal with the awful 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. Three engines will be available on the MK7 Golf. A 1.8T 4-cylinder making 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the familiar 2.0TDI (silver car) and of course, the 2.0T gasoline motor in the GTI.

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50 Comments on “New York 2013: U.S. Spec VW Golf Debuts With Three Turbocharged Engines, 1.8T Returns...”


  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I don’t get why people think the 5 is “awful”. It is not exciting, but in the real world it makes more than adequate power and gets acceptable fuel economy, and it is simple and reliable. It is in no way exciting, and I wouldn’t want one in anything with sporting pretentions but for the average commuters Golf or Jetta, why not?

    My inner Luddite seems to be shining through this morning.

    I will also add, I think this latest Golf is quite a looker – best by far since the MKIV.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I always liked the 2.5L/5-speed combination in the Jetta/Golf/Rabbit. It certainly seems to be the most reliable US version of those cars. They could be had at reasonable prices as well.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      Agreed. It’s a bit noisy but has a unique sound. It makes decent power and is pretty proven. I wouldn’t pick it for myself but if my girlfriend wanted a VW I’d point her in that direction.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      I think it’s one of those myths together with VW aweful quality category. I drove a Golf with this engine, few Golfs actually, and the engine was one pleasant surprises in the car. It sounded good when pressed, it was quiet on the road, it pulled. I am sure it sounds better than any of these fangled turbos they now stick in every model. Pardon me, but 1.8T’s numbers make me think of Horizon Turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      shearwater26

      Include me in those who don’t mind this motor and I do like the funky sound. I’ve got this in a 2012 Jetta with the 5 speed manual. We have a 5 cyl in our Volvo as well. What are the odds, two 5 cyl in one family.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      The NVH of the I-5 made the Jetta we had an inferior experience to many cheaper I-4 cars. It ruined the otherwise preimium aspects of the car. Diesel owners may be willing to put up with NVH in exchange for economy, but not with a gas engine. The fuel economy (automatic) certainly wasnt anything special compared to the V-6 competition as well.

      Oddly, never an electrical issue, but the automatic transaxle only lasted 100k.

    • 0 avatar
      vwgolf420

      Count me as a fan of the 2.5 5. It’s proven itself reliable and if it’s driven correctly it can return pretty good gas mileage (33-34 highway) and I was a tad concerned trading in an Elantra that returned pretty good mileage. Acceleration is effortless. It’s got good low end torque. It sounds unique. To me, it feels pretty smooth and refined.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        ‘Good low-end torque’.. that’s the one consistent praise I’ve heard for the VW 5-cylinder, and had me initially interested in one (if it weren’t for the nearest Volkswagen dealer trying to bait-and-switch me out of the appealing base ‘no confusing electronic gizmos here’ 2.5 2-door manual I really wanted and into a much, much more expensive tarted-up Tiguan)…

        That also might be why the hard-core enthusiasts seem to hate it so much. They want their ‘sporty imports’ to have engines with torque-curves like an F1 car that needs to be wrung-out screaming to get the most out of it at the top end, where moving violations and higher insurance premiums await; they certainly don’t want to sully their pristine expectations of German Engineering with a torque-curve like an American muscle-car that doesn’t wanna rev all that high but that cruises at legal speeds in an effortlessly lazy lope.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      ditto, I’m like’n the 2.5 five cylinder, in my familys case a Mk V with six-speed auto. On commutes to VT and Montreal, I wish it had less road noise, but very happy with the powertrain. To me, it’s a nice four season car, and I say this with two 3-Series coupes sharing the driveway.

      I think folks can’t or won’t adjust their minds around five cylinder cars, it seems unbalanced to them. I heard the same badmouthing about the M-B 300D when it was current, and it turned out to be a not-bad diesel compared to the conventional 240D four cylinder. Same comments about the Acura TL 2.5. I suggest folks who can’t envision the odd number cylinder aspect actually drive them before speaking.

    • 0 avatar
      jaykayd

      Agree that this is a solid engine… just had to mention that I am one of those that appreciates the 2.5 with stick in a Golf. I totally understand why the engineers kept it around for so long.

      Also liking the new Golf.

    • 0 avatar
      Charlie84

      Chalk me up as another supporter/apologist for the 2.5. It doesn’t deserve half the flack it gets from people who have never owned one.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      I also like the I5 and will miss it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Couldn’t agree more about the 2.5. The only real knock is that it isn’t good for gas mileage. But it’s dead reliable and fairly punchy. Also reasonably smooth in normal driving.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      The 5-cylinder harkens back to the ur-Quattro, although it didn’t have 20 valves until into the run in the late 80s.

      Also, long live the AAN in the ur-S4/S6.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      “I don’t get why people think the 5 is “awful”.”

      Me neither.

      But I offer a simple explanation: bandwagoning.

      You forgot to add “agricultural”, term that more often than not the press slaps to this engine.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Piling on here. I chose the 5 over the TDI on purpose, price not a factor. With just an intake it sounds amazing. Stone simple, with all power in the low to mid range where a 3000lb plus car needs it. Add the better rev matching experience of the na engine along with the noise and I had my winner.

        Also, nvh? Agricultural? This applied to the first 150hp variants, but the engine has changed since then. I prefer a torquey 5cyl to a torquey 4 any day. When overall weight is low or turbos are involved the 4 cylinder can shine, but NA, the 5 wins in a family sized car.

    • 0 avatar
      parabellum2000

      I think alot of people never have a chance to drive with a stick. My VW dealer doesn’t stock anything in a stick. If their website says its a manual transmission, it means they checked the wrong box. I drove a passat with the 2.5 and an automatic transmission and it was aweful. It was honestly less enjoyable than an Altima 2.5 CVT. I still haven’t driven a 2.5 with a stick.

      Years ago I drove a Mazda RX-8 with an auto. That dealer didn’t stock sticks either. I hated it, I couldn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would buy one. About a year later I drove one with the 6sp and fell in love. It was a totally different car.

      I think VW isn’t putting the car in the optimal configuration, in front the consumers. Auto reporters probably only get pushed highly optioned configurations and everything else feels terrible after driving a GTI/Golf-R.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        I haven’t driven the combination of Passat 2.5 and automatic. As posted before, the Rabbit/Golf 2.5 and six-speed automatic is peppy.

        When the last Rabbit/Golf (circa 2006) came to the States, you could get the base three-door model and five-door model(more doors, slightly higher trim level) with either manual or automatic. Then, about 18 months later, you could no longer get a manual five-door Rabbit/Golf with the 2.5. VW’s justification was that very few US dealers wanted to be allocated manual versions of the five-door 2.5, and both transmission versions had to be separately EPA certified each model year, and it wasn’t worth the expense. I haven’t followed closely enough whether the Golf version we get now is available with both. I think it still is for all of the GTI’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Other than the noise, lack of power and economy the 2.5 is a great engine. It would be a wonderful power plant for a personal u-boat.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Maybe I’ll have to consider a Vee-Dub, since I can’t get a Suzuki from Canada anymore.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    I just had one of these (with only 500 miles on the odometer) as a rental in Germany with some godawful diesel. An evolutionary shape, especially when you park it next to the last gen, it is quite a handsome car and the lines have been tightened in the right places. It performed well on snow tires when I thrashed it on backroads, but I fear that its suspension tuning may be overly harsh once you take it off those glass smooth 18″ German roads. Seats were comfortable for a three hour drive, but the electronic parking brake was annoying as heck, insisting that you foot brake before it would release. No real complaints about the clutch/shifter combo. Steering wheel felt great and I liked the interior but some might find the faux brushed metal trim pieces objectionable. That center info display between the speedo and tach is awesome, esp with the Nav function. But that engine. I’m not sure which diesel it was, but what a diseased dog. No low end (in a diesel!) with all of the boost coming on over the width of a knife edge. I stalled the thing out on a 15% grade in a parking garage due to the lack of low end, assuming that it had the same amount of torque as all the other small displacement engines I have driven in Germany over the years. It also didn’t want to push the Golf much over 180kph whereas everything else would go 200kph minimum. It reinforces my belief that the BMW 2.0L diesel is really the star in that segment. Equal mileage, gobs of power, and a willingness to rev.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    I think you may have possibly been stuck with their 1.6l diesel engine. US is getting the usual 2.0 diesel and nobody has complained about the lack of low end power in that one.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Does the new 1.8T have 5-valves/cylinder like the old one? We had a 2003 Passat with the old 1.8T, and I liked it. It got good fuel economy, had plenty of power, and sounded good. It could have used a 6th gear though, at ordinary highway speeds, it was turning 3000 rpm. We didn’t have any sludge problem or any problems with the coils, though we did replace the coils during the recall.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Its the EA888 engine that is related to the 2.0T. For the US Golf/Jetta it will be built in Mexico. Its a 16 valve engine that, unlike the 2.slow they brought back, has basically no relation to the old 1.8T.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Are the non-gti versions finally getting a 6-speed manual?

    • 0 avatar
      Dorian666

      I have been looking for past month on North Am. transmission setups. The latest VW press release just mentions “manual and automatic transmissions to be offered ” No media types has asked the question or got an answer that they have posted so far . VW could offer the 6 spd manual and DSG on this EA888 series 3 engine but in a cost competitive initial price arena, I am resigned that cheaper solutions will be found.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I am surprised they will not also offer a base 2.0 non-turbo price leader, like they do with the Jetta. Or will they be dropping the 2.0 in the Jetta now too?

    I think a low-priced entry Golf without a turbo would sell very well, but I also think that the new lighter Mk7 with the 1.8T could be a bargain “almost-GTI”. If it brings better MPG and can be chipped you could have a hell of a deal there.

  • avatar
    Marko

    This is an all-new 1.8TSI. The old 1.8T that was discontinued around 2005 is (thankfully) gone forever.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Until VW tries to bury it in the Pet Sematary. It will come back to life like the 2.0L. They can throw some more zombie engines in there like the 2.8L VR6 or the W8.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I was just going to say, if it was the same 1.8T that suffered from sludge, coil-pack failures, turbo failures, vacuum line leaks, timing belt tensioner failures, and plastic water pump failures. Good riddance. Luckily, the 1.8T in my Passat only really had the coil pack and vacuum line issues, but many others weren’t so lucky.

  • avatar
    tuscreen-auto

    The well-known VW longevity, now with complexity- increasing and pressure-rising Turbos!

    Well, what could possibly go wrong.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Glad to see some of the VW hate log on. My Mother in Law purchased a 2011 VW Jetta with the old 8V and automatic. $16900.00 out the door. Not a bad ride. She looked at a Toyota Corolla before buying the VW but liked the Jetta better. The interior is plain but she is very happy with it. The car even comes with a spare tire for that price. Over the years i had a few 8V VW’s and found them good but slow drivers. Of course they were all manual transmissions. Got great service from those engines. My wife and i both have 2011 gti with DSG transmissions and both are fun cars. Love the pickup when passing on the highway. Gas mileage on the highway is 32-33 MPH if i keep my foot out of the turbo.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I had a 2000 Passat wagon with the 1.8T with the 5-speed Tip. Replaced the timing belt at 100,000 miles. Replaced the Kombi valve twice and the secondary air injection pump once. No other issues with that engine. I used 0W40 Mobil 1 and changed it at 5,000 mile intervals.

    When I traded it in it was 10 years old and had 162,000 miles on it. It was still powerful, had no sludge, used no oil, and was averaging 28 mpg.

  • avatar
    Aaron12345

    Thank god. If the 2.5 was a 4 cylinder instead of a 5 it would have gotten much better gas mileage. Many other manufacturers make 2.5 liter inline 4s that have better mileage.

    Having that extra cylinder was useless and it just used more gas.


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