The gasoline-fired 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI 1.8 Manual has a manual but is only on the basic of the most basic of trims; will it justify buying a base model Golf just because you want to a manual transmission? Manual transmissions sadly are now left behind by automatics when it comes to performance but there’s something about manuals that can’t be replaced by slushboxes; the feel of rowing your own gears.
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI 1.8 Manual is an Ace of Base
On the outside, the basic 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI 1.8 Manual isn’t much of a looker but it isn’t boring either, it’s because it’s missing the larger wheels of the upper trims opting instead for the 16 inches on boring-looking alloy wheels. Aside from that, the Golf looks fine, premium even which for a base model; looks and feels like it. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.8-Liter four cylinder putting out 170hp at 4500rpm, the Golf is by no means a slouch when it comes to performance; GTI or not, base model or not.
On the inside, the base 2015 Golf TSI 1.8 features you standard interior necessities including premium additions like bixenon headlamps that swivel with your steering input, ambient LED interior lighting and running lamps. Seating is decent, but lacks the leather you’d find in upper trims however, it’s finely-bolstered nonetheless. Head and leg room for the rear passengers is okay, it could seat average-sized adults but fitting three may be not ideal for longer trips.
Driving the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI 1.8 Manual, the minor downsides it has for being a base model is left in the dust by its excellent chassis and overall performance; keep in mind this is the standard VW Golf, not the GTI or the R and a base model at that; the German hatchback. Let’s look at the bright side of having a stripped-down version of a Golf, it has less weight; at less than 3000 pounds, the lighter base golf is perfectly happy while being chucked at corners with little to no understeer. The extra stiff chassis and lively steering response and feedback keep you on your toes making you think that you paid more for such a basic car with tons of fun jammed under its sheet metal. Despite the reality of performance automatics, the manual on this car outperforms the automatic slushbox on the upper trim Golfs; perhaps it’s the weight difference, but faster or not, having a manual in my opinion adds a lot to the driving experience.
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