The cheapest VW Golf has a 1.0-litre engine

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Everyone knows engines are getting smaller. “Downsizing” – when a manufacturer replaces a big, naturally-aspirated engine with a small, often more highly-strung turbocharged one – is everywhere, and it’s resulted in some pretty big cars being fitted with tiny powerplants.

Take the VW Golf. Not a massive car by any stretch, but still not that long ago a car of this size would’ve come with a 1.6-litre or 1.8-litre engine. But nowadays family hatchbacks with 1.0-litre engines are…normal. And actually quite good.

Which is why it’s excellent news VW has stuck its little 1.0-litre petrol motor in the new Golf. Initially only available with a six-speed manual (a DSG 1.0-litre with mild-hybrid tech is coming soon), the 1.0-litre Golf manages 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds and will do 126mph. VW claims up to 53.3mpg and 121g/km of CO2, which isn’t bad at all.

Most importantly, though, the addition of this engine to the line-up means Golfs have just got cheaper. Now the range starts from £23,300 – still strong money for a family hatchback, but it means the equivalent Focus is only £1,000 or so cheaper.

Tempting…