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1.5TSI EVO 150 Surprisingly gutless?

black_sheep

Active Member
Mar 10, 2013
452
192
Couldn’t agree more about the 1.5 TSI 150 ps COD / evo engine...

We moved from a 2.0 TDI 150 ps Manual FR, to a 68 plate (post WLTP) 1.5 TSI 150 ps A3 S-Tronic S-Line. Whilst the interior was a step up, the gutless acceleration, even with engine and gearbox in sport, was bitterly disappointing. Also, fuel economy was only marginally better than the Cupra at c.35 mpg indicated.

Got fed up with being fobbed off by the local Audi dealer telling us that the kangaroo phenomenon didn’t exist, despite the ECU reflash, so chopped it in for a 19 plate 320d after less than 4 months ownership - might be going against the trend, but the smaller capacity petrols are no substitute to the equivalent ps diesels.
 
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Gordon Blair

Active Member
May 3, 2020
27
37
Couldn’t agree more about the 1.5 TSI 150 ps COD / evo engine...

We moved from a 2.0 TDI 150 ps Manual FR, to a 68 plate (post WLTP) 1.5 TSI 150 ps A3 S-Tronic S-Line. Whilst the interior was a step up, the gutless acceleration, even with engine and gearbox in sport, was bitterly disappointing. Also, fuel economy was only marginally better than the Cupra at c.35 mpg indicated.

Got fed up with being fobbed off by the local Audi dealer telling us that the kangaroo phenomenon didn’t exist, despite the ECU reflash, so chopped it in for a 19 plate 320d after less than 4 months ownership - might be going against the trend, but the smaller capacity petrols are no substitute to the equivalent ps diesels.
I can see myself going down the same road as yourself and getting rid, as I don’t think I can put up with way it’s so lazy, and there doesn’t appear to be a real solution tuning wise
 
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May 3, 2020
21
8
Derby
Couldn’t agree more about the 1.5 TSI 150 ps COD / evo engine...

We moved from a 2.0 TDI 150 ps Manual FR, to a 68 plate (post WLTP) 1.5 TSI 150 ps A3 S-Tronic S-Line. Whilst the interior was a step up, the gutless acceleration, even with engine and gearbox in sport, was bitterly disappointing. Also, fuel economy was only marginally better than the Cupra at c.35 mpg indicated.

Got fed up with being fobbed off by the local Audi dealer telling us that the kangaroo phenomenon didn’t exist, despite the ECU reflash, so chopped it in for a 19 plate 320d after less than 4 months ownership - might be going against the trend, but the smaller capacity petrols are no substitute to the equivalent ps diesels.
That’s interesting. I’ve been tempted to go and test drive a VW group 150ps diesel to compare but sounds from your experience that it’s what I suspected.

On another note, I really like the F30 3 series and although I’m around 18 months off getting a new car I’m seriously tempted by one. What do you reckon to it? Does it live up to expectations?
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,463
436
Dumfries & Galloway
Couldn’t agree more about the 1.5 TSI 150 ps COD / evo engine...

We moved from a 2.0 TDI 150 ps Manual FR, to a 68 plate (post WLTP) 1.5 TSI 150 ps A3 S-Tronic S-Line. Whilst the interior was a step up, the gutless acceleration, even with engine and gearbox in sport, was bitterly disappointing. Also, fuel economy was only marginally better than the Cupra at c.35 mpg indicated.

Got fed up with being fobbed off by the local Audi dealer telling us that the kangaroo phenomenon didn’t exist, despite the ECU reflash, so chopped it in for a 19 plate 320d after less than 4 months ownership - might be going against the trend, but the smaller capacity petrols are no substitute to the equivalent ps diesels.
Small petrol turbo’s compared to TDI’s are junk, but that is the way of the world in 2020, all about trying to kill off a diesel.

the 150 diesel will probably have almost twice the amount of torque so will be much easier to drive
 
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black_sheep

Active Member
Mar 10, 2013
452
192
On another note, I really like the F30 3 series and although I’m around 18 months off getting a new car I’m seriously tempted by one. What do you reckon to it? Does it live up to expectations?
We purchased a 6 month old F31 320d Auto Shadow Edition from a car supermarket, so cost to change from the A3 was negligible. The car is really well specced, but as a run out model, the sat nav screen is a little smaller than the current VAG cars, and it doesn’t have Car Play. Seating position is very low, even when compared to the Cupra. Also, as the new list price was over £40k, it’s in the higher tax band.

The car is smooth to drive, well balanced in the bends and hits 50 mpg with very little effort. Although the Cupra is fun to drive, I prefer to commute in the BMW.
 

Tonezz

Active Member
Jan 12, 2011
947
46
Preston
Just before I bought my Cupra I test drove an A3 with the 1.4 (The same as the 1.5 but before they updated.)

The A3 was the perfect spec in every way but even coming from my MK2 FR it felt too slow and just didn't pick up at all when you wanted any power.
 
May 3, 2020
21
8
Derby
We purchased a 6 month old F31 320d Auto Shadow Edition from a car supermarket, so cost to change from the A3 was negligible. The car is really well specced, but as a run out model, the sat nav screen is a little smaller than the current VAG cars, and it doesn’t have Car Play. Seating position is very low, even when compared to the Cupra. Also, as the new list price was over £40k, it’s in the higher tax band.

The car is smooth to drive, well balanced in the bends and hits 50 mpg with very little effort. Although the Cupra is fun to drive, I prefer to commute in the BMW.
Sounds great, I will definitely look into the 3 series then! I know 320d is the most sensible option but I can’t help look more towards a 340i Touring. Insurance would be a killer for me though
 
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BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
377
130
Have you tried changing the driving mode? My 1.4 FR is absolutely horrible in normal, worse in eco but just lovely in sport - all from changing the engine throttle map and reduced lag.
 
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May 3, 2020
21
8
Derby
Have you tried changing the driving mode? My 1.4 FR is absolutely horrible in normal, worse in eco but just lovely in sport - all from changing the engine throttle map and reduced lag.
I have unfortunately, mine lives in Sport mode. However, I can’t tell any difference in performance between the 4 modes, just the steering changes.

Oh and while I remember, do you have “Off-road” mode alongside Eco, Normal and Sport? I find that very odd
 

BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
377
130
I have unfortunately, mine lives in Sport mode. However, I can’t tell any difference in performance between the 4 modes, just the steering changes.

Oh and while I remember, do you have “Off-road” mode alongside Eco, Normal and Sport? I find that very odd
No 4x4 mode on mine - that sounds wrong, unless other 1.5 owners have the same? It's not unknown for cars to leave the factory with software bugs present, perhaps ask a dealer to update the software as I did hear there was a fix for the kangaroo bug to
 

KXL

KXL
Dec 15, 2016
1,404
147
London, UK
It might be the GPF you know, I had a 2.0TDI 150 DSG, 1.0TSI DSG (on Ibiza Mk5 Facelift) and now Volvo V40 1.5T 152PS auto. 2.0TDI flies off the line till I feel slightly light-headed (pushed into seat feeling like on a plane), 1.0TSI is quite rapid off the line too, even more than the V40 despite it having 40hp less. V40 is sooo lethargic off the line..it has a GPF though. Likewise a couple years ago, had a 'impatient' VW passat trying to overtake me (Ibiza) on the wrong side, when the speed when from 40mph, to NSL, couldn't do it as I saw the car close the gap and swung to the left, so I floored it, and let go after passing 70mph. Likewise in my V40 going from a roundabout to a 60mph single carriagway road, trailing a VW Caddy TDI (105PS?) who went for it, and I oblidged (with ~ 2 sec delay) could close the gap, but not enough to overtake before 60mph. More recently a manual 'old' Golf GTI (197PS one), that couldn't quite leave me behind (the gap was slowly growing though) from traffic light to 60mph. I guess it's quite difficult to fully overtake within the speed limit in the UK even though you may have a 30-50bhp advantage, on the German Autobahns it's another story.

Perhaps these days VAG are no longer telling porkies and actually made the 1.5 150s 150 PS, whereas previously, if it outputted more power, let it be. Even though my 2.0TDI is gone, I still find it difficult to convince myself it was 150PS, though it outputting more power, likewise with my Ibiza 1.0TSI. Volvo however, I felt it was outputting less, perhaps this is the GPF feeling.
 
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May 3, 2020
21
8
Derby
It might be the GPF you know, I had a 2.0TDI 150 DSG, 1.0TSI DSG (on Ibiza Mk5 Facelift) and now Volvo V40 1.5T 152PS auto. 2.0TDI flies off the line till I feel slightly light-headed (pushed into seat feeling like on a plane), 1.0TSI is quite rapid off the line too, even more than the V40 despite it having 40hp less. V40 is sooo lethargic off the line..it has a GPF though. Likewise a couple years ago, had a 'impatient' VW passat trying to overtake me (Ibiza) on the wrong side, when the speed when from 40mph, to NSL, couldn't do it as I saw the car close the gap and swung to the left, so I floored it, and let go after passing 70mph. Likewise in my V40 going from a roundabout to a 60mph single carriagway road, trailing a VW Caddy TDI (105PS?) who went for it, and I oblidged (with ~ 2 sec delay) could close the gap, but not enough to overtake before 60mph. More recently a manual 'old' Golf GTI (197PS one), that couldn't quite leave me behind (the gap was slowly growing though) from traffic light to 60mph. I guess it's quite difficult to fully overtake within the speed limit in the UK even though you may have a 30-50bhp advantage, on the German Autobahns it's another story.

Perhaps these days VAG are no longer telling porkies and actually made the 1.5 150s 150 PS, whereas previously, if it outputted more power, let it be. Even though my 2.0TDI is gone, I still find it difficult to convince myself it was 150PS, though it outputting more power, likewise with my Ibiza 1.0TSI. Volvo however, I felt it was outputting less, perhaps this is the GPF feeling.
I agree. It does seem to be the only explanation. I too thought that maybe VW are now just “honest” with their BHP figures but I looked on the Superchips website to check the before and after figures on their dyno. Turns out the 1.5TSI 150 they ran was pushing out 164bhp before the remap. So that may put that idea to rest.

If the power is available, maybe it’s just in a much narrower band at the top end? My 1.5 isn’t the nicest thing to rev out so I tend to rely on the torque. The 1.0TSI I had previously, like yours, was really punchy and kept up with more powerful traffic with ease. I also rarely had to ring its neck because there was a decent slug of torque in the mid-range (gladly, because it was also fairly noisy and rattly!) I think the PPF/GPF has a lot to answer for in suppressing performance. A real shame and seems a big backward step. Definitely improving the case for performance electric cars going forward. Coincidence?
 

KXL

KXL
Dec 15, 2016
1,404
147
London, UK
I agree. It does seem to be the only explanation. I too thought that maybe VW are now just “honest” with their BHP figures but I looked on the Superchips website to check the before and after figures on their dyno. Turns out the 1.5TSI 150 they ran was pushing out 164bhp before the remap. So that may put that idea to rest.

If the power is available, maybe it’s just in a much narrower band at the top end? My 1.5 isn’t the nicest thing to rev out so I tend to rely on the torque. The 1.0TSI I had previously, like yours, was really punchy and kept up with more powerful traffic with ease. I also rarely had to ring its neck because there was a decent slug of torque in the mid-range (gladly, because it was also fairly noisy and rattly!) I think the PPF/GPF has a lot to answer for in suppressing performance. A real shame and seems a big backward step. Definitely improving the case for performance electric cars going forward. Coincidence?
I saw a dyno read out for the 2.0TDI on an A3 with 160+, but don't forget, that one has 320nm. So it flies, and your 1.0TSI was on an A3, the Ibiza was 100kg lighter :). I remember when I had the 2.0TDI Leon, joing a slip road to NSL road, I floored it, and a old 2000s era BMW 5 series, that was behind me, just strolled past me as if I was stationary. I was like 'huh' but when the old 5 series past me I realised why, it had quad tailpipes, a 400PS BMW M5. No head scratching there. But I'm still scratching my head on another smaller car...once again entering a highway from sliproad, I floored it on the said Leon 2.0TDI.. expecting the small Smart Four 2 to disappear. But to my surprise it stuck to me even till 70mph (from 30mph). How? The Smart Four Two never overtook me, but my friend in the passenger seat said it might have been the 'Brabus' variant. Who knows...
 
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Glosphil

Active Member
Nov 10, 2004
90
21
Gloucestershire
I was going to buy a Golf GT with the 1.5TSi (150) engine but after reading about the problems with that engine changed my mind and bought a Leon FR of the same age as that had the 1.4TSi (150) engine.
After reading this thread it seems I made the right decision.
Very impressed with the Leon & 1.4TSi. Adequate performance & mpg that matches my previous Octavia vRS diesel.
 

Vag8

Active Member
Jul 5, 2019
40
18
I was going to buy a Golf GT with the 1.5TSi (150) engine but after reading about the problems with that engine changed my mind and bought a Leon FR of the same age as that had the 1.4TSi (150) engine.
After reading this thread it seems I made the right decision.
Very impressed with the Leon & 1.4TSi. Adequate performance & mpg that matches my previous Octavia vRS diesel.
Glosphil,

My previous Leon Fr was a 1.4 150 Act and I loved it, from the first day I owned it, never felt slow, plenty of low down grunt, good in traffic and always had enough in reserve to overtake and pick up in every gear. So I would agree with your comments about the engine. We nearly always had it in normal, put used sport for more spirited drive when needed.

But as it was turning almost 4 years old I switched it to another Leon Fr this time with the 1.5 130 Act and couldn’t be more disappointed if I tried....
I knew and expected the drop of 20 Bhp would noticeable but having driven the 1.4 125 I felt that I could live with it but the character of the 1.5 is totally different to the 1.4 I find it lethargic borderline lazy engine, yeah now it’s 11k in I can’t fault the efficiency of the engine but to get any performance out of it you have to work it, dropping down gears and it’s noisy when being worked and never feels truly quick, and at times you do find it struggling in traffic against cars of ‘lesser power’. The old 1.4 150 you could just put your foot down and in any gear after a couple of seconds of turbo lag it would respond and pick up would be noticeable... not the 1.5 130.... it’s flat as a witch’s tit !! I have to plan over taking like I’m driving something with less power, 70-75 mph in 6th you can floor it and nothing... I mean nothing. 2nd gear approach to roundabouts is interesting... I had a couple of occasions where pick up is so poor I’ve either had to brake last minute or I’ve found myself almost ‘T boned’

Eco mode dangerous
Normal - functionality better
Sport - Heavy’s up the steering and not much else.

And after all that it Kangaroos every time we used it...

So yeah you made the right choice in going for the 1.4 150 it was by far the better engine - can’t vouch for the 1.5 150 as never driven one but following this one I’ll be avoiding any of the 1.5’s Vw fit in anything.
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2020
21
8
Derby
Glosphil,

My previous Leon Fr was a 1.4 150 Act and I loved it, from the first day I owned it, never felt slow, plenty of low down grunt, good in traffic and always had enough in reserve to overtake and pick up in every gear. So I would agree with your comments about the engine. We nearly always had it in normal, put used sport for more spirited drive when needed.

But as it was turning almost 4 years old I switched it to another Leon Fr this time with the 1.5 130 Act and couldn’t be more disappointed if I tried....
I knew and expect the drop of 20 Bhp would noticeable but having driven the 1.4 125 I felt that I could live with it but the character of the 1.5 is totally different to the 1.4 I find it lethargic borderline lazy engine, yeah now it’s 11k in I can’t fault the efficiency of the engine but to get any performance out of it you have to work it, dropping down gears and it’s noisy when being worked and never feels truly quick, and at times you do find it struggling in traffic against cars of ‘lesser power’. The old 1.4 150 you could just put your foot down and in any gear after a couple of seconds of turbo lag it would respond and pick up would be noticeable... not the 1.5 130.... it’s flat as a witch’s tit !! I have to plan over taking like I’m driving something with less power, 70-75 mph in 6th you can floor in and nothing... I mean nothing. 2nd gear approach to roundabouts is interesting... I had a couple of occasions where pick up is so poor I’ve either had to break last minute or I’ve found myself almost ‘T boned’

Eco mode dangerous
Normal - functionality better
Sport - Heavy’s up the steering and not much else.

And after all that it Kangaroos every time we used it...

So yeah you made the right choice in going for the 1.4 150 it was by far the better engine - can’t vouch for the 1.5 150 as never driven one but following this one I’ll be avoiding any of the 1.5’s Vw fit in anything.
As a 1.5 150 owner, I can tell you it’s more or less the same as you describe. Perhaps at motorway speeds it can pick up surprisingly well... but I say surprisingly well compared to the lacklustre performance I experience the rest of the time. It’s still lacking for something that supposedly has 150bhp.

I was running late earlier and went into madman mode (only up to the various speed limits, of course). Just hit home yet again how the performance can only be described as adequate when you take it close to the redline and it just shouldn’t be the case with a modern turbo petrol.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,463
436
Dumfries & Galloway
I think its just the future for petrol engines to be honest, everything is geared up for emissions and saving the world and that's what the 1.5tsi is. Ringing the neck out of the engine gives no joy whatsoever, it is a lethargic economy / emissions biased engine and there is no getting passed that, i just drive it as it was intended, like a grandad and i have accepted that.
 

Vag8

Active Member
Jul 5, 2019
40
18
I think its just the future for petrol engines to be honest, everything is geared up for emissions and saving the world and that's what the 1.5tsi is. Ringing the neck out of the engine gives no joy whatsoever, it is a lethargic economy / emissions biased engine and there is no getting passed that, i just drive it as it was intended, like a grandad and i have accepted that.[/
it is a lethargic economy / emissions biased engine and there is no getting passed that, i just drive it as it was intended, like a grandad and i have accepted that.
I think its just the future for petrol engines to be honest, everything is geared up for emissions and saving the world and that's what the 1.5tsi is. Ringing the neck out of the engine gives no joy whatsoever, it is a lethargic economy / emissions biased engine and there is no getting passed that, i just drive it as it was intended, like a grandad and i have accepted that.
“it is a lethargic economy / emissions biased engine and there is no getting passed that, i just drive it as it was intended, like a grandad and i have accepted that”

By that do you mean to you over rev it and ride the clutch in first and second so it doesn’t Kangaroo....:doh:
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,463
436
Dumfries & Galloway
Some days i just let it kangaroo as if i were driving any normal car, the missus hates it and nearly smacks her face on the dash but i just do it for badness, generally when she is in the car i might add
 
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KXL

KXL
Dec 15, 2016
1,404
147
London, UK
Makes me feel better about my 'overweight' V40 with its 'only slow off the line' annoyance. 100 kg more than the Leon, 200kg more than the Ibiza. Maybe that's why it's slow off the light, extra weight!
 
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