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Petrol vs Truck fuel FR?

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
Evening,

My Golf is gone. Looking to replace it with an FR, 2014 to 2016 depending on what I find. My big question is which engine is the best?

My Golf was a 150 hp TDi and while not exactly slow had a bit of a lethargy to it I suspect is a characteristic of the oil burners. Is the 1.4 petrol a perkier beast? Does it feel quicker?

And what about the 180 cars? Is the 180 diesel more fun than the 1.4 petrol is it just good at towing caravans? Is the 1.8 the best?

I'm an old fart and this second car will only do a couple of K a year so insurance and fuel costs are largly irrelevant, but no, I don't want to go as far as a Cupra. The higher power FRs are far less common so if the 1.4 petrol is just as much fun I'll settle for one of those. Or is it worth holding out for the 180?

Thank you in advance you nice Leony expert people :0)
 

Hag

Active Member
Sep 15, 2018
358
162
I’ve got a 184 TDI DSG and it’s pretty quick and ok on fuel although with you only doing small mileage I’d avoid a DPF. I do about 8k and have to take it on runs at the weekend just in case


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Hag

Active Member
Sep 15, 2018
358
162
The 180 Petrol and 184 TDI both have updated brakes and also independent rear suspension compared to the rest of the range


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Lozzy15

Mods mods mods
Staff member
Moderator
Mar 24, 2015
386
202
Ilkeston, Derbyshire
I have the 1.4, I've had 1.9 TDi's Golf and a A4 in the past. It doesn't feel lack luster compared to them in my opinion. Overall a good engine that pulls when you want it to. As mentioned anything above 150bhp comes with uprated rear suspension and brakes.
 

matt_s

4 8 15 16 23 42
Dec 23, 2004
645
13
With those miles and it being a second car just get the 1.8 petrol. You don't want a diesel as you'll have dpf issues and it sounds like you can wait for the right car.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
I thought the 150 Leons had independent rear suspension? The Golf did. Having driven both, I'm not sure it's that big a deal anyway but I will look under the back end of whatever cars I'm looking at.

I think the DPF issue is exaggerated. Our ST has done 70K miles and for years did predominantly very short trips and as yet, not a peep from the DPF. At work we have two Peugeot Experts which are five years old. Virtually only do short trips, the each have only done 25K, and again, no failing DPF. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have the petrol, but I think diesels are much better than they used to be.

I'd be happiest with the 1.8 petrol but they are rare. trying to find one that is also up to scratch in other respects might take ages. 1.4s are everywhere.
 

TheSwede

Active Member
Oct 20, 2018
166
81
Sweden
The 1.8 TSI 180 is a great engine, have it in our Golf Alltrack. That’s my recommendation since you dont want 2.0 TSI Cupra. I use petrol cars, no diesels so can’t say anything about them.
 

Lozzy15

Mods mods mods
Staff member
Moderator
Mar 24, 2015
386
202
Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Anything above 150 has the uprated bits. 150 and under doesn't. My 1.4 is the 150bhp model and it hasn't got the uprated bits. Easy way to check is the rear brake caliper, the higher spec ones the caliper is in the middle of the dics, on the lower spec brakes, the caliper is positioned higher up the dics.
 

Lozzy15

Mods mods mods
Staff member
Moderator
Mar 24, 2015
386
202
Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Ah, ok. So do you really think it makes a big difference?
Every day driving I don't think there's alot in it. I've had my 1.4 around a track before and it was incredible in the corners and the brakes didn't overheat, and I was pushing it too, so just normal road use, personally the difference doesn't bother me and I don't think you'd really notice.
 
Last edited:

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
My Golf had independent rear but it also had different dampers etc from the SE Leon which has a beam back end. The Golf did tuck into corners a little better but it's not a huge difference. The best handling car I've had was Primera GT and it had a solid rear axle. Very fun car.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,464
436
Dumfries & Galloway
I have a lowly 1.5tsi 130bhp and the brakes and suspension setup on it are more than adequate and are certainly not lacking by any stretch of the imagination so i would not get hung up on this minor point by any means
 

BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
377
130
The biggest difference I noticed in going from a 150HP diesel to a 150HP petrol FR was how much lighter the front of the car was, turning in so much better and much less understeer in the wet. Haven't really noticed that much difference with the rear suspension not being independent, it feels a bit floaty when pushed hard but the front still breaks away first - as all modern cars do.

Biggest gripes with the 1.4 is ACT, mine is a bit noisy and intrusive, also the clutch is horrible when starting off. I tried the 1.8 and it has a little more grunt for longer up the revs, but not really noticeable so and much less mpg.

Wouldn't want to tow anything with my Leon though, it's too light.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
I've put a holding deposit on a 2016 1.4 EcoTSi FR Tech 5dr. White with grey mirrors and 17 Dynamic alloys, which I really don't like so I'm hoping I'll be able to find someone who wants a swap for the older alloys.

Yeah, most front-draggers feel nose heavy but not always. The Golf didn't, even with a 2.0 TDi in there. I was very surprised by how well it turned in and it was very adjustable mid corner. I recon that was maybe a benefit of the better rear suspension?

I've had the 14 Leon SE, 16 Ibiza FR and the 13 Golf GT and none of them settle at speed. They are well enough behaved but they don't inspire confidence. You have you learn their behavior then just trust them. The Primera GT I had years ago was brilliant in that respect. Once you hit 40mph it was as if a switch had been flicked and everything just locked into place. It was as if the car had been designed on a track with going fast the priority.

So I'll go and see the car on Saturday but it looks good. One owner, full history and I bought the Ibiza from this dealer and they were really good.
 

LouG

Active Member
Dec 1, 2017
1,328
477
Nelson, New Zealand
Considering that diesel is becoming as popular as herpes in a spa pool, I'd go petrol. SEAT aren't bringing any diesels into NZ, no manuals either, I think Skoda and Audi may be the only VAG brands that are do diesel now.
Personally I like engines that rev out.
 
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Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
Personally I like engines that rev out.
Agree. Petrol engines are usually a better fit for your natural expectations. When you want to go faster the natural reaction is to push the right pedal harder. In most petrols this results in more power where most diesels run out of puff at the point where you are expecting them to get busy. The power band is usually narrower as well.
 

BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
377
130
The 1.4 petrol engine is half the weight of the same bp 2.0 diesel (200kg), which helps both mpg and cornering. I used to love the TDI diesels for the torque and towing, but they are too complex now due the emissions kit and the fuel saving isn't the bonus it used to be.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,586
461
I think the real killer has been the advances in petrol engines. I remember when 30mpg was good for a petrol and now you've got engines that are within spitting distance of diesel mpg. Diesel fuel economy has improved too but not by as much I don't think.
 
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