Volkswagen Golf Estate BlueMotion review

2 Jun, 2014 10:45am Jonathan Burn

Practical Volkswagen Golf Estate BlueMotion benefits from eco makeover to offer 85.6mpg fuel economy


If low running costs are key and you need the extra space of the Golf Estate, the BlueMotion is well worth looking at. At only £695 more than the hatch, it’s also good value. The supple ride, accurate handling and well equipped cabin make it an appealing proposition, but we’d be more tempted by SEAT’s equally impressive – and cheaper – Leon ST Ecomotive.
Volkswagen can now add tax-free motoring to the Golf Estate’s breadth of abilities. Emitting only 87g/km of CO2, this BlueMotion version offers a compelling blend of efficiency and practicality.

Claimed 85.6mpg fuel consumption is less than 3mpg down on the equivalent hatch, but boot capacity swells from 380 litres to 605 litres. This has been achieved through adding 307mm to the car’s overall length plus various aero and engine tweaks, keeping economy competitive with Skoda’s Octavia Estate Greenline and the SEAT Leon ST Ecomotive.

The 1.6-litre diesel has been given a 4bhp power boost over the non-BlueMotion model – up to 109bhp – and a six-speed manual gearbox replaces the standard five-speeder.

Further changes include firmer low-rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and a smoother front grille to help the Golf Estate cut through the air more efficiently. And although the BlueMotion model dramatically reduces running costs, the changes do little to disrupt how well it drives.

The only really noticeable difference is the slightly harsher ride, especially around town, due to the firmer tyre compound and 10mm reduction in ride height. Hit a pothole and the Golf Estate becomes slightly unsettled, accompanied by an unwelcome thud making its way through the cabin.

Elsewhere, it’s pretty much business as usual from behind the wheel. The steering is light, but provides enough feel, and the six-speed manual transmission is smooth and precise.

The powertrain upgrades make the BlueMotion slightly quicker than the S version it’s based on, with 0.2 seconds cut from the 0-62mph sprint, which now stands at exactly 11 seconds.

Kit is generous, too. Bluetooth, 15-inch alloys, touchscreen, DAB radio, a 5.8-inch colour screen and air-conditioning are all standard. The only sticking point is the price. At £22,165, the Golf has a £1,680 premium over the SEAT Leon ST Ecomotive, which offers identical running costs in a more stylish package.

Disqus - noscript

Do they actually pluck these claimed MPG figures from the sky ??? there is no way that this thing will come close that that, at a guess I will say maybe 65mpg @ 55mph cruise and late 40's in town.

State the obvious then. MPG figures are not supposed to be real world. How can they possibly reflect all the different conditions and driving styles.

They are a standard test so you can compare the standard test results of one car to the standard test results in another car.

A car that can achieve 85MPG in the standard test is quite likely to be able to achieve better real world economy than a car that can only achieve 65MPG in the standard test.

This may well be a perfectly good motor car but any review which has a "see how wonderfully engineered VW are" link in the review itself (as opposed to an advertising feature) raises the cynic in me. Add to this the "Volkswagen" button in the menu bar, where it has no business to be and the "huh" factor rises still further.

Nice observations. I hadn't noticed the VW button in the menu bar. AE is doing nothing to rid itself of the VW bias allegations.

Oh this is the ultimate in dreayville, there is nothing to inspire with its its exterior or interior to excite. the mind and emotion,s This is white bread to me .Yes that VW link is there for a reason AE is sponsored to the hilt by the German big three,and am I right that AE is German owned .All very sad.Back to this estate thats all it is no one walks passed this says I want one of these DO THEY ?

Autoexpress seems to be ignoring a poor French manufacturer here. (Objectively speaking) Peugeot 308 is easily the best estate on sale today - offering class-leading MPG, emissions, boot space and crucially price.
On the same page, there's an article about the Peugeot 308 estate that's peppered with multiple mentions of its VW Group rivals. Why isn't there a mention of the 308 which leads this segment in so many ways?


Glad to see one of the two offending buttons, that in the menu, has now been removed. Hopefully the second link will soon go as well!

Check this sexy beast out! VW are so far behind with design it's embarrassing.

Iv,e just noticed that the V W button on the menu bar has gone someone must read these comments at AE

or fords, no more failing fords either.

We spoke too soon! On the third line of every page menu there is a link which says "Cut your running costs with Volkswagen". Only when the link is clicked does the word "sponsored" appear.
No surprise of course but another example of mixing up advertising with editorial content.

Key specs

  • Price: £22,165
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 109bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 11 seconds
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Economy/CO2: 85.6mpg/87g/km
  • On sale: Now