New VW Golf BlueMotion

20 Feb, 2013 10:30am Andrew English

The VW Golf BlueMotion adds astounding fuel economy to the hatchback’s long list of talents

Verdict

5
The Golf BlueMotion has consistently proved that meticulous engineering and attention to detail can yield startling fuel savings. This latest version is the best yet and, unlike a lot of its rivals, it feels nothing like an eco-special. It rides tolerably, handles well, is built like a premium car and looks great. The Golf BlueMotion is so good you wonder whether there’s any point to the forthcoming hybrid version. This is the most rounded offering in a range that’s better than ever.

Fancy filling up just 10 times a year? That’s what Volkswagen says is possible with the Golf BlueMotion, as it’s theoretically capable of 970 miles between fill-ups.

At the root of those claims are VW’s official figures of 88.3mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 85g/km. The Toyota Auris Hybrid (74.3mpg and 87g/km) comes close to this, but no petrol or diesel car can match the Golf’s efficiency.

The newcomer is only the third Golf BlueMotion – the 2007 original managed 62.8mpg and 119g/km of CO2, and the second 74.3mpg and 99g/km in 2009.

To continue this trend of ever-increasing efficiency, the latest BlueMotion has shaved 26kg from the running gear and 37kg from the body compared with its predecessor. The 1.6-litre diesel, meanwhile, now has reduced internal friction, a faster warm-up, exhaust-gas recirculation, a twin-stage oil pump and an electric water pump. The engine also features an oxidation catalyst, particulate filter and NOx storage catalyst.

The body has been made 10 per cent more slippery through the air than the standard car, with a 15mm lower ride height, a roof spoiler, a masked front grille, partially closed air inlets and under-floor panels. There are also low rolling-resistance tyres, longer gear ratios for the five-speed manual and battery regeneration.

Impressive fuel consumption figures are one thing, but if the car rides and drives horribly – as some eco-specials do – then no one will want it.

Climb into the BlueMotion and you’ll find the high-quality Golf interior is unchanged. The engine starts with a bit of a clatter, but idles quietly enough. Plus, with the excellent stop-start system, it won’t often be running when you’re at a standstill.

Acceleration through the gears is brisk, with the car able to go from 0-62mph in a respectable 10.5 seconds. There’s also comfortably enough torque to pull the car along from as low as 1,500rpm, although the engine has a noticeable boom between 1,600 and 2,000rpm.

There’s a subtle vibration through the major controls at low speeds and, while that disappears at higher engine revs, you can hear and feel the vibration from the tyres at all speeds. It’s not dreadfully unpleasant or hugely intrusive, but it’s definitely there, which is an unusual sensation for this latest generation of Golf.

The gearbox is as easy to use as we’ve come to expect, and considering the longer gearing of the BlueMotion model, it’s surprising how well it pulls in top gear. During an hour driving on the autobahn at an easy 85mph, we saw average fuel economy of 55mpg.

With accurate body control and well weighted and accurate steering, the BlueMotion handles crisply and rides comfortably. The mild regenerative braking system is barely noticeable, too, allowing you to confidently make the most of the brakes.

Disqus - noscript

55mpg at 85mph for 1 hour is unheard of. Well done VW.

5 stars for the dull-as-ditchwater Golf? I would expect nothing less from VAG Express magazine.

Another great achievement from VW, let's just watch the snide comments from the anti-vag brigade roll in....

THE NEW VW GOLF HA YOU'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME I HAVE A FRIEND WITH A 62 PLATE GOLF & HAVE RECENTLY SEEN THIS SO CALLED NEW SHAPE A LOCAL VW GARAGE & BOTH CARS PARKED TOGETHER ARE NEAR IDENTICAL THIS JUST HAS SLIGHT COSMETIC CHANGES IN & OUT, I DON'T CAR IF VW SAYS EVERY PANEL HAS BEEN CHANGED IT'S HARDLY ANY DIFFERENT TO THE PREVIOUS CARS PANEL & LIGHTS FRONT & REAR, THE SLIGHTEST OF CHANGES TO THE BUMPERS & A DIFFERENT DASHBOARD & STEERING WHEEL, HARDLY A WHOLE NEW CAR AS THEY ALWAYS CLAIM VAG, SAME AS THE SOCALLED NEW OCTAVIA SAME CAR JUST REVAMPED LIKE THE MAJORITY OF VAG CARS.

Another day - another article in praise of the VW Golf. How reassuring in a constantly changing world!
If only everything in life were as reliable as motoring magazines!

I just wonder if VW have solved the problem of dpf regeneration when such diesel cars are used only in urban settings. Otherwise, such cars cannot be used by exclusively urban drivers.

Going by the MKVI Golf Bluemotion the MKVII should be able to achieve upto 65mpg. However you need to read between the lines (of Andrew English) to find what this car is really like to live with.

VW's 1.6L diesel has known Noise, Vibration, Harshness issues.
N: "The engine starts with a bit of a clatter."
V: "There’s a subtle vibration through the major controls at low speeds and ... vibration from the tyres at all speeds."
H: "The engine has a noticeable boom between 1,600 and 2,000rpm."

CAPS LOCK MAKES IT UNCOMFORTABLE TO READ. Why comment at all?

Good luck if you think you will get the claimed 88MPG. I had the previous model blue motion for 6 month and never got anywhere near 60MPG.

Yes, other motoring magazines have described this unit as "too rough" when applied to the Audi A.1 which is confirmed by an A.1 owner in "another place". My experience of this engine is that it varies dramatically (and unacceptably) from identical car to identical car. Strike lucky and it can be okay. If you are unlucky though, it is nasty!

Hate to say it guys, but all diesels are rough., and you can feel vibration through the controls in all of them. I've been unfortunate to have been allocated BMW and Merc diesels in recent years and you can feel the vibration in these cars too, and the ratty noise, particularly at idle is simply dreadful. It's only internal sound suppression that makes some diesel cars feel a bit less rough than others. Best to buy a petrol if you're looking for a smooth quiet drive.

VAG Haters: Some of the anti Golf comments are so hateful, so full of bile, and so regular from a persistent set of individuals that it's now blatantly obvious that many of these people must be jealous salesmen working for other manufacturers. Please.... this is a motoring magazine for people who love cars (all cars). It's blindingly obvious that the Golf is an excellent car, and unless you have something constructive to say, then why do you even bother coming to these boards!! Get a life!!

Wow!...calm down mate. It's just a car, as it happens probably the best all round car on the road today, but not worth having a heart attack over if you don't like the shape, as you can't stop millions upon millions of others from loving it. Many cars just gently evolve, including the 3 series - there's nothing wrong with that, millions of people all around the world like it that way. Many people think the shape of the Golf looks great, and are very happy to see only slight changes to the design as it progresses through each generation. I have a Mk6 Golf which looks fantastic, and I saw the latest Golf in the showroom the other day, and I have to say that it looks massively different to my car, with it's slanted sides. Actually I prefer my Mk6 shape at the moment, but maybe my view will change with the GTI. Maybe you should just read articles on other cars if the Golf upsets you so much?

Sorry no. There are some that are barely distinguishable from petrol vehicles. Mine, which I will not identify to avoid enraging the "attack dogs", was described to me by one passenger, an erstwhile driver, as being the smoothest quietest car she rode in. I don't know what the comparisons were.
Yes, there are certain diesels which are unacceptable. I rode in one which, apart from the coarse engine note, sent strong vibrations through the feet of the rear seat passenger (i.e.me). Others, of the same model were much better, although not as good as other makers.
Yet it was not a diesel car where vibrations through the pedals made its owner change it when almost new. It was a three cylinder, petrol engined, super mini.

I have a diesel vehicle which one passenger describes as being the smoothest and quietest motor car she travels in. Some makers produce more refined power units than others but to avoid visitations from the "attack dogs", I won't suggest which. However I do suspect there are surprising variations between examples.

You need to be a real anorak to tell the difference from any distance. Still, if you are content with the vehicle, who is anyone else to criticise.

I wonder about this too. There are still plenty of stories about this knocking around in the press, and on owners forums.
Whats all this about vibration from tyres, though? Surely that can't be right?

Well, it's a diesel! - so what do you expect - every diesel has "known Noise, vibration and harshness issues". Try standing next to that renowned diesel tractor, the BMW 3 series... now that truly is an awful noise... clatter & rattle! Diesel Mercs are no better. So there's no point in highlighting the Golf.... all diesels from all makes, are just as awful. It's like trying to pick out the worse grunter in a pig sty - pointless. The only way to get a nice sounding, beautifully smooth engine is to buy a petrol.

I was driving both new-brand VW Golf bluemotion 2012 and 2013. With the first one I could easily get more than 60 mpg after 20 min drive (distance was 10 miles) and was able to get 71 mpg during long trips.
VW Golf bluemotion 2013 has reached 1730 miles with average consumption 55.9 mpg. Very disappointing comparing to previous model. Perhaps I need to give it a chance.

Key specs

  • Price: £20,750
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 108bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Economy: 88.3mpg
  • CO2: 85g/km
  • Equipment: Low rolling-resistance tyres, longer gear ratios, battery regeneration, air-conditioning, DAB radio
  • On sale: Summer 2013
AEX 1,339
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