Performance and fuel efficiency don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but the VW Polo BlueGT aims to combine the two in a sporty package.
The new model slots in below the Polo GTI in the range, and features a 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol turbo with stop-start and Active Cylinder Technology. The latter shuts down two cylinders on a light throttle, which aims to boost fuel economy to diesel levels.
Volkswagen claims that the BlueGT returns 61.4mpg, whether you choose the manual or DSG auto version, and emits 107g/km of CO2. That compares well to the GTI’s 47.9mpg and 139g/km, and means BlueGT buyers will pay only £20 a year for road tax.
Setting the new model apart on the outside are unique alloy wheels, while sports suspension and a subtle bodykit give the car a lower look. Plus, our test model’s optional metallic blue paint is exclusive to the BlueGT. It doesn’t stand out like the GTI, but it’s smart.
Inside, piano black trim on the dash and seats finished in light tan and suede-effect blue trim brighten the dull layout.
The engine isn’t only about efficiency, though. The 1.4 TSI delivers the same amount of torque as the more powerful GTI’s, at 250Nm, but it peaks from 1,500rpm instead of 2,000rpm. As a result, the BlueGT picks up pace quickly, even in sixth gear.
Take it easy, meanwhile, and the cylinder deactivation works unobtrusively – the only thing to let you know the car is working on two cylinders is a display on the trip computer.
Through corners, the BlueGT offers plenty of grip and feels secure, but it’s not the most involving car to drive – you’ll have more fun in a Ford Fiesta Zetec S. But then you won’t be saving fuel while you’re doing it.