VW Polo Bluemotion vs Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

The latest version of VW's class-leading Polo Bluemotion is here - and greener than ever - but does it sacrifice too much in pursuit of economy?

Polo Bluemotion vs Ford Fiesta

If you want to bypass road tax, swerve around rising fuel prices and overtake the banking crisis, the latest generation of economical superminis demands close attention. With ultra-low emissions and sky-high economy, they make more sense than ever.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion is the new kid on the block, and should help motorists minimise the impact of rising diesel bills – as its three-cylinder engine promises combined economy of 80mpg-plus. What’s more, the car comes with an attractive price tag, stop-start and the premium feel and image associated with all of the brand’s products.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the VW Polo

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The previous model set the green standard in the class when it arrived, but was eventually overtaken by younger cars. Leading the charge was the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic. It has already seen off the cheaper and more economical SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive with its blend of compromise-free performance and a sparkling chassis.

Now, our two eco-giants go head-to-head in town and country as we start our search for the best green supermini.

Verdict

Choosing an eco-branded model makes a statement, but these two models take different approaches to improving fuel economy.

The new Polo BlueMotion demands more sacrifices than the Fiesta Econetic in the pursuit of its goal. As a result, it is more economical and cleaner. The Ford doesn’t try so hard. It misses out on stop-start technology and drives more like one of its ordinary stablemates than the VW.

The question is, which is the better choice for eco-minded buyers?

For us, it’s the Fiesta, as the Polo’s extra economy comes at too high a price. You feel the compromises through its less refined engine, weaker performance and less engaging dynamics. The VW is a clever piece of technology, but we’d happily enjoy a few less mpg in return for some of the dynamic sparkle that makes the Fiesta such an impressive machine.

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