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How much? £18,100
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1598cc 16v 4-cyl turbodiesel, 104bhp @ 4400rpm, 185lb ft @ 1500rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 11.3sec 0-62mph, 118mph, 74.3mpg, 99g/km
How heavy / made of? 1262kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4213/1779/1469
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 4 out of 54

Performance

Rated 4 out of 54

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

By Glen Waddington

First Drives

01 February 2010 15:48

Eco-friendly cars are often grim, hair-shirted things that you suffer as penance for your emissions, even though they pump out less CO2 than their standard brethren. But the new VW Golf Bluemotion is none of that. It doesn’t look funny (it runs alloys and a lowered ride height), it’s not made of egg cartons inside (splash out £120 on leather wheel and gearknob for the full, plush Golf effect), yet it sneaks below 100g/km for free road tax, and promises 74.3mpg.

Even better, the new 2010 Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion offers start/stop tech, regen braking, sill extensions (plus those alloys and lower suspension for better aero) for just £785 more than a similarly trimmed standard S 1.6 TDI – and it offers 11.5mpg more than that car.

Surely there’s a catch?

If there is, it isn’t immediately obvious. Really you just have to alter the way you drive to suit the green tech. And that’s not hard.

The start/stop system works seamlessly, so long as it’s not below 5deg C outside (when it switches out), so you soon get used to the engine petering out while you wait at the lights only for it to thrum into action again as you depress the clutch and go for first. You won’t catch it out and find yourself stranded at a junction unless you’re really clumsy.

Having only five ratios at your disposal might sound a bit old-tech, but they’re really long ratios, so you surf the 1.6 diesel’s torque instead of ragging it towards the redline, which is quite mollifying yet makes for smooth, and still satisfying progress.

Hmm, mollifying. Do you mean the Golf Bluemotion’s slow?

Not at all. While 0-62mph in 11.3sec means this is no hot hatch, in practice you never feel shortchanged. Torque peaks at 185lb ft, all from just 1500rpm, and so long as you’re in that band there’s ample shove.

The gearshift indicator isn’t always on at you to shift up either. Chugging away in too high a gear is no more economical than slamming into the red-line, so the Golf’s dash display will remind you to drop a cog if you’re in danger of bogging down.

Add that slug of torque to the long fifth gear and you’re in for loping motorway refinement too. This is a very relaxed cruiser.

Refined. Relaxed. Boring, then?

Get straight in this after a cross-country thrash in a Golf GTI and you’ll miss the pace, there’s no doubt. You’ll miss the reactions and sharpness too, but you’ll recognise the genes. Face-off a set of B-road bends in the Bluemotion and you’ll be rewarded with excellent poise and balance. Don’t mistake low-rolling-resistance for lack-of-grip, either.

The Golf Bluemotion will cling on and bites deep into sharp corners. You might wish there was a little more feedback from the wheelrim, but you won’t be plagued by roll or early wash-outs. Fun? It’ll certainly raise a modest smile.

How about that Golf quality of finish?

All present and correct. There’s no compromise on space, obviously, but if you want easier access to the back seats, splash out an extra £585 on the five-door.

What really sets out the Golf from the mid-sized hatch pack is refinement, and the Bluemotion scores big-time here. It’s genuinely hushed, keeping wind, road and engine noise to a minimum – the latter remarkably so. Feels and sounds quite premium in here.

Verdict

The new VW Golf Bluemotion is that rare thing: an eco car you might actually want to own. Yep, you can get the similarly equipped S 1.6 TDI for a few hundred less, but you’ll miss out on green tech, free tax disc, that big mpg figure and even a set of alloy wheels.

This car isn’t plagued by excessive green badging either, so you can keep your muesli-knitting tendencies to yourself. More remarkably, the Golf Bluemotion undercuts the equivalent Ford Focus Econetic by a couple of grand, which almost makes it a bargain. The Ford’s a bit fizzier to drive but it’s just nowhere near as posh or refined as the Golf Bluemotion. A class win for a classy car.

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VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

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tortoisevshare

tortoisevshare says

RE: VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

I rented a VW Bluemotion diesel TDI in France recently, due to their being no cheaper grade cars available (I ideally like tiny cars on holiday).

So was able to compare it with my own Hyundai i30 1.4 petrol.

- The VW was fatter and even a squeeze on narrow French country lanes of congested towns. The fatness is partly down to a wide console betwen th efornt passenger seats, plus wide mirrors.

- Acceleration was adequate but a tad lumpy.

- Stereo sounded very good but had odd controls and no evidence of any input connectivity, not even a 3.5mm jack to put music through from phone - a bummer on a hire car. The manual talks about optional extras.

- Motorway cruising at 110-130 km/hr - very quiet and confident, better than the i30. This is the car's strength I think.

- The stop/start thing bothered me not at all, worked well.

- Interestingly an interlock prevents engaging a gear with the clutch not properly depressed. Good one!

I did 700 km in a week and just now did the fuel calc based on the hire car return receipt mileage + my tank top up receipt.
Converted the L/km to UK MPG on Webix co uk and... 42.5 MPG! (after knocking off 3% for the over-reading speedo, confirmed by my satnav). Driving was I admit, only 15% motorway, 75% hilly country roads (like UK 'B' roads) and 10% town.

So, 42 mpg which is near exactly what my PETROL Hyundai 1.4L gives me on the commute to work!

21 July 2012 13:15

 

refaz

refaz says

RE: VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

WARNING- DO NOT BUY VW GOLF BLUEMOTION

VW Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion? More like Slowmotion. I've been driving this car for nearly 6 months now and I HATE it. This car is not practical and should be taken off the road completely. What was the Germens thinking off when they came up with the idea "Bluemotion" to save fuel? To all those buyers who are thinking of buying this car, please, please DO NOT BUY. It's totally rubbish. It's the worst of its kind and not a road worthy. The biggest problem with this car is the Starter Motor. It keeps going On/Off every time you press break & gas. For me, it's really annoying and dangerous when driving. When you press the gas pedal, it takes few gooooooood seconds for the engine to kick in and allows you to pull out, by then it sends mixed signals to the other driver, especially when they are given you away. They think you are sitting their struggling. They lose their patience and decide to drive off. For me this has caused many near fatal accident. Now to avoid this, I just switch off the Bluemotion before driving off. This allows me to drive the car the normal way without having to listen to the engine going On and Off all times. I rather save my Life then save Fuel.  I have to say - What a WASTE of an idea by the Germans!  With all the technology, this is what they have come up with.

I have also driven HONDA Civic Hybrid for 4 yrs, at least It is lot safer and you don't even feel the engine going on and off. Seems to me the Japans technology is far more advanced then the Germans.

 

25 March 2012 22:00

 

Lutzie

reward badge

Lutzie says

RE: VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

 All it needs is DSG, which I'm sure is an option. 

26 February 2011 23:02

 

LukeBrinsmead

LukeBrinsmead says

RE: VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

Quite possibly the best attempt from any car brand to be the most fuel efficient for it's size by not having to rely on high embodied energy/emission batteries in a hybrid system. Just because hybrids have low emission/fuel while being driven, doesn't necessarily mean they are "green", all depends on if they can easily offset their embodied emissions from the production of all the hybrid components by having a great reduction in fuel usage, duh.

To "fasthonda" - have you got some problem or something, do you actually know about whole of lifecycle assessment of products or are you just here because you are a W$%$er Honda fanboy who has a small attention span and never got a good education. 

12 August 2010 23:32

 

Golfschwein

Golfschwein says

RE: VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6 TDI (2010) CAR review

Hey Fasthonda, how ya goin' mate? Fancy seeing you here all the way from Australia! For a man who so hates Volkswagens, your hobby of trawling automotive sites looking for Volkswagen articles that you can add your venom to is a very unusual one, and one that's now reaching as far as the Motherland, I see. And the same thing's happening here as back home, isn't it?: seasoned automotive journalist likes a VW, writes an article saying so and you come on spitting chips, hatred and bile.

I suggest taking up stamp collecting, macrame or, if you must continue with your current hobby, touch typing :)

10 March 2010 03:14

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