Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt VW Golf Bluemotion: Test Drive Review
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VW Golf Bluemotion: Test Drive Review

Date: 08 December 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

VW Golf Bluemotion
Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £17,855
Key rival: Ford Focus

A Golf at 99g/km CO2? That's not just pretty impressive, it's amazing.

Even a year ago, when the current generation Golf was launched, no-one outside VW had guessed they'd be at this level already.

What's more, this is essentially a normal five-door 1.6 TDI that just happens to be incredibly efficient.

While there was already a Bluemotion Golf, the introduction of a 99g/km CO2 model sees a shift in VW's approach to the Bluemotion brand. Starting with this car, only the most efficient model in each range will be badged solely Bluemotion. Other, nearly as, but not quite so, efficient versions will now carry the 'Bluemotion Technology' badge to indicate that they use some of the efficiency kit, but not all.

To get below 100g/km the Golf Bluemotion has longer gear ratios in third, fourth and fifth, a more aerodynamic grille and lowered suspension. This is over and above technology such as stop-start, low rolling-resistance tyres and a clever engine management chip that also feature in the 107g/km Bluemotion Technology Golf (see panel).

The ultra-low CO2 figure for the Golf Bluemotion means the official fuel figure is also impressive at 74.3mpg, which given that fuel is the second largest cost when running a car (after depreciation), has to attractive for businesses and drivers.

So why isn't it a 10 out of 10 car? Unfortunately, while getting a super-low CO2 figure is great for being seen to be green - and many companies now value this - the car isn't given any greater tax advantage over the large number of cars below 110g/km than being zero rated for VED - a tiny proportion of a car's running cost.

Once again, then, VW is ahead of the UK's taxation system, so on paper at least fleets will wonder why they'd go for the Bluemotion version rather than the Bluemotion Technology model at 107g/km. Fortunately, there are two very good reasons. Firstly, the 99g/km car is cheaper thanks to being only available in 'S' not 'SE' trim level, so you can keep staff happy by supplying a Golf without having to resort to a higher price.

And secondly, in BusinessCar's hugely unscientific (but very real-world) tests we saw a difference in fuel consumption of about 10mpg in favour of the 99g/km car. In 'saintly' driving we saw more than 65mpg and even in more 'normal' driving we achieved 61mpg.

Which leaves the question, how much further on will we be in another year?

VW?Golf 1.6TDI Bluemotion
P11D price£17,855
Model price range£14,075-£29,515
Fuel consumption74.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 99g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£39/£77
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 6
Boot space (min/max)350/1305 litres
Engine size/power1598cc/105PS
Top speed/0-60mph118mph/11.3secs
On sale December 2009
VerdictHugely efficient, but
hampered by slow
tax system


Hugely efficient, but hampered by slow tax system