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

Date: 05 November 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Supermini
P11D price: £15,100
Key rival: Ford Fiesta Econetic

Volkswagen's aim for the new Polo Bluemotion was for the supermini to be the lowest CO2 emitting five-seat car on sale, with the exception of full-electric vehicles. And on the Continent, VW has achieved its aim with an 87g/km CO2 output, beating the Toyota Prius by 2g/km.

However, UK buyers won't be able to gloat quite as much because for right-hand drive markets the Polo Bluemotion comes in at 90g/km. Still impressive, but missing out on that important psychological 'lowest' badge.

The reason for the fractionally higher CO2 output is that to engineer right-hand drive VW has had to move the location of the catalytic converter and particulate trap meaning that they don't heat up as fast as their left-hand drive brethren and so give mildly worse CO2 figures. And because CO2 and mpg are directly linked fuel consumption for the UK cars comes in at 'only' 83.1mpg and not 85.6mpg.

The impressive fuel and CO2 stats have been achieved thanks to the inclusion of stop-start technology, aerodynamic tweaks to the front grille, small rear wing and cooling ducts moved from the front grille to the side of the car.

While claimed fuel figures are a good way of comparing cars on paper, it's what you'll get in the real world that will make a difference to the bottom line. And on a 20 mile route, including some town driving, we managed to equal the left-hand drive 85.6mpg figure by turning off the aircon and driving as economically as we could, an impressive result.

The new Polo Bluemotion doesn't suffer from the noise and vibration levels that can afflict some eco-cars with long gearing, although there is a some resonance. The 75PS 1.2-litre diesel, isn't the least powerful or slowest Polo either.

However, it is the most expensive in the range at more than £15,000 for the five-door we tested.

Fortunately the higher price also includes a good level of kit including ESP anti-skid control, alloys, aircon and a trip computer.

This high price and a UK tax system that offers little reward for company cars once they get below 110g/km means that drivers will be relying on the good fuel figures for savings to recoup the car's higher price.

VW Polo 1.2TDI 75PS Bluemotion 5dr manual
P11D price£15,100
Model price range£9435-£15,100
Fuel consumption83.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 90g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£32/£65
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 4*
Boot space (min/max)280/952 litres
Engine size/power1299cc/75PS
Top speed/0-60mph107mph/13.6secs
On sale March 2010
VerdictAn amazingly efficient car,
hampered by its price
and UK tax system
* estimate