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VW Golf Bluemotion: Test Drive Review

Date: 24 July 2013   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £20,935
Key rival: Ford Focus Econetic
On sale: August 2013

Some cars are hard to fault, and the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion is right up there.

The previous-generation Golf Bluemotion, like the BMW 320d, had established itself as a business benchmark. In its lower medium sector it offered class-leading economy with almost no penalty in terms of performance, space, quality and value.

The new car, which arrives in the UK in August, does all this, but is now even more impressive. For the record, its headline fleet figures are fuel at 88.3mpg and CO2 at 85g/km. This puts the new model in the 13% benefit-in-kind tax bracket and safeguards it, although there are no guarantees, from future punitive changes. It also means Band A and £0 for VED.

The Bluemotion is, effectively, a trim level based on the Golf's S specification, which includes aircon, cruise control, Bluetooth, CD audio and digital radio. But the most economic model also comes with a lowered suspension for better aerodynamics, alloy wheels and a few external styling changes, such as the Bluemotion badge.

Given the current Golf has already been judged a 10 out of 10 car by BusinessCar thanks to a great drive, high-quality interior, good passenger and boot space and great residual values, surely the Bluemotion just cements that position?

There is a question mark, though, and that's against the £1215 price hike against the next-nearest non-Bluemotion car, the 105hp 1.6 TDI S model. The S also achieves some very impressive fuel and CO2 figures, so why pay the extra?

Well, there are a couple of reasons that could sway the argument.

While the Bluemotion also uses a 1.6 diesel engine, it has been fettled to produce 110hp on top of being more economic. This extra 5hp means the car is also marginally  quicker, with a 0-62mph time of  10.5 seconds. The real-world pay-off is that if you stir the gearbox there's reasonable performance and the car never feels overwhelmed by motorway speeds.

As part of this engine improvement, VW's engineers have worked to improve initial engine warm-up, so that good fuel consumption figures should appear sooner in a journey and be closer to the official stats. Indeed, BusinessCar achieved 83mpg with very little eco-driving effort.

The better aerodynamics of the Bluemotion car, coupled to excellent, cruising speed engine refinement mean the car is impressively quiet on a motorway too. And if that's not enough, the additional price should also be offset by a better residual value, according to Rv expert Cap. This is reflected in the whole-life costs figures that despite an higher initial price are best-in-class.

Given things don't get any better than scoring a perfect 10, the Bluemotion just further secures the Golf's position, but should also be considered the fleet choice within the range.

VW?Golf 1.6 TDI?Bluemotion
P11D price £20,935
Model price range £16,495-£28,895
Residual value 40.6%
Depreciat­ion £12,435
Fuel £4294
Service, maintenance and repair £1293
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £1242
Cost per mile 41.2p
Fuel consumption 88.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 85g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month £45/£91
Service interval variable
Insurance (1-50) group 14
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 380/1270 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/110hp
Top speed/0-60mph 124mph/10.5secs


Amazing CO2 and mpg figures given the lack of compromise.