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Go green with Volkswagen's Polo Bluemotion

29.02.2016

Prior to the whole Volkswagen emissions scandal I would have said that this was VW's attempt to keep all the greenies in Europe and the US happy.

A small little city runabout, streamlined and efficient-ised by the very best of Germany's engineers - and by that I mean the ones who won the 'most boring person in class' awards at high school. But as it turns out those chaps were likely the naughtiest in school. Nevertheless this Bluemotion Polo sets out to be the benchmark little petrol runabout when it comes to frugally sipping at the fuel tank while keeping all those nasty greenhouse gases at bay.

On the outside

Well obviously it looks very much like your average Polo. Only that there are little hints here and there about the car's green-credentials. The front bumper for example has been closed up to reduce unnecessary drag. It's been lowered for the same reason - and there are underbody panels to keep it slippery too. Then there are the all-important 'Bluemotion' badges to let everyone around you know that you care.

On the inside

Since there's not much about the interior that can lead to you using more fuel, VW has stuck to the things you'll normally find inside the regular Polo. That means it's all very well put together and feels like a quality product. Ergonomics are top class - which is just fancy-talk for the fact that everything is where you'd expect it and it's all easy to use. 

Behind the wheel

There's a new three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol unit for the TSI Polo Bluemotion, with a five-speed manual 'box. It's good for 70kW and 160Nm. Keeping things efficient this Polo gets low-rolling resistance tyres and longer gear ratios. A stop/start system, regenerative braking and a gear-change indicator for the driver are all there to help conserve fuel.

The combination is actually quite pleasant. Some of these overstretched 1.0 turbo motors are quite awful, but not this one. And it achieves the task of being frugal. The claimed figures of 4.2l/100km are perhaps a little out of reach but you won't be disappointed. Those low resistance tyres means it doesn't stick to the road quite like your average Polo; but if you're buying the Bluemotion it's unlikely you'll be driving in such a manner anyway.

Pricing

The Bluemotion predictably comes at a premium to the equivalent Polo. It's R244,000 odd which might sound expensive but actually it's there or thereabouts when you look at so-called competitors. Only that there aren't any direct competitors because no-one else does an 'efficient' model. Bear in mind VW will make you pay for extras that others won't, though.

Verdict

I'm not sure if us South African's are quite in the same space as the Europeans and Americans when it comes to buying green cars. In those places there's huge focus on green everything; cars, lifestyles, power sources. Here we're just happy to have power, even if it does come from coal guzzling stations. But if you're that way inclined then this Polo Bluemotion is just about your only option - and fortunately it's a perfectly acceptable one at that.

Vehicle specs

Price: R243,800
Engine: 999cc 3-cylinder turbopetrol
Power: 70kW
Torque: 160Nm
Fuel Consumption: 4.2l/100km
Service:  Three-year/45,000km service plan

 

Article written by Miles Downard
29.02.2016
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