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New BlueMotion a feather in VW’s cap

29.10.2015

WHAT do you look for when you buy a car? Personally, I like performance and that doesn’t only mean how fast a car is in a straight line or how it handles, it also means how efficient it is. I find frugal cars very endearing, so when the new Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion 1.0 TSI arrived for testing I was excited to see what I could achieve.

Efficient looks

The BlueMotion range by Volkswagen has always had quite a distinctive look and the new Polo version is no different. There is the signature blanked-off front grille, a more aerodynamically efficient body kit as well as more slippery 15-inch alloy wheels. The entire car is designed to be lighter on fuel.

Ride and handling

The Polo range has come a long way over the years; the cliché that these cars ride like a mini-Golf exists for a reason. It is a very plain car with great damping and decent ride quality. The low-rolling resistance tyres do mean that in terms of outright handling it is a bit compromised, however, this is designed for efficiency, not lap times and the parts fitted to the car reflect that.

Powertrain

The best part of the new BlueMotion Polo is the engine. Gone is the small capacity diesel that felt asthmatic at times and in its place is a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that just feels very current; all the manufacturers are doing these small motors now. The car comes with 70kW/160Nm, which doesn’t exactly make it a tower of power but at the same time it also doesn’t feel particularly slow or frustrating.

Fuel returns

The consumption truly is phenomenal… it took 350km for the car to move off of full, but it must be said the gauge does drop more quickly after that. The car has a 45-litre tank and uses a claimed 4.2 litres/100km. I achieved a shade over 5.0 litres/100km, which I still feel is fantastic. The motor - coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox - works well, particularly in town. A sixth gear would make highway cruising even more efficient.

Verdict

The new Polo BlueMotion is a great fuel-friendly vehicle, which has built upon the success of the previous model and has added a far more driveable powertrain into to mix. AT R239 200 it is around R10 000 more than the similarly specified Comfortline version of the 1.2TSi Polo but just over R15 000 less than the diesel Polo 1.4 TDI. It therefore strikes a good balance within the Polo range for those wanting diesel-like fuel returns and petrol-style driving dynamics.

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Article written by Sean Nurse
29.10.2015
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