The Volkswagen Polo Blue GT is designed to appeal to the environmentally friendly hot-hatch fan.
Not only does it offer decent acceleration – 0-62mph takes 7.9 seconds – but it can manage a claimed 61.4mpg while emitting just 107g/km of CO2.
The Blue GT is able to achieve these impressive figures because it uses a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine that's able to deactivate half of its cylinders under light throttle loads.
What's the 2013 VW Polo Blue GT like to drive?
There's no change in vibration when the engine switches from four- to two-cylinder power because all four cylinders keep moving – it's just that fuel is fed to only two of them.
True, the engine sounds a little more laboured, but it's not an unpleasant sound, merely an unfamiliar one. What's more, the transition between modes is smooth and the engine pulls effortlessly when all four cylinders are called upon.
The Blue GT gets 17-inch alloy wheels and a bespoke suspension setup that lowers the ride height by 15mm compared with the standard Polo. The resulting ride is firm, although not as unforgiving as in the GTI model, and the stiffer setup means the Blue GT is less bouncy than regular Polos on undulating roads.
Don't expect quite the same cornering ability as you get from a full-blooded hot hatch, but the Blue GT is certainly more agile than lesser Polos. It's just a shame the steering is slow-witted, and doesn't weight up enough as you turn into corners.
What's the 2013 VW Polo Blue GT like inside?
As with the ride and handling balance, the Blue GT's cabin is a halfway house between the standard Polo and the GTI. It features bespoke Blue GT sports seats with blue detailing, along with instruments from the GTI and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with a subtle 'GT' logo.
The dashboard is much the same as any other Polo's, which means it's built from classy materials and everything is simply laid out and easy to use.
There's so much adjustment for the seat and steering wheel that it may take a while to get comfortable, but you'll get there in the end. As with all Polos, there's enough space for four six-footers and a decent-sized boot.
The Blue GT comes with plenty of standard equipment, too, including a rather aftermarket-looking Bluetooth system, an iPod connection, air-conditioning, electric windows and cruise control.
Should I buy one?
The Blue GT is seriously pricey for a supermini – especially one that doesn't provide true hot hatch thrills.
It's more expensive than the forthcoming 178bhp Ford Fiesta ST, for example and although the VW will cost you considerably less to run, don't expect to get anywhere near the claimed fuel economy of 61.4mpg.
However, the Blue GT does make sense as a company car. Its low CO2 emissions – and the fact it runs on petrol rather than diesel – mean it'll cost you less than an equivalent Ford Fiesta Econetic in company car tax.
What Car? says...
Audi A1 2.0 TDI
Mini Cooper SD
Engine size 1.4 turbo petrol
Price from £17,400
Torque 185lb ft
0-60mph 7.9 seconds
Top speed 130mph
Fuel economy 61.4mpg
By Tom Webster and Will Nightingale
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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