The 2013 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion is the most efficient Golf yet, with an official average fuel economy of 88.3mpg – a substantial jump of 14mpg over the regular 1.6 TDI, the next most economical model in the range.
CO2 emissions are also down to 85g/km, which is a new low for the VW range as a whole.
The Bluemotion is available in only one trim level, which is based on the standard S model, and costs from £20,335.
What’s the 2013 VW Golf Bluemotion like to drive?
The 1.6-litre diesel engine in the Golf Bluemotion has been slightly tweaked so it comes with 4bhp more than the standard 1.6 TDI. This means the Bluemotion is actually marginally quicker than the regular car, with 0-62mph taking 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 124mph – although the long gearing means you do have to drop down a gear or two if you want a sudden turn of pace.
The Bluemotion hides its eco leanings in other ways as well. The engine doesn't struggle or vibrate unless the revs drop below about 1500rpm, and occupants are well isolated from road noise.
Most of the Golf's efficiency upgrades are hidden or subtle additions, with an exhaust gas recirculation system, a quicker warm-up time and various other tweaks to the engine all contributing.
The 15mm-lower ride means you feel slightly more of the road’s surface through your backside than you do in other Golfs, but the Bluemotion still rides very well – no doubt helped by the tiny 15-inch wheels that come fitted as standard.
What’s the 2013 VW Golf Bluemotion like inside?
The Bluemotion gets the same equipment as any other S trim model, including a DAB radio, Bluetooth and air-con, plus an upgraded multifunction computer.
Otherwise it’s business as usual, which means a driving position that is easy to alter, thanks to the huge amount of seat and steering wheel adjustment.
The dashboard is angled towards the driver and is easy to use, and gets chunky and well-labelled rotary controls. There are plenty of soft-touch, high-quality materials, too, and all round visibility is good, despite the large A-pillars. Rear passengers will appreciate the ample head- and legroom.
The boot isn’t as big as a Skoda Octavia’s, but it’s still a practical square shape and one of the most spacious in the class.
Should I buy one?
By basing the Bluemotion on an entry-level S trim Golf, rather than packing it with kit, VW has kept the price down to a reasonable level.
However, the economy upgrades still add £1215 to the cost of a regular Golf 1.6 TDI S, so the standard car is the better bet for private buyers.
The Bluemotion certainly makes a better case for itself as a company car, because those 85g/km CO2 emissions put it in the lowest tax band available for diesel-powered cars.
That said, as a 40% rate taxpayer, an Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE will cost you just £8 extra a month, and for that you’ll be getting a car with a classier cabin and more standard equipment.
What Car? says…
Volkswagen Golf 1.6TDI Bluemotion
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from £20,335
Torque 184lb ft
Top speed 124mph
Fuel economy 88.3mpg