First Drive

2015 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion 1.0 TSI review

For the first time Volkswagen has applied its Bluemotion badge to a petrol Golf. Is it worth buying over the traditional diesel alternatives? Our UK drive decides just that

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The Bluemotion badge (not to be confused with Bluemotion Technologies) has become a familiar sight on the most frugal VWs. Although previously exclusive to diesel-engined models, that’s changing with the release of this new 1.0 TSI petrol version of the company's best-selling Golf.

CO2 emissions sit at 99g/km while official combined fuel economy is an impressive 65.7mpg. While you might expect the trade-off to be a paltry power output, the 1.0 Golf has a reasonable 113bhp, which is enough to get it from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds.

As with other Bluemotion models, you get lowered suspension, a flatter underbody and other aerodynamic tweaks to help it slide through the air as cleanly as possible.

What's the 2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI Bluemotion like to drive?

Any concerns regarding the 1.0-litre engine’s ability to power the car at a reasonable pace are soon dispelled. The figures may suggest decent acceleration but they don’t prepare you for how well the engine pulls from low revs.

At first you find it hard to believe how early the instrument cluster tells you to change up a gear, but you soon learn to trust it. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine will happily pull from a little over 1000rpm and never feels strained; you’d swear it was a much bigger engine. It's also a refined powerplant, with very little intrusion when the engine stops or starts in traffic.

Despite the lowered suspension, the Golf's ride quality remains comfortable. Only over particularly rough sections does it start to get a little bumpy, but that's partly because of the simpler rear suspension set-up that Golfs with 148bhp or less receive.

The handling is much the same as before; precise and secure at all times. Sure, you'd never actively drive it quickly in search of fun, but you can cover ground at a surprisingly rapid pace should you need to.

What's the 2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI like inside?

As with all Golfs, the interior is a model of quality and sober solidity. Although the optional cream highlights may not to be everyone’s taste, they do lift a cabin that is usually a little on the dark side in other models. The ergonomics are top notch though; all buttons are well positioned and the centre console angled towards the driver is a nice touch.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is an option for the standard-fit, sat-nav-equipped infotainment system. The system works well although is a little low in the dash – especially when you’re using the 'Think Blue' economy guide.

Families worried about a spacious interior will be pleased to hear there’s plenty of rear head and leg room, even with a moderately tall driver behind the wheel. The boot is also a good size at 380 litres although, as with the interior space, there’s only so much you can expect from a five-door hatchback this size.

Should I buy one?

Ultimately, the 1.6-litre diesel Golf will prove the more economical car. The Bluemotion variant of that has a claimed average consumption of 83.1mpg while also taking the same 10.5 seconds to reach 62mph. That said, real world economy of more than 55mpg in the petrol Bluemotion is nothing to be sniffed at.

There are other reasons not to dismiss the 1.0-litre TSI, too. For a start, it’s around Β£1500 cheaper that the 1.6 TDI and, second, it has a smoother, more refined engine. Business users will also be interested in the 3% lower BIK rate the petrol model attracts. With that in mind, the 1.6 diesel is worthwhile if you’re planning on covering seriously long distances. If your annual mileage is more modest, we’d go for the petrol.

What Car? says...

Rivals

Audi A3 1.4 TSI 125

Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost

Volkswagen Golf TSI Bluemotion

Engine size 1.0-litre turbo petrol

Price from Β£20,495

Power 113bhp

Torque 147lb ft

0-62mph 10.5 seconds

Top speed 127mph

Fuel economy 65.7mpg

CO2 99g/km