First Drive

2015 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion TSI review

The most frugal petrol Golf ever uses new hi-tech three-cylinder engine and offers impressive refinement

Words ByHilton Holloway

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This Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion is the first petrol-powered model to wear the Bluemotion badge and is the most fuel-efficient petrol version of the hatchback that the company has made yet.

It’s powered by a new 999cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine, based on the impressive unit currently used in the Up city car. The headline claims are for an official CO2 rating of 99g/km and a 65.7mpg claimed fuel economy.

The whole engine weighs just 89kg, some 10kg lighter than the four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI engine in the Golf Mk7.

Changes to the car have been less dramatic. The chassis has been lowered by 15mm, the radiator sits behind deployable flaps, it gets new airflow-smoothing underfloor panels, low rolling resistance tyres and the hatch gets a new spoiler.

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

Equipped with a new engine, it is very refined, smooth running, and surprisingly brisk. However, it should probably be noted that we sampled the Bluemotion on Amsterdam’s extensive motorway network, which is smooth, well surfaced and, above all, flat.

That said, the Golf performed admirably. Although it doesn’t have the mid-range shove of a modern diesel engine, it is more refined and it is a far more pleasant experience to accelerate through the gears.

The engine starts in virtual silence and its stop-start abilities are remarkable, shutting down and sparking up with hardly any notification.

The shift action on this six-speed manual 'box was also very slick and nicely weighted; albeit with a reasonably long throw, especially into sixth.

Although the road conditions were hardly challenging, the chassis tuning seemed to have achieved a fine balance of cosseting, easy-rolling, comfort without degenerating into heaving and bouncing across obstacles.

What's the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI Bluemotion like inside?

For a business driver, the Golf would make a compelling tool. It’s not just the in-car refinement and the humming turbine of an engine that makes it so useable, but also the quality of the interior construction, the wide comfortable seats and extensive storage space.

This is a really first-rate cockpit and up front, the Golf cabin gives little away to larger cars in terms of space and comfort.

Running along at motorway speeds, the only noise invading the Bluemotion’s cabin is subdued wind noise from the around the pillars and side windows. Indeed, turn the air-con fan up and the most prominent noise inside is from the face-level vents.

Should I buy one?

If you were thinking of buying a smaller diesel engined car, a test drive in the 1.0 Golf Bluemotion would be a wise move. VW engineers have created an economy-minded petrol engine that is impressively refined and doles out brisk performance with a civility that most modern diesels just can’t match.

On the financial front, compared with the Golf 1.6TDi Match – which also has a Co2 rating of 99g/km – this 1.0-litre petrol model is Β£1150 cheaper in the showroom. The petrol Golf also has a company car tax rate of 14 percent company, 3% less than the diesel Golf.

This 1.0-litre model is also Β£140 cheaper than the four-cylinder petrol 1.4TSI Golf. Compared with its four-cylinder sister model, the 1.0-litre model offers only marginally less bhp and equal pulling power.

However, the bigger engine has CO2 emissions of 123g/km (compared with the 1.0-litre’s 99g/km) and an official fuel economy figure of 53.3mpg compared with 65.7mpg. Clearly, the new 1.0-litre TSI is the better buy.

If this new baby engine delivers in terms of real-world economy, the case for dropping diesel – with all the attendant worries about pollution – has never been better.

What Car? says...

Volkswagen Golf TSI Bluemotion

Engine size 1.0-litre petrol

Price from Β£20,395

Power 113bhp

Torque 147lb ft

0-62mph 9.7 seconds

Top speed 127mph

Fuel economy 65.7mpg

CO2 99g/km