What is it?
The Golf Plus is the latest car in Volkswagen's line-up to get the Bluemotion makeover. The mini-MPV version of VW's omnipresent hatchback has always claimed to offer better practicality in terms of space, and now it gets the latest Bluemotion tech to compete on economy.
The 1.9-litre TDI engine from the previous generation Golf Plus Bluemotion has been replaced by the new 1.6-litre TDI already found in the regular Golf range. Under the Golf Plus’s bonnet, VW claim the engine will return an impressive 65.7mpg, and keep C02 emissions to a modest 114g/km.
The usual Bluemotion magic has been weaved to induce such frugality from VW's inflated hatchback. The last three ratios on the five-speed gearbox have been revised, while low rolling resistance tyres and a Start/Stop function have also found their way onto the spec sheet.
The Golf Plus Bluemotion comes in two trim levels, S and SE. Both get a decent amount of kit, but the SE we drove adds Park Assist, cruise control and alloy wheels.
What's it like?
A Golf Bluemotion, but marginally bigger. There really isn't much to split the Golf Plus from its sleeker relative, except the greater sense of space provided by the higher roofline, and a larger boot.
Obviously that additional height (and weight) does make a slight impression on the car's handling, but you'd have to drive the cars back-to-back to notice. The Golf Plus has the same impeccable manners on the road; its ride, handling and superior refinement all encourage smooth, sedate progress.
This is good news for the Bluemotion in particular, as smooth, sedate progress is what it excels at. The common-rail 1.6TDI delivers its 104bhp in an untroubled, entirely linear way, and while overtaking quickly highlights the limits of its modest power, there is sufficient grunt to easily tackle the average commute.
We weren't able to match Volkswagen's claimed economy figures, but this might be because it's all too easy to ignore the gearshift indicator in favour of better running performance.