From £15,8278
We try the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol version of the Golf Bluemotion. If you're not doing mega miles, it's a better bet than the diesel

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

What is it?

Volkswagen's first petrol-powered full-on Bluemotion model - not to be confused with those models carrying the Bluemotion Technology badge. Using the 1.0-litre engine fitted to the Up as a base, VW has added a turbocharger and intercooler to increase power to an Ecoboost-rivalling 113bhp at 5000-5500rpm.

Furthermore, torque is up to a healthy 147Ib ft between 2000 and 3500rpm. Thanks to some cunning design and plenty of aluminium, the whole engine weighs just 89kg, which helps the model weigh under 1300kg even with a driver.

Not only does the relative lack of mass help account for the 10.5 sec 0-62mph time but it also helps economy. Claimed fuel consumption is just 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions are 99g/km.

As with other Bluemotion models, there are further changes to achieve those figures. Up front, you get an active air shutter that can close off the engine bay when cooling air isn’t required. There’s also a small rear spoiler, flat panels to cover the oily bits underneath and 15mm lower suspension. All of these modifications reduce drag, helping this car slide through the air more cleanly than regular Golfs.

What's it like?

Surprisingly tractable. You might expect a tiny three-cylinder petrol engine with a turbocharger strapped on to be a peaky little thing. The truth is very different.

At first you can’t believe how early the instrument cluster tells you to change up a gear but you soon learn to trust it. The motor will happily pull from a little over 1000rpm and never feels strained. You’d swear it was a much bigger unit than it actually is.

Not only is it content to slog at low revs, but you canalso spin it round to its limiter quite happily. Power does tail off a little after the 5500rpm peak, but there’s still plenty of usable urge along with a pleasing thrum from under the bonnet.

It’s also buttery smooth - a clever crankshaft that’s designed to be imbalanced gets around the inherent problems of an engine with an odd number of cylinders. As it’s a small petrol motor, operation of the start/stop system is barely noticeable, too.

The rest of the package is much the same as before. Being a sub-146bhp Golf, it has a twist beam rear axle as opposed to the multi-link independent set-up of more powerful variants. This and the lower, stiffer springs do erode ride quality, but you’d never call it uncomfortable.

It’s only over particularly rough sections of road that the Golf starts to suffer from noticeable vertical movements. On smoother surfaces it’s a fine long-distance companion.

As for handling, it’s surefooted and stable with steering that weights up progressively should you start to corner harder. It’s a precise system but one that isn’t brimming with feel or feedback.

Despite this, it’s possible to cross country surprisingly rapidly thanks to the torquey motor and dependable, reassuring chassis. 

Should I buy one?

Ultimately the 1.6-litre diesel Bluemotion will be the economy champion here. That variant has claimed average fuel consumption of 83.1mpg while taking the same 10.5sec to reach 62mph.

Unsurprisingly, you’re unlikely to reach the claimed economy figures on your way to work, but in our experience the diesel will still come out on top. Saying that, real-world economy of more than 55mpg in the petrol Bluemotion is nothing to be sniffed at. We wouldn’t count the 1.0-litre TSI out, and for a few good reasons.

For a start, it’s around £1500 cheaper than the diesel. Secondly, it’s a smoother and 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 only worthwhile if you’re planning on covering seriously long distances.

If you’re unlikely to be schlepping up and down the nation's motorways on a regular basis, we'd be seriously tempted by this petrol-powered Bluemotion.

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion 1.0 TSI

Location West Sussex; On sale Now; Price £20,495; Engine 3 cyls inline, 999cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power 113bhp at 5000-5500rpm; Torque 148Ib ft at 2000-3500rpm; Kerb weight 1286kg; Gearbox 6-spd manual; 0-62mph 10.5s; Top speed 121mph; Economy 65.7mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 99g/km, 14%

Join the debate

Comments
15

27 November 2015
What are the odds that this will do 35mpg like the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost?

27 November 2015
Pretty much anything is a better bet than a VW diesel. Not sure I'd believe any of their figures, though.

27 November 2015
rmcondo wrote:

Pretty much anything is a better bet than a VW diesel. Not sure I'd believe any of their figures, though.

Why is almost anything better than a VW diesel? Regardless of what has happened, they are still economical, strong and refined engines. But you just keep on banging the boring drum...

27 November 2015
The review does mention real world consumption of 55mpg, which is not too shabby at all. I wish they'd put this engine in the Up.

27 November 2015
scrap wrote:

I wish they'd put this engine in the Up.

They probably will, but you can bet that the timing of its release will be very carefully judged, either near the end of this model cycle, or only on the next version. Manufacturers tend to drip-feed the punters at just the right rate to keep the interest going and encourage them to part with more money in a timely fashion!

27 November 2015
If is car does 55mpg being driven in a way that wont infuriate other road users, I will go out and buy a Ford Mustang V8. The 1.6 tdi Bluemotion with a claimed 88mpg does around 55mpg if driven carefully in the real world.

28 November 2015
I currently drive a mk6 2.0tdi gt with no stop start and it achieves 55-60mpg every day .Those figures would be easy to achieve in a 1.6tdi, although the enthusiast in me is very interested in 1.0 petrol. Will be watching honest john real mpg with interest.

28 November 2015
As a matter of interest, what is your overall mileage and overall mpg computed from fuel bought since you have had the car (will be a precise figure rather than a range!)?

28 November 2015
Hi Adrian987, I've owned the car for 30,000 miles and the overall mpg not just my recent averages is 54.7mpg.

30 November 2015
Hi Sundym I had a MK6 1.6 105 tdi with a claimed 62mpg,I regularly bettered the claimed figures too on a tank getting 58-65mpg on a tank depending on ambient temperature, though of course it had the cheat software. I swapped it this summer for a MK 7 2.0 184 TDI with a claimed 67mpg. I drive it no faster and I am lucky if I get 49mpg on a tank and now it is getting colder it is getting worse, the best I have had out of it was 63mpg for a few miles on a downhill journey (where I would get 80+mpg in the old car, the latest VW mpg figures seem very dubious, I will admit to have almost been a bit of a VW "fanboy", I always liked the way the interiors were laid out and I did n't need to pick up a manual to work switchgear out, but these days I am jaded towards VW.

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