From £10,165
Amazing fuel consumption, and surprisingly normal to drive
Steve Cropley Autocar
14 May 2009

What is it?

It’s the new, super-economy version of the new VW Polo, still a year from British showrooms, but more or less complete. We drove a late prototype at VW’s launch for its other Polo models in Sardinia, Italy. If VW’s other BlueMotion models (Golf, Jetta, Caddy, Passat, Touran) are anything to go by, this will have a claim to being the world’s most frugal supermini.

The VW Polo BlueMotion is powered by an all-new 1.2 litre three-cylinder common-rail turbodiesel producing 75bhp, and driving through a five-speed manual gearbox with very widely spaced ratios and an tall (30mph/1000 rpm) fifth gear.

The engine stops when the car is stationary in traffic, then restarts when the driver selects first gear. There’s a smart alternator that does most of its battery charging the when the car is slowing, and the body is fitted with body bits to improve its aerodynamics (front splitter, flat undertray, side skirts, rear window fairing and a 10mm lower ride height).

What’s it like?

The VW Polo BlueMotion is downright amazing for the way it sips fuel; surprisingly normal for the way it drives. VW’s own combined fuel consumption figure is an extraordinary 85.6mpg, accompanied by 87gm/km of CO2.

But even more remarkable, we feel, is the fact that on a 25-mile route in Sardinia, driven at normal traffic speed with no exaggerated effort to save fuel, we were able to return an awesome 78.5mpg according to the fuel computer. Even if that were 10 per cent wrong, as some fuel computers are, it would still be an awesome performance. Senior editor Andrew Frankel did the same route, giving the BlueMotion the beans, and still returned 60mpg.

The Polo BlueMotion is virtually as refined and smooth as the ordinary models, and quite rewarding to drive, too. The steering isn’t quite as sensitive as the standard cars (given the hard-walled 15-inch low rolling resistance tyres) but the ride is fine. It takes a while to get used to the wide gear ratios, and to trust the change-up light which wills you to let the little engine lug. Once you train youirself, spectacular fuel mileage is simple. Most important, you could see yourself using one of these as practical transport every day.

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Should I buy one?

Maybe, if you’re that sort of person. Just about everyone’s got an economy version of their new models now, but this is certainly one of the most effective. It’ll cost up to £900 more than the equivalent ordinary diesel model (we’d estimate £12,000) which is a pretty solid price. On the other hand, you’ll definitely be helping to cut greenhouse gases, and besides, driving for economy can be a lot of fun.

 

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Comments
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Llandudnoboy 10 December 2014

Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDi Bluemotion

Love it or hate it, the new Polo 1.4Tdi Bluemotion is on my shopping list as a replacement car for my 5yrs old Smart Cdi.

I agree that Volkswagen know how to charge for those necessary extras, but unlike the Golf Bluemotion, the Polo comes fully loaded with virtually every required extra, and even though £700 for the Sat/Nav sounds steep, it's a rather good system.

Nobody is saying £16500 is a bargain for the Polo, but you have a beautifully put together car that is almost a miniature Golf in both looks and build quality.

The Polo has always been seen as a premium model in the Supermini sector, but there is no denying a Polo in Clear water Blue metalic looks a quality car on anyones forecourt, and is built to last.

Llandudnoboy 20 May 2013

Diesel does make more sense LONGTERM

Until I became a diesel convert,I always thought buying a petrol driven car made more sense,that is until I borrowed a friends Passat to drive to Edinburgh because my car was off the road.

The economy from a diesel was scary when before I was getting barely 40mpg from my car,and the more relaxed driving style with the low down power associated with diesels,was a far more comfortable drive over long distances.

That was over twelve years ago,and my mothers 2003 VW Lupo SDi is still on its original exhaust after 102,000 trouble free miles,and on checking it recently there is little sign of corrosion on it.

Over the past three years the sale of diesel cars has been outpacing that of petrol vehicles,simply because they tend to be more reliable due to the more robust engines and mechanical parts used.

Any sensible person thinking of buying a new car today shops around for the best price,and if one does their homework the initial difference in price between a diesel and petrol need not be significant.

The Internet is full of many reputable companies who can source your diesel car of choice at considerably less than that of the main dealer.

Yes for the majority of drivers they would never think of buying their new car from an Internet company, so those who still claim a diesel car costs more than the petrol,are not in the real world

My current car,a three year old Smart ForTwo Cdi was purchased from a small Internet company based in Stockton on Tees.

He regularly buys four or more Mercedes vehicles from the Stockton main dealer on a monthly basis and receives a huge discount because of this.

Had I visited the dealership myself i may have had a set of mudflats frown in if I was lucky,but because I did not buy the car myself,but from the Internet dealer,I saved an incredible £1800 off the list price.

Would I buy another petrol car,unlikely because diesel cars last longer mechanically and are more popular second hand.

You see the Polo Bluemotion makes great sense for us diesel converts.

wilky 9 January 2013

Probably one of the most dangerous cars on the road

Probably one of the most dangerous cars I have had the misfortune to drive. So gutless on the motorways that when you have to accelerate out of trouble there is nothing there.

 

It has all the handling capabilities of a plate of blamange. Wallows in the twisties with terrible understeer.  The way this thing rolls you dread it letting go.

 

so not only is the engine a horror, the suspension is the pits. I haven't mentioned the brakes as there are none.

 

Being given one for a 500 mile round trip. I dropped it off half way with the hire company and demanded the car I had ordered instead of this useless box on wheels.

 

VW what are you playing at? I have never had an issue with the Passat, Scirocco, Tiguan. But this polo is a joke.

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