VW Polo BlueMotion Review - A high quality economical small dieselOne of the most economical small diesel cars is the VW Polo BlueMotion. VW give the BlueMotion tag to each model variant that has had some tweaks and is the most fuel efficient and least polluting in the range. Now in its second generation, the Polo BlueMotion's stats are simply outstanding - a combined fuel consumption of 83 miles per UK gallon (this car is not available in the States) and 90 g/km of CO2 emissions. A Prius comes nowhere near this.
The first generation Polo BlueMotion was also a very economical diesel at 72 miles per gallon but it suffered from a lack of refinement. It had a noisy engine and lifeless steering.
To achieve better fuel economy than standard Polos the original BlueMotion received a new grille, smaller wing mirrors and a special rear wing to improve the aerodynamics. They also fitted low rolling resistance tyres. The engine was the same 1.4 litre 3 cylinder diesel available in other Polo's but it boasted a new variable turbocharger, as well as a new exhaust system and catalytic converter. The five speed manual transmission had extra long gear ratios to squeeze the most economy out of the engine and the 195 Nm unit coped pretty well.
The changes inside the car were less pleasing to some people though. In an effort to reduce weight and increase efficiency VW got rid of a lot of what is now usually considered standard equipment. Gone was the air conditioning, the power mirrors, and even the central locking. Many consumers considered this a step too far for a few extra miles per gallon.
The second and latest generation of VW's economical diesel is a big improvement on the first. The new Polo BlueMotion is even more efficient, more refined and has a lot of clever features. The old 1.4 litre clunky engine has been replaced by a new quieter and smoother 1.2 litre unit capable of 74 bhp. While this engine is not going to take you anywhere very fast (top speed is only 107mph and 0-60 takes almost 14 seconds), it will return 83 mpg and emit only 90 g/km of carbon so trips to the petrol station will be scarce.
New technical features over the first diesel Polo BlueMotion include a gear change indicator, a lower ride height, regenerative braking and a stop start system. All these new features work really well and altogether the Polo feels like a much nicer place to be now.
In fact all these changes have been enough to win the Polo the European Car of the Year award. While it is undoubtedly a great car it has a major drawback which partly negates its money saving high fuel mileage. The Polo BlueMotion retails for around £14,500 in the U.K. This is massively expensive for a tiny car. You can buy a very fuel efficient Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex for £11,500. While you do expect to pay a premium for VW build quality this small economical diesel is still too expensive.
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