Volkswagen Golf

BlueMotion 1.0 TSI -

First Drive

Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, front action
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, side action
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, rear action
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, dashboard
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, rear seats
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.0 TSI, boot

THERE was already one solid reason for not putting the engine size on the badge of a new car these days - you might think it was a misprint in metal.

"No car that big could possibly have an engine as tiny as that", you might have thought on spying an enamelled '1.0' on the boot lid.

Well, it has and it really needn't blush to admit that three tiddly cylinders - all 999ccs of them - are doing the work. This latest version of the latest Golf is a little cracker to drive.

And reason number two for not displaying the modesty of your engine's capacity for all to see? Well, here is a 1.0 litre car that costs more than £20,000.

Precisely, £20,710. Again, best perhaps not advertise how little engine you're getting for your money.

Better by far not to mention the lack of cubes but persuade a potential purchaser behind the wheel instead. When all thought of what's under the bonnet (size wise, at any rate) will vanish as quickly as a grin appears.

For that small powerhouse pumps out 127 strong horses, makes enthusiastic thrumming noises and turns this large-ish family-sized hatch into a featherweight champ with a punch way above its on-paper promise.

Really, it's that good. This is the first time the Golf has offered an economy special BlueMotion version with a petrol engine - it was all diesel before - but the debut is worthy of standing applause.

You may have heard - he said, with eyebrows raised - that Volkswagen is currently not flavour of the year in diesel car circles. In fact, the whole future of diesel as a fuel is under the pollution spotlight, so what better time to introduce a petrol version with high economy in mind.

Up to nearly 66mpg according to the method that VW (and all the other car makers have to use) but a figure that real world driving will hardly ever see.

My brief experience on a mixture of roads saw 47.8mpg on the Golf's trip computer. Not bad, but a diesel would have done better.

I've seen an easy 60mpg in an oil burning Golf, which brings us to the dilemma faced by the driver of almost any small capacity petrol engined car.

There are two ways to drive them; slowly for economy, when they're dull as ditch water, or foot down for fun, when they feel like little road rockets, but turn thirsty.

The choice is yours and I wish you well as you fight the urge to enjoy your eco Golf.

A 127mph top speed and sprint to 62mph in 9.7 seconds give some warning how hard that restraint might prove, although the 99g/km emissions figure means you'll pay no road tax while exercising the car.

Whatever speed you choose to conduct your car you'll enjoy a machine that, as well as looking stylish inside and out, goes a very long to justify that twenty grand bottom line.

Take a look at the standard kit that comes with the BlueMotion edition; starting with satellite navigation, heated front seats, air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, DAB radio, alloy wheels and electric windows all round.

Then there's the way it drives - again - with a deliciously crisp gearchange, positively firm brakes and a ride that shrugs off its slightly lowered and stiffened 'sports' suspension.

If ever there was a car that gives far more than a dry read of the online brochure reveals, this is it. It really needs to be experienced from behind the wheel.

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