Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion (2015) Review

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It’s claimed to be the most fuel efficient and greenest Polo yet, but how does the latest Bluemotion fare?

This is the 2015 Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion and it’s claimed to be super economical, without breaking the bank in terms of initial outlay – an affliction which handicaps most green vehicles of today.

On the outside it resembles a normal Volkswagen Polo, but upon closer inspection you can see the small details which allow the Polo Bluemotion to slip through the air a little easier. There’s a bumper which features a small grille as well as cleverly-designed alloy wheels which offer less resistance. The tyres are specialised low rolling resistance units, which further saves fuel.

All-New Eco Engine and Drive

Powering the Polo Bluemotion is an all-new engine. The previous generation was powered by a diesel engine which offered commendable performance despite the small capacity. The only let down was turbo lag, which required owners to alter their driving style. Once adapted and driving in the correct manner, impressive fuel consumption figures were fairly easy to achieve.

The latest version which you see here is powered by a 1-litre three-cylinder motor. Pushing out just 70kW and 160Nm, this little three-pot offers performance that most would laugh at seeing as it’s a car costing over R200 000. However out and out performance is not this little car’s forte. If you’re never in a hurry, the Polo Bluemotion offers a relaxed driving experience and if you get the driving style right, great returns on the trip computer can be had.

Speaking of economy, the Polo Bluemotion claims 4.2L/100km which isn’t too unrealistic. Given the car’s 45 litre tank, a range of over 1000km is theoretically possible. During its week-long tenure with us and after a combination of both rural and urban driving, we saw figures sitting around the 5L/100km mark – which isn’t too bad.

The vehicle has a five-speed manual gearbox which offers a pleasant action - good thing as you'll be using the gears often to get the most out of the engine. See, if you're Joe Average and you drive like an average South African road user, you'll be constantly gearing down to get a move on. This is not how this car works and as mentioned earlier, it's at its best if you drive gently and sedately.

Interior and Features

Standard specification in the Polo Bluemotion is reasonable, but in true Volkswagen fashion numerous options are available and our test unit highlighted things such as park distance control (R3 050), light & vision package (R3 700), composition media (R2 550) and bi-xenon headlights (R8 650). This brought the price up to R248 150 for the exact vehicle you see here.

The vehicle comes with a substantial infotainment system which has all the niceties like radio/Bluetooth/USB functionality, but in the Polo Bluemotion you get a set of menus devoted to efficient driving. There’s even a section which offers easy-to-understand tips on how to get the most out of your car. These tips are great and educational, but it's a rude awakening to see how you should really be driving!

Despite being a specialised eco car, the bottom line is you're still buying a Volkswagen Polo - a car that has a reputation for build quality and being a popular hatchback. You still get adequate rear legroom and the boot offers a useful 280-952 litres of space.

Conclusion and Summary

At a price premium above the standard Volkswagen Polo 1.2 Comfortline, the case for the Bluemotion is not a strong one. It’s tough to sell a vehicle which is slower, less powerful and costs more – even if the fuel saving benefits are great. Over a long period of time, the Bluemotion will save you some money and thanks to its CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, its exempt from the emission tax.

However there’s nothing wrong with the standard 1.2-litre turbo Polos which have a little more power and torque, thanks to that larger engine and extra cylinder, it’s a car that has been a very popular seller. Go for the Bluemotion if you’re really eco conscious, otherwise stick to the standard Polo – a car that returns not too dissimilar consumption figures any way.

If you're wanting to have a Battle of the 1.0 Litre cars, you'll find the Ford Fiesta 1.0T Titanium is around R10k cheaper while offering more power, while the Renault Clio is R15k cheaper, but down on power and torque. In this company, that Ford Fiesta is tough to beat.

Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion Price in South Africa

There's only one Bluemotion in the Volkswagen Polo range and it sells for R235 800.

Team Opinion

The new 3 cylinder engine from VW is a top notch unit. It immediately feels as good as the competition from Opel and Ford. Combined with the solidity and build quality we've come to know from Volkswagen, this seems like a really good buy. It just seems a bit expensive. - Ashley Oldfield

We Like: Comfortable cruiser, build quality, economical and efficient

We don’t Like: Not the fastest thing around, pricier than normal Polo.

Also consider: Ford Fiesta 1.0T Titanium, Renault Clio 66kW Dynamique

Compare the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion to the Fiesta and Clio here.

Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion – Quick Specs

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