Its hard for me to be totally objective about Volkswagen cars. I have owned several and they have been a favourite of mine for many years.
Drive into a garage in a Volkswagen and the mechanic will usually scratch his chin, give it a once over and say something along the lines of ‘Good cars these…’. The latest 1.6litre Diesel Golf Estate with BlueMotion Technology we have just tested is no exception to that rule.
BlueMotion Technology is the umbrella term used by Volkswagen to describe their most environmentally friendly and efficient cars. On the 1.6litre Diesel this means CO2 emissions of just 109g/km (the average is over 160g/km), and a pretty impressive (combined) Miles Per Gallon of 67.3 (78.5MPG for Extra -Urban use).
This is slightly strange at first, you keep thinking you have stalled it, but it saves on fuel and engine wear and once you are used to it becomes second nature.
It comes with low resistance tyres and when you brake it cleverly takes the energy produced and feeds it back to the battery. The gearbox is a 5 speed manual and there is an indicator on the dashboard to tell you the most optimum time to change up or down gear useful for squeezing out those extra miles per gallon.
Visually, on the outside this new Golf is very slick, it’s not a Ferrari, but everywhere you look the finish is immaculate. The body is very modern looking, with nice looking alloy wheels, cool lights, heated mirrors with indicator lights, and plenty of chrome trim.
Obviously with this being the Estate version you get a lot more space than a regular Golf, and this car has an abundance of it. From the huge boot, to the excellent leg room (without squashing the people in the back), even for my tall frame. You can fold down the rear seats flat for even more space.
Optional extras include one of the best Sat Navs around, and reverse parking camera / visual / audio sensors, all very useful if you can afford the additional cost. They make parking a lot easier, and give you that extra reassurance in tight spaces.[nggallery id=54]
You will feel very safe in this car, there are ton of airbags and a ABS (anti-lock braking system), a HBA (hydraulic brake assist), and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), all there to keep you on the straight and narrow, and, (if need be) to slow you down in a hurry.
It has also been built with comfort in mind, and it’s probably happiest on the open road, where it’s so smooth and effortless to drive you have to keep an eye on the speedometer.
You can (if it were legal) do 90MPH in this car and think you were going a fair bit slower, (it has a top speed of 118MPH) something that is testament to the quality of the build, but could get you into trouble with the boys in blue.
It’s a good car, and will hold it’s value well on the re-sale market. BUT! Incorporating all these efficiency features into a car that is as drive-able as the Golf could be a problem….
You may look for any excuse to drive it, and so by driving it more, defeat the object of it’s environmental features. Hmm it could be tricky, but I don’t suppose you can blame a manufacturer for making a car you want to drive!
The Golf Estate SE Blue Motion Technology 1.6 litre TDI 105 PS 5Spd manual costs from £20,520 More info at www.volkswagen.co.uk