2014 VW Golf: BlueMotion vs 1.6 TDI
Volkswagen’s BlueMotion technology has been around for a few years now, but the latest Golf to feature the badge of economy is widely regarded as being one of the best green cars around, even taking into account the other VAG eco-offerings of Seat’s EcoMotive range and the Skoda GreenLine cars. Its direct rival in the VW range is the standard 1.6 TDI, so the question is – is it worth paying out the extra grand-and-a-bit for the BlueMotion?
Now, the BlueMotion also features a 1.6 TDI engine, but this is in fact a different unit entirely. The more economical car actually produces 5bhp more, and it’s impressively responsive. The gearing is long for economy, so you’ll need to drop down a gear when overtaking, but this certainly is no slouch. 0-60 takes a respectable 10.5 seconds, and it feels a little quicker. The engine is slightly more refined than the 1.6 TDI, but it’s not overly noticeable; in truth it’s difficult to pick between the two.
Looking at the BlueMotion, you’ll notice that it has a lower ride height than standard, but also much smaller 15” alloys. This means better economy, without sacrificing too much comfort. Handling is still reasonably good despite all the extra rubber, and can be hustled through bends with ease. It’s a far cry from older eco models that really didn’t want to be driven hard or fast.
The BlueMotion is advertised at a rather farfetched 88mpg. You’re unlikely to get anywhere near that in real, everyday driving, but you should comfortably see more than 60mpg around town, and close to 80 on the motorway, making this a great choice for those who do a lot of miles. The standard 1.6 is rated at 74mpg, so it’s not drastically less economical, but it does have a higher CO2 output, which is the crucial thing for company car buyers.
So, back to the price. At more than a grand extra, it’s quite difficult to justify the BlueMotion for the average private buyer, unless you can find a good used example. You’re simply not likely to make up the price difference in fuel savings, and the larger alloys on the standard 1.6 simply make the car look better – equipment levels are pretty basic too. The 5bhp increase doesn’t really affect things either. If of course, this is a company car, the extremely low CO2 output makes the BlueMotion Golf a very, very good choice indeed.