Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion: High-MPG Diesel Is Forbidden Fruit For Us Page 2

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2014 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

2014 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

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Inside

Like the rest of the Golf range, the Golf Bluemotion’s cabin is well thought-out, with a clear dashboard, easy-to-use controls, and comfortable, well-supported seats. 

As with other models we’ve driven, our test car’s center console was taken up by an easy-to-use touch-screen infotainment system, controlling audio functions, hands-free dialing, and navigation.

In the interests of weight saving, though, we felt the interior trim didn’t feel quite up to the same quality as the rest of the Golf range--with lighter, hard plastic used to help the Golf Bluemotion shed an additional 108 pounds over other Golfs. 

That’s not to say the interior of the Golf Bluemotion isn’t well appointed: important features -- air conditioning vents, individual reading lights for rear passengers --  are still present. 

Behind the wheel

As with other Mk VIII Golf’s we’ve driven, the ride quality was generally excellent, with good feedback through the wheel from the road.

Compared to other Golfs, we felt the Bluemotion’s lowered suspension and smaller wheels gave a less comfortable, stiffer ride on uneven rural roads. 

 

In common with other Golfs, our Bluemotion featured an on-screen gear-coach to help the driver choose the most efficient gear. In the interests of fuel economy, the car often told us to change up a gear early, keeping the engine turning at incredibly low speeds. 

2014 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

2014 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

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We found, however, that following the suggested gear-change pattern often left the Golf Bluemotion feeling a little asthmatic.

 

By shifting later -- especially between fourth and fifth gears -- we were able to duplicate VW’s claimed 0-to-62-mph time of 10.5 seconds. But we found first gear a little short for our liking. 

In freeway cruising, the extra-tall sixth gear made the Golf Bluemotion extremely refined, quietly running at 70 mph with no hint of engine strain. 

Shuddering start-stop

More and more European cars have start-stop systems as standard in their home markets, and the Golf Bluemotion is no exception. It featured stop-start technology to minimize fuel consumption by shutting off the engine at stop lights. 

Bu with the 6-speed manual gearbox, the engine would only stop when we put the car into neutral, starting again when we depressed the clutch to choose first gear before accelerating away. 

That was useful at predictable traffic lights and in long lines of traffic, when we could see cars ahead moving long before we needed to. But we found the stop/start technology got in the way at regular stop lights, delaying our progress on a green light and irking those behind us. 

Missing a trick

Overall, the Golf Bluemotion is unmistakably a Volkswagen Golf.

With 13.4 cubic feet of cargo space and similar in-car technology to the rest of the Golf range, there’s little to tell it apart from any other Golf. 

That is, until you look at the fuel efficiency. Over our 30-mile test drive, we managed to average 3.6 litres per 100 km -- equivalent to a U.S. gas mileage of 65 mpg. 

Sure, it’s a stick (only a small portion of the U.S. market), but we think it’s a shame Volkswagen doesn’t plan to offer this forbidden fruit in select U.S. markets.

Especially given the projected increase in sales of diesel cars over the next few years.

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