Cost conscious environmentalists rejoice because the new Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion is exempt from paying road tax. This is because this eco champion's emissions are a virtually irrelevant 99g/km, so this particular Golf is kinder to the environment than a Greenpeace manifesto.
The VW Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion has these low emissions because it returns a combined average of 74.3mpg, and manages 83.1mpg on the extra-urban cycle. Even in town it sips diesel at a socially responsible 60.1mpg – so refuelling stops are rarer than a four-leaf clover. However, despite its aversion to gas-guzzling the 103bhp Golf BlueMotion has reasonable performance. Zero to sixty takes 11.3 seconds and it is capable of 118mph.
The Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion achieves its mind melting fuel efficiency through a series of technical innovations. These include a revision to the engine management software to reduce idling speed, and then teaming this with lengthy gear ratios. The Golf also has an automatic engine start/stop system for town driving, as well as regenerative braking technology that uses otherwise wasted energy to recharge the battery. This is wrapped-up in an aerodynamic body that slips through the air like a blowtorch through butter.
Further Golf plus points include the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, decent interior space, comprehensive internal specification, entertaining handling, and the kind of robustness than makes the solar system look short lived. The only potential downside to this three/five-door hatchback is the purchase cost, as the new Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion has an eyebrow raising list price of £18,130 – £18,715.