What do you sensibly need in a car these days? For me I would argue that it needs to get you (and your family) to your destination, quickly and efficiently, without drama, with reliability, and preferably economically.
Other considerations can also apply: It might have to look so good that it make you look and feel good. It might have to be so elegant/ sporty, that other people think you look good.
Cars are such an emotional purchase that they rarely relate to need, much more to want.
But if you can really put most of the glamour aside prepare to read our mini review of the, bottom of the line VW Golf, 2013 edition with BlueMotion.
Really this is really a word about BlueMotion
You may recall that in April we had hired a car expecting BlueMotion only to receive quite possibly the world's slowest most ugly, non-Bluemotion VW instead!
So (at last), after almost a week with a VW Golf Bluemotion, how was it?
The basic idea is that when you come to a physical stop your engine switches off, and when you want to move forward again the engine restarts.
The saving is that
+ switched off engine does not consume any fuel
+ saving on moving engine components
- need to keep starting engine (beefier starter motor!)
How does it work?
When you come to a stop and put the car into neutral then as you touch the foot brake the engine will stop
When you press the accelerator then the car restarts and you engage a gear with clutch to move forward.
What about the handbrake?
Initially the source of much confusion (we had not read the Users manual) but there is an electric handbrake
- An auto hold button - means put the electric handbrake on automatically when the car is stationary and take it off when you try to move the car forward or backward
- P button, the manual activation of the electric handbrake
You need to master the auto hold button since it is otherwise impossible to perform a hill park/ manoeuvre. Without it the handbrake will only release when the gears are not engaged, letting you collide into neighbouring parked cars. Be warned - practise first!
Also be aware that if you stall the car then the handbrake may be applied automatically and you need to read the dashboard for hints as to how to release the handbrake. The car just will NOT move an inch when it is on.
BlueMotion is an absolute winner, although it not yet fully available on sporty Golf models, but give it time!
And, the Rest of the Car?
Interior is a plain but functional place to be
Plenty of room in the rear for People, or in our case extra luggage
Boot is spacious, and obviously the rear seats fold
A comprehensive touch screen operated music, trip multi function computer. Really excellent!
The dash is quite plain on this ultra basic model
The difficult is currently the sale price. Whilst Volkswagen provides a première experience, including BlueMotion it must be balanced against a higher price!
Golf (Mark 7) has a variety of energy saving technologies:
- Low-ish weights [ 1.4L DSG Petrol 1249Kg, 1370Kg DSG GTi]
- 1.4 litre TSI engine with Active Cylinder Technology
- Start/ Stop technology
- Regenerative braking battery charging
++ BlueMotion is fantastic!
++ So economical.
+ The new Golf has some great innovations.
- Pretty Expensive
2013 Golf Pricing and Specification
VW Golf VII Brochure
VW Golf UK Price List
VW Golf BlueMotion configurator
VW Golf GTI configurator