Volkswagen Golf Review (2008)

Volkswagen Golf
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Volkswagen Golf Review

Volkswagen Golf ReviewVolkswagen Golf Road Test

Fuel economy figures for the BlueMotion are nothing short of impressive; 48.7mpg for the urban cycle, a mega 74.3mpg for the extra-urban and the combined is 62.8mpg, which is more than a lot of cars’ extra urban statistics.

Fuel economy figures for the BlueMotion are nothing short of impressive; 48.7mpg for the urban cycle, a mega 74.3mpg for the extra-urban and the combined is 62.8mpg, which is more than a lot of cars’ extra urban statistics. As expected, its closest rival is the ‘standard’ 1.9TDI with relative figures of 44.8-, 65.7- and 55.4mpg, while the CO2 figures are 132g/km and 119g/km for the BlueMotion - that is a difference of £85 at 2008 VED Banding rates.

Of course, the official fuel economy figures are unlikely to be achieved in real life motoring but on a 100-mile plus journey, it took so long for the fuel gauge to start dropping that I was beginning to think it was broken. But, to help us get somewhere close to the best economy, every BlueMotion car comes with a multifunctional computer, part of which, is a little display that recommends when it is time to change gear.

There is, however, a small problem with this; as good as electronics are these days, the sensors cannot see what the driver can see and anticipate. It is only a guide and if you follow the instructions to the letter, you could well find yourself in the wrong gear for the circumstances. Besides, hanging on to third gear, while exploring the torque band and making the most of the sports suspension is sometimes equally as rewarding as the fuel benefits of being more mindful.

There are six trim levels, altogether, although the sportier GTI, GTI Edition 30 and R32 aren’t really part of the mainstream models. Those aside, we are left with S, Match and GT Sport, of which only the S and Match are available with the BlueMotion enhancements.

Again, ignoring the more overtly, sporty types, the rest of the range comes with a choice of two petrol and two diesel units. There is a 1.6 FSI 115PS, but the main petrol engine is the 1.4, which is available with four different outputs and an array of initials. The starting point is a straightforward 1.4 producing 85PS and then with the addition of TSI technology the same unit is offered with outputs of 122-, 140- or 170PS, along with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG); one with seven gears.

TSI is the next step on from the acclaimed FSI engines, with FSI standing for Fuel Stratified Ignition or Injection, depending on who you talk to. The award-winning TSI uses the FSI unit as a basis but adds a belt-driven, supercharger and an exhaust gas, turbocharger. The supercharger provides extra oomph at slower speeds and the turbo takes over as road-speeds increase. It works so well that it is said to provide the same power as a conventional 2.3-litre petrol engine but with 20 per cent lower fuel consumption.

The alternatives are the 1.9 TDI with and without DPF; also available with the clever DSG automatic gearbox. The same applies to the 2.0-litre TDI, which has two outputs of 140PS and 170PS but is restricted to the GT Sport model. At the other end of the scale, there is a 75PS, 2.0 SDI, version for the S only.

Volkswagen Golf ReviewVolkswagen Golf Road Test
Volkswagen Golf Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolkswagen Golf 1.9 TDI BlueMotion Match
  
Body Type5-Door Hatchback
ColourReflex Silver Metallic
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph11.3 Seconds
Top Speed 116 mph
  
Transmission5-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban48.7 mpg
Extra Urban74.3 mpg
Combined62.8 mpg
  
Insurance Group6
Euro NCAP Rating5
Warranty3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty
Price (when tested on the 14/04/08)£16,750

The information contained within this Volkswagen Golf review may have changed since publication on the 14 April 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volkswagen dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2019