|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|Inline 4cyl,1398cc||170bhp @ 4500rpm||270Nm (199lb ft) @ 1600rpm||8.4secs||212kph||1343kg (127bhp/ton)||$25,500|
|Kilometres this month:||2689|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||6.4|
Last month, upon welcoming the seventh gen Golf to The Management Fleet, we wondered whether the hatchback could continue its long running success with crankandpiston.com, given the plaudits rained down upon both the GTI and R during their respective tests. So far, things are looking good.
The cabin layout for instance is typical Volkswagen, and while not particularly exciting to look at, it is at least, in that most ghastly of terms for crankandpiston.com, ‘practical’. Build quality is high, head and legroom are ample, and everything from the infotainment system to the multi-function steering wheel prove easy to operate. Our SEL model also comes with four doors, a surprisingly cavernous boot, and myriad hidden compartments we’re still tripping over: we even found a drawer under the driver’s seat the other day. The lack of SatNav and ratchet handles to adjust the seats may be considered a moderate ball ache, but it’s nothing a tick in the options box wouldn’t put right.
What we’ve rarely experienced though – aside from a Golf GTE jaunt a few months ago – is the efficient side of Volkswagen’s most famous hatchback, and in this regard, the TSI Bluemotion powerplant has given us a few things to mull over. The 1.4-litre four-cylinder sends a solid if unspectacular 140bhp and 184lb ft of torque to the front wheels, 0-100kph thus possible in a modest 8.4 seconds. Should you feel compelled to stand on the loud pedal, the needle can be pegged at 212kph.
Yet even despite some surprisingly good balance through the corners, decent poke from the four-cylinder and a generous torque curve, we’ve felt little compulsion to throw the Golf at a mountain road this month, preferring instead to see how the BlueMotion handles the commute.
Pretty well as it turns out, with limited road noise to concern us, impressive sound quality from our eight-speaker stereo and that super stiff chassis still offering an impressively smooth ride quality. Fuel runs haven’t been overly damaging to the wallet either, and while we’ve regularly managed to coax upwards of 650km from a single tank, the Golf assures us that 730km would be possible with a little more finesse. I’m still cursing my leaden right foot.
If there’s one thing that’s started to grate this month though, it’s the DSG seven-speed gearbox. I should point out we’ve doted compliments on VW’s DSG setup in the past, it offering smooth changes right to the hilt of the redline in pretty much every model we’ve tested. Indeed, select ‘Sport’ transmission and you’re met with the Golf’s typically alert shifts. What grates slightly in the Bluemotion Golf is the system’s tendency in ‘Drive’ mode to leap into the higher gears almost immediately in an effort to save fuel, which can make the transfer of power slightly doddery in traffic: tap the throttle and you’ll have to wait a moment for the transmission to catch up.
Given its fuel-efficient nature, this may be an unfair comment, but it’s possibly the only thing about The Management Fleet Golf that we’ve taken issue with. And that to me says quite a lot.
Technical specifications available on page 2