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Polo BlueMotion burns half a tank on 500km trip…

Polo BlueMotion burns half a tank on 500km trip…

Polo BlueMotion burns half a tank on 500km trip…
November 29
00:00 2011

My first impression of the VW Polo (1,2 TDi) BlueMotion when Europcar dropped one at my place last Friday, was that it’s an entry level car…which I immediately assumed only offers the average features associated with such cars. I happen to own a 2005 KIA RIO, which by its own standard is better than most entry-level cars that I’ve been exposed to.

STANDARD FEATURES IN MY BOOKS

  • Power steering wheel
  • Electric windows
  • Air-conditioner
  • Central locking system

I noticed that this car is powered by diesel and not petrol…a plus considering that diesel is cheaper compared to petrol. It’s a 1,2litre engine capacity, meaning it’s very small, however this one is unique in that it’s turbo charged. Its uptake is delayed when engaging the first gear, however that is not a problem considering that from then on its move pretty fast.

GEAR LEVEL INDICATOR

Each time you change the gear levels, there is an indicator on the dashboard that displays your current gear level. This feature also guides you what gear level to engage in terms of the road surface when it’s steep or slope. I found this to be quite useful especially for newly qualified drivers, who are still learning the ropes in terms of changing gear, truth be told, this could have also helped me a great deal during my early years of driving.

AUTO STOP-START

This option has to be the most important feature that sets the VW Polo BlueMotion apart from its peers and an appeal to most prospective buyers considering that the cost of fuel is very important to many South African motorists.

When you’ve stopped at the traffic lights, you’re able to engage your gears to neutral and pull the hand brake. Vehicle will automatically switches off the engine. When the traffic lights turns green, you simple release your hand brake and engage the first gear, car immediately switches engine on and moves without you having touched the ignition.

The average cars will all be idling and wasting fuel, while yours will be switched off and not consuming any fuel at all.

HALF-TANK RETURN TRIP

We left on a full-tank (45 litres of diesel) from Roodepoort on Friday for Zebula Golf Estate in Bela Bela which is 250km one way trip…and reached home back on Sunday with the gauge on half empty.

I do regular trips to Durban to visit my granny…normally on the KIA RIO I reach home on a reserve tank. This means it’s possible that I can do a return trip on one full tank between Johannesburg and Durban if I don’t include any errands.

MONSTER INCLUSION – CRUISE CONTROL

This is the first time ever that I’ve driven an entry-level car with a cruise control facility. I’m familiar with a cruise control on big cars (petrol guzzlers) with big engines, like the family Chrysler Sebring we own…I thoroughly enjoyed myself while driving from Roodepoort to Zebula Country Estate using the N1 highway to Polokwane knowing am safe from traffic law enforcement officers.

The cruise control facility is of particular interest to me because over the years while driving my entry-level car…I’ve accumulated so many traffic fines between Johannesburg and Durban since it’s not easy to maintain the legal 120km/hour speed on a long distance trip. The only time am able to keep to the speed limit is when driving at night.

Considering that I was test-driving, it was also extremely important that I don’t accumulate traffic fines.

It’s worth noting that with the cruise control lever…you’re also able to reduce or increase speed. While the car is in motion and you need to turn off the cruise control option, you simple use any of t he foot pedals…brakes/accelerator/clutch.

MY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Saves fuel with the auto start-stop option
  • Cruise control, helps you keep to the speed limit
  • Diesel is cheaper than petrol

THUMBS DOWN

  • It’s a small vehicle, not a family vehicle (however we managed since its only three people)
  • It’s an expensive vehicle, retails for R180,000

    Kuhle, deciding where to load his bags…

    manual transmission

    My son Kuhle, inspecting the vehicle before our departure to Bela Bela

    am tall, therefore had to shift car seat backwards until the end, which means no room for a passenger behind the driver.

    the signature…

    could fit a baby seat with easy…my son Kuhle looking worried.

    the boot is big enough for moderate laggage.

    designer alloy wheels and not wheel caps…no need to pimp!

    colourful sit covers made from cloth.

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